With its innumerable historic sites, shrines, and temples, Kyoto is one of Japan’s top tourist destinations, and the country’s seventh most populous city, with almost 1.5 million people. Compared to Tokyo, however, Kyoto is slow paced and refined.
There are many pockets and neighborhoods in Kyoto where you can feel time standing still, or at least experience the illusion of being in a quieter, bygone time, as brought to you by tourism and cultural preservation authorities who have very effectively maintained certain aspects of Japan’s ancient capital.
The neighborhood: Arashiyama
Arashiyama (“Storm Mountain”), on the western edge of Kyoto, is one of these havens. In the Heian Period (794-1185), which is considered the peak of Japanese court life, aristocrats kept country homes in the area so that they could enjoy the unfolding of the seasons.
Today, Arashiyama is still popular for its cherry blossoms in the spring and foliage in the fall. Tenryuji, one of Kyoto’s five great Zen temples and a World Heritage site, can be found here, as well as a towering, iconic bamboo grove.
With all this to see, Arashiyama is indeed a bit of a touristy neighborhood. However, with the eponymous mountain in the background, a river running through the center, and the landmark Tokgetsukyo (“Moon Crossing”) Bridge framing the whole scene, Arashiyama is still a pleasant place to spend some time.
What you can buy for $200,000
Arashiyama is also where, for 23,800,000yen (about $198,000 at today’s exchange rate) you can buy a 66 square meter (about 714 square feet) 1 bedroom apartment located near Togetsukyo Bridge.
The apartment on offer is a fully renovated, fourth floor unit in a four-story building, about a 4 minute walk from Arashiyama station on the Hankyu Arashiyama line.
The building itself has a total of 39 units and was built in 1974 during the condominium building rush of the 1970’s. According the the seller’s agent, the average selling price of one unit at the time was about 26 million yen, equivalent to about 65 to 70 million yen today. All the units offered sold out on the same day they were offered for sale.
Today, about sixty percent of the units are used by the owners as second-homes.
The unit on offer has been recently renovated from a 2LDK (2 bedrooms, living room, and dining area/kitchen) layout to a 1LDK (1 bedroom, living room, and dining area/kitchen).
- High (2.3 meter, about 7.54 feet) ceilings.
- Heated living room floor area (for chilly Kyoto winters!)
- Sliding doors off of spacious living room allows you to configure the living, dining and bedroom space to fit your lifestyle
- Large walk-in closet with built-in, adjustable shelves
- Spacious bathroom with North European-style pine accents
This property is now off the market, but you can see other Kyoto listings here: Houses for Sale in Kyoto.
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