NTT to develop luxe hotels with fine-dining restauranteur

Hiramatsu

NTT Urban Development, the real estate development arm of the NTT communications group, is jointly developing several high-end hotels with restaurant and wedding planning company Hiramatsu.

Hiramatsu is known for their French and Italian restaurants, wedding planning, catering and wine businesses. In May 2015, they announced their foray into the hotel industry with the establishment of Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts.

Meanwhile, NTT Urban Development has decided to pursue the development of hotels and resorts to cater to the explosive growth in the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan. On October 1, 2015, they established a hotel and resort division in their commercial department.

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HULIC moves into luxury ryokan business

Hulic Atami and Hakone
[Left] Hakone-Suishoen; [Right] Atami Fufu Ryokan.

To capitalise on the growing industry for luxury boutique-style ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), real estate giant HULIC and Kato Pleasure Group (KPG) established KH Resort Management on July 1. The company will engage in the operation of ryokans as well as providing consulting services.

In April 2015, HULIC acquired two hotels from KPG – the Hakone-Suishoen and the Atami Fufu Ryokan – for approximately 4 billion Yen (approx. 33.6 million USD at the time). The newly formed company plan to acquire up to 10 high-end ryokans in hot spring resort areas within 1.5 ~ 2 hours from central Tokyo.

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Luxury ryokans seeing surge in investment

Atami Fufu
The Atami Fufu Ryokan

With expectations of growing demand from travellers and foreign tourists, luxury ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) and hotels across Japan are now a highly sought-after target by funds and major real estate companies. This means foreign investors looking to get into the hotel market in Japan will be facing increasingly tough competition from domestic investors.

This month, real estate giant HULIC will acquire two hotel properties in Hakone and Atami from Kato Pleasure Group. HULIC’s main business is office leasing and management, but with a declining population, they have been expanding their operations to other areas of the property market.

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Did you know: Atami City has a special tax on holiday homes

The popular beachside resort area of Atami in Shizuoka levies a special tax on owners of holiday homes and resort apartments within the city. Called a “besso” tax (besso = holiday house), it is very similar to a municipal tax. This tax is only charged on properties in Atami City, and is not found anywhere else in Shizuoka Prefecture.

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Japanese Villa in Atami

nishiyama-villa-3

Price: 230,000,000 Yen No longer on the market

This beautiful traditional Japanese house and garden in Atami City was built in the early Showa period and was previously owned by Viscount Torio. The spacious property includes the main house, tea house, guest house, and a large Japanese garden with flowing stream. Water from the natural hot springs can be drawn in the bathroom of the main house.

Atami City is only 39 minutes by Shinkansen from Tokyo Station. The house is a 15 min drive from Atami Station, or a 9 minute walk from Kinomiya Station.

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