Sale falls through for 91-yr old former bank building in Kyushu

The sale of a city-owned historic building in Kurume, Kyushu, fell through recently, with the city now considering future options for sale. The building was built in 1927 as the Kurume Branch for the 77 Bank (now the Bank of Fukuoka). In 1968 it was sold to Kurume City and had been used as a public library annex and archives up until 2010. The exterior and interior remains largely unchanged from its original condition.

Toshiba sells historic residence in Shinagawa

Furniture company Nitori Holdings has acquired a historic residence in Tokyo from Toshiba. The home, which was used by Toshiba as a reception hall for guests, sits on a sprawling 6,400 sqm of grounds in the Nishi-oi address in Shinagawa.

The traditional Japanese house was built in 1941 for Keitaro Miho, the president of Japanese record label Nippon Columbia. It was transferred to Toshiba in 1953. The site was originally part of a larger castle-like estate, with some parts of the original foundation walls said to be remaining within Toshiba’s grounds.

Historic waterfront properties in Miura at risk of demolition

The University of Tokyo may be planning to demolish their Misaki Marine Biological Station Laboratory building in Kanagawa Prefecture. The 2-storey, 1,000 sqm (10,760 sq.ft) building was built in 1936 and sits on a waterfront location overlooking Shoiso, Aburatsubo and Sagami Bays in Miura. The demolition is likely to also include the 400 sqm Exhibit of Aquatic Species building that was built in 1932. This was one of the Kanto region’s first full-scale aquariums and once drew over 100,000 visitors per year, turning the Aburatsubo area into a sight-seeing destination. 

City to purchase Lafcadio Hearn’s residence for 175 million Yen

Matsue City in Shimane Prefecture plans to acquire the former residence of writer Lafcadio Hearn for 175 million Yen (approx. 1.6 million USD). The seller is a private individual. The traditional, single-storey Japanese residence has a total floor area of 244 sqm (2,645 sq.ft) and sits on a 1,030 sqm (11,083 sq.ft) block of land located directly across the street from Matsue Castle.

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.

Ace Hotel to open hotel in Kyoto’s historic Shinpukan building

Ace Hotel, a boutique hotel chain headquartered in Portland, is making its first foray in the Asian market with the opening of a hotel in Kyoto next year. The 213-room Ace Hotel Kyoto will be the main part of the historic Shinpukan redevelopment. With architect Kengo Kuma leading the project’s design, the hotel will incorporate the existing building’s early 20th century architectural elements with contemporary styling. The building is the perfect fit for the hotelier’s brand which focuses on reviving and repurposing older and more character-filled buildings.

Asakusa’s Ryounkaku Tower foundations unearthed at construction site

Red-brick foundations of the Ryounkaku Tower in Asakusa were unearthed in a construction site in February. News of the discovery quickly spread, with a number of people visiting the site to catch a glimpse of the long-lost tower’s traces.

According to the Taito-ku Board of Education, similar red-brick foundations were found in a construction site nearby in 1980. However, since the remains are not considered cultural property and are not in particularly good condition, there are no heritage protections or limitations to restrict the construction work. A 3-storey retail building is planned for the site.

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