Most expensive apartment building in the Kansai region to go on sale

A record-setting luxury condominium in Ashiya City, Hyogo, will soon go on sale. Branz Ashiya The Residence is a 15-unit building with apartments priced between 200 ~ 500 million Yen (1.8 ~ 4.5 million USD). With an average price of 1,850,000 Yen/sqm (approx. 1550 USD/sq.ft), this will be the most expensive apartment building to go on sale across the Kansai region this century, wiping out a previous record set in Kyoto in 2015.

$100 million resort for Kobe’s Mount Rokko

Rokkosan Resort 7

Nagoya-based Resorttrust, Inc. announced plans to open a members-only resort hotel in Kobe’s Rokkosan area. “XIV Rokko Sanctuary Villa” will be a 48-room resort with Japanese restaurant, bar, spa, and shops. It is scheduled to open in March 2018.

The resort has been designed by KKS Group, a specialist architectural firm that has designed numerous hotels around the world including several Shangri-La and Hilton Hotels, the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, and the Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Tokyo. The design of the hotel is said to be the ‘Imperial Modern’ style which can be seen in some of the old and grand estates in Japan from the early 1900s. Frank Lloyd Wright’s former Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and the former Maeda Residence in Meguro were said to be the inspiration behind the design.

Hyogo-based company starts boutique historic hotel brand

Nipponia Sasayama Hotel 1

In early October a Japanese association called NOTE opened up a series of historic hotels in the Sasayama Castle Town in Hyogo Prefecture. The boutique hotels are located in traditional and historic Japanese homes that have been carefully restored. NOTE currently has 11 hotel suites in four buildings in the town, and operates them under their NIPPONIA Sasayama Castle Town Hotel brand. They have also converted a former bank (c1934) in Toyooka into a hotel, restaurant and cafe.

NOTE is a Sasayama-based association that was established in 2009 with the purpose of reinvigorating rural areas through restoring old and vacant houses, promoting tourism and supporting local businesses. The food served in the hotel restaurants, for example, is sourced locally to support the town’s farmers, while staff are hired locally where possible.

NOTE is aiming to have 10 hotels in operation by the 2020 Olympics.

Akashi’s tallest and most expensive condominium tower to go on sale this month

Proud Tower Akashi 3

Akashi City’s tallest and most expensive condominium is going on sale later this month and is already drawing a lot of interest from potential buyers. Three of the apartments will be priced over 100 million Yen and the most expensive apartment will be a 110 sqm (1,184 sq ft) 4-Bedroom unit priced at 130.9 million Yen (1.09 million USD). It is unusual to see apartments priced over 100 million Yen in the suburban areas of Kansai, and this is the first time that Akashi City has seen apartments priced at this level.

Proud Tower Akashi will be a 34-storey condominium located just a 2 minute walk from Akashi Station and 350 meters from the Akashi Castle park. The 199 apartments range in size from 54 ~ 110 sqm (581 ~ 1,184 sq ft) and are priced from 22.5 ~ 130.9 million Yen.

Historic hotel in Takarazuka to be demolished

Takarazuka Hotel 1

Hankyu Hanshin Holdings plan to demolish the historic Takarazuka Hotel in Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture, and will build a new hotel in a separate location nearby.

The 5-storey hotel opened in 1926. It was developed by Ichizo Kobayashi, the founder of Hankyu Railway, the Takarazuka Revue and Toho, and local industrialist Kaemon Hiratsuka. Hankyu acquired the hotel a few years after it opened.

Modernist House in Kobe demolished

The former Matsuhashi Ryuzo Residence is a 2-storey home in Ashiya City that was built in 1935 for a businessman from Tennoji in Osaka. It was one of the few remaining examples of modernist architecture in the Hanshin area. It was designed by architect, Kikuji Ishimoto, who also designed the Shirokiya Department Store in Nihonbashi.

Steps towards reducing discrimination against foreign tenants

Many foreigners may have experienced some kind of discrimination when trying to rent an apartment in Japan. Landlords not only discriminate against foreign residents, but also the elderly, disabled and even families with small children.

Hyogo Prefecture, has introduced a new relief system for rental housing that targets the elderly and foreigners who are frequently turned down by landlords when trying to rent an apartment.

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