Less than 3% of Kyoto’s machiya avoid demolition

A recent attempt by Kyoto City to save its historic machiya townhouses has only resulted in 5 out of 170 properties avoiding demolition. Back in 2016, a survey found that as many as 800 traditional machiya townhouses in Kyoto were being demolished each year. With an estimated 40,000 machiya in the city, they could vanish within the next 50 years, leaving no trace of the city’s merchant past.

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Kanazawa City finds success matching machiya with new residents

On August 9th, Kanazawa City announced a record number of contracts between Kanazawa-style machiya townhouse owners and buyers and tenants in 2017. A total of 12 contracts were signed in 2017.

The program is run by the city through their Kanazawa Machiya Information Center, which connects owners and agents with people looking to utilize the historic homes. The city’s service, which started operations in 2011, typically finds anywhere from 1 ~ 7 matches per year, but the opening of the Center in late 2016 has made it easier for interested owners and users to connect. The system operates similarly to many of the vacant home banks operated by local municipalities across the country. With the cooperation of the Ichikawa Prefecture Society of Architects and Engineers, machiya-style homes are registered online, with transaction support provided by the Ishikawa Takken Association.

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Wacoal’s Kyoto Machiya guesthouse to open tomorrow

Wacoal Holdings, a lingerie company, will open their first traditional machiya guesthouse in Kyoto on April 28. The 92-year old townhouse is located 800 meters west of Nanzen-ji Temple and 500 meters south of Heian Shrine. The two-storey wooden house has a total floor area of 91 sqm (980 sq.ft) and can sleep up to six guests. Nightly rates range from 60,000 ~ 180,000 Yen plus tax, depending on the season and number of guests.

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