Nara soy-sauce brewery to become boutique hotel

Nara-based Nanto Bank has set up a 1.5 billion Yen (approx. US$14 million) fund that will restore historic kominkas and convert them into tourist accommodation. Nara Kominka Machitsukuri Partners will start operations next month. The first project is a soy sauce brewery founded in the Edo period. The former storehouse will be converted into overnight accommodation.

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Nara prison hotel to open in 2020

The 109-year old former Nara Juvenile Prison in Nara City will be converted into a hotel by 2020. On May 26, Japan’s Ministry of Justice announced that a group of 8 companies, led by Solare Hotels and Resorts, was the successful bidder for the project.  A total of 3 groups submitted bids back in January.

The prison was built in 1908 and is the only surviving example of the Five Prisons of the Meiji era. The red brick prison was designed by architect Keijiro Yamashita. Yamashita worked for the Ministry of Justice from 1897 to 1930, and designed many prisons across the country.

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HULIC wins bid for hotel development on historic site in Nara

Japanese real estate company HULIC has been selected to develop a hotel on a historic site within Nara Park. Nara Prefecture received bids from four companies during the month-long public tender process held in January 2017.

The 1.3 hectare site was originally home to a sub temple, but sold off to private interests in the late 1800s. Since then it has had several owners, including poet Haruyasu Umeda, and banker Kenshiro Yamaguchi. After WWII, the Nara Family Court annex building was built on the land, although it has since been demolished. Remains of the traditional Japanese garden dating from the 1910s remain.

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Japan’s first JW Marriott Hotel to open in Nara

JW Marriott NaraMori Trust announced that the Marriott International hotel group will open their first JW Marriott luxury branded hotel in Nara City in 2020. The JW Marriott Hotel Nara will be built on vacant land across the street from the Nara City Hall and near the former Heijo Palace – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mori Trust acquired the 4,000 sqm block from the prefecture and will start construction of the 15,000 sqm (161,400 sq.ft) hotel next year. The 6 ~ 7 storey hotel will have 150 guest rooms, restaurant, bar and pool facilities.

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Nara Dreamland sold to Osaka real estate company

Nara Dreamland 1

Nara Dreamland, the long-since closed amusement park modelled after California’s Disneyland, was purchased by an Osaka-based real estate company earlier this month for 730 million Yen (5.95 million USD). The buyer, SK Housing, was the only bidder at the public auction. It is unclear what the new owner plans to do with the site.

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Nara Dreamland up for public auction for second time

Nara Dreamland 1

Nara City is putting the foreclosed ‘Nara Dreamland’ amusement park up for sale for a second time. The minimum price is again set at 730 million Yen, and bidding is open for 20 minutes on November 10, 2015.

The park was first put up for auction in November 2014 with the same minimum price. No bids were made. Despite the lack of buyer interest last year, the city still believes the site offers a convenient location and are not adjusting the price downwards.

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