Frank Lloyd Wright’s Yodoko Guest House re-opens after 2-year restoration

The Yodoko Guest House in Ashiya, Hyogo, reopened to the public on February 16 after undergoing two years of intensive repairs and restoration work. 

This is the only surviving Wright-designed residence in Japan that has remained in largely original condition. The house has a total floor area of 542 sqm (5,832 sq.ft) and sits on over an acre of land. 

88-yr old building on 2.6 hectare site in Minato to be sold

Japan Post Insurance is selling their former Tokyo Service Center building and land in Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo. The potential sale price and date has yet to be confirmed, although it is expected that the property will be offered for sale by tender. With land of this size, the eventual sale price is likely to be in the 10s of billions of Yen (several hundred million USD).

Japan Post Insurance expects to report a capital gain of 30 billion Yen (approx. 270 million USD) on the sale, which, given their very long history of ownership of the property, may be a close indicator of their preferred sale price.

*Update: The property was sold to Mitsui Fudosan Residential in February 2018. Japan Post Insurance posted a capital gain of 85.03 billion Yen (approx. 780 million USD) on the sale.

The property is located along the street from the Australian Embassy and directly across the street from the historic Tsunamachi Mitsui Club – a members only club that was built in 1913 for the Mitsui family.

The Art Deco building was once theMinistry of Communications and Transportation Postal Life Insurance Building. It was constructed by Obayashi Corporation in 1929 at a cost of 4,350,000 Yen. In those days the annual salary of a doctor was around 4,800 Yen.

Hakone Fujiya Hotel to close for 2 years for earthquake retrofitting

Last month, Hakone’s historic landmark Fujiya Hotel announced that they will be temporarily closing the hotel from April 2018 to conduct necessary earthquake retrofitting and refurbishment. The hotel will re-open in Spring 2020.

Fujiya Hotel’s main building was built in 1891 and is registered as a National Tangible Cultural Property along with the Comfy Lodge, Flower Palace and Kikka-so Inn Annex. Famous past guests have included Charlie Chaplin, Helen Keller, John Lennon, Prince Albert, Emperor Showa and the current Emperor and Empress of Japan.

The restaurant in the 122-year old Kikka-so Annex building, which was originally a holiday villa of the Imperial Family, will continue to operate as normal during the refurbishment.

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