Yumiko found a house today with perhaps the best story yet. It’s a geisha dormitory in Atami which once served the high-class entertainment needs of this popular Japan hot spring resort city. Geisha lived here together in a large dormitory-style home, setting off alone or in pairs each evening to work dancing, singing and socializing at high-end restaurants and other social facilities within walking distance around downtown Atami. The women slept together on futon spread out each night within several large tatami rooms. If you are a Studio Ghibli fan, think of of the movie Spirited Away, and the the big room where young Chihiro (Sen) slept with the other women, and you’ll get a feel for what this place must have been like.
A huge feature of this curious home is it’s strategically perfect location just outside the downtown area, which allowed the Geisha to conveniently walk in their sashing kimono and clip-clopping wooden geta to wherever their services were needed. This old building—which needs work—is rather pricy at $103,000 USD, though a bargain if you consider that the purchase price includes the four-unit, Showa-era, apartment building next door! There’s no parking—but then, there may be no need of a car when you live in the heart of everything.
I’m thinking this is another great opportunity for someone (I’m thinking of you, Ryo Hatsuki) who might want to start their own Japan guest house and/or Airbnb (maybe the geisha house can be the guest house and the apartment an Airbnb?). Given the relative proximity to Tokyo, as well as the fact of being in the very heart of the Atami tourist zone and amidst all the famous hot springs (and real close to the beach!) I think a clever entrepreneur could easily leverage a “geisha guest house” facility into a cash-flow positive concern.
Just imagine if the walls at this house could talk…
Click here to view the listing for this property.
My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.