Heritage-listed house in Sendai to be demolished

The owners of a heritage-listed house in Sendai will soon demolish the old home and several other historic buildings to make way for a city-planned road that will cut through the site. The buildings include the former main house, workshop and storehouses for the 140-year old Mondaya company – a manufacturer of traditional Sendai-tansu cabinets.

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2.2 Traditional machiya houses in Kyoto are demolished each day

Two renovated machiya by Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio.

Kyoto City is losing its traditional machiya townhouses at an alarming rate, with an average of 2.2 of these symbolic houses demolished each day.

On May 1, Kyoto City announced that approximately 5,600 machiya have been demolished over the past seven years. In 2016, a survey found that there were 40,146 surviving machiya in the city.

Of the surviving machiya, 14.5% are vacant and not occupied by owners or tenants, an increase of 4 points from the previous city survey in 2009. Kyoto City’s vacancy rate across all types of housing was 14% in a 2013 survey.

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Traditional Japanese homes for sale

Built: 1902 / Fully renovated
¥49,000,000 (approx. 450,000 USD)

Built: Unknown

Built: 1933

Built: 1955

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Nakano’s last surviving thatched-roof house to be demolished


The 160+ year old Hosoda Residence in Nakano, Tokyo, is expected to be demolished soon to make way for a city road. The road plan was enacted in 1966, but, as is the case with many of Tokyo’s old road plans, remained dormant for several decades. The city obtained approval from the national government for the road construction in 2015 and plan to have the project completed by 2020.

This is the sole surviving thatched-roof house in Nakano Ward, and a very rare example of a typical farmhouse from the period in Tokyo’s 23 wards. 

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Historic Japanese villa in NY looking for new home in Japan

Takamine Pine Maple PalaceThe current owner of a historic traditional Japanese house in upstate New York wants to relocate the home to Japan and is seeking a new owner.

The ’Pine and Maple Palace’ was initially exhibited at the St. Louis World Fair in 1904. It was modelled in a style of architecture dating from the Momoyama period (late 1500s), but with some western features. After the fair, Emperor Meiji donated the villa to Dr. Jokichi Takamine, a successful chemist who had emigrated to the US. Takamine relocated the villa to his summer home in upstate New York. In 1909, Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi and Princess Kuni stayed in the villa during a visit to the US. The house was sold upon Takamine’s death in 1922. 

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Kyoto looking for tenant for historic restaurant/ryokan in Gion

Gion Shinbashi RestaurantKyoto City is looking for a tenant for a traditional-style residence/restaurant in the Gion-shinbashi neighbourhood. The 2-storey wooden house was during the Meiji period and is estimated to be around 120 years old.

Until recently it was used as a tempura restaurant. The owner of the property and former operator of the restaurant left the property to the city in June 2013 with the hope that the city could continue to conserve and protect the historical building.

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Historic lodging house “Hongokan” to be demolished in August


Built in 1905, Hongokan is Japan’s oldest 3-storey wooden lodging house. The L-shaped building has approximately 70 rooms and a total floorspace of 1500 sqm which is very large in scale for a wooden structure.

It was built by an aristocratic family from Gifu Prefecture and was initially used as a boarding house for the Tokyo Girl’s Highschool (now known as Ochanomizu Women’s College), but soon became a high-grade lodging house that provided luxury accommodation.

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