A historic home and art gallery in Beppu City is at risk of demolition, leading local residents and art aficionados scrambling to find a solution to protect the 86-year old property. The gallery and cafe is due to close by the end of this month.
Chochokaku was built in 1929 and is registered as a National Tangible Cultural Property. It was built by Kinya Takahashi (1866-1937), a politician, businessman and first president of the Beppu Chamber of Commerce, as his personal residence and guest house. The 2-storey wooden residence has a total floor area of 270 sqm (2,905 sq.ft). It includes both the traditional Japanese-style residence with tatami rooms, as well as an art-deco western-style wing.