I've found another old house for sale in Japan which makes a cameo appearance in one of my old softypapa videos. The video in question (linked) was recorded in the village of Kamiochiai when I'd spotted a large Japanese serow 羚羊 (think cross between a goat and a sheep) making its way carefully along a narrow village trail. If you watch this grainy old video to the end, you will see the serow step cautiously onto the road directly in front of the house which is for sale at $72,000 USD. It's a lovely old traditional Japanese home located on route 27 at the very last village with a bus stop. When the bus arrives at this village, it stops, makes a challenging multi-point turn and heads directly down the mountain again, usually empty - with one bus arriving in the morning around 10:00 AM and another one coming at 4:00 PM. If you come here, don't miss that last bus as you'll otherwise be in for a long and cold overnight in what is effectively a ghost village.
You enter this village from the cemetery, where route 27 splits to the left heading deeper into the Japan Southern Alps while a tiny one-lane farm road veers to the right, going deep into the area of the mountains where I recorded most of my old Japan hiking adventures as well as another ghost village called Shirohige. In all my years of coming to the village of Kamiochiai, I never even once saw another human being, though I know that folks are there due to the well-kept nature of the village homes. I once asked a man further down the valley about Kamiochiai, and he told me that the people here were known to be very prideful and aloof from the other residents of these mountains though for the life of me I can't remember why. He told me also that the people in Kamiochiai were rich, though again, I can't remember why, though I do remember an utterly enormous home 50 meters up the road from this place which seemed all out of proportion to the type of home we normally see in high mountain villages in Japan, with a multi-floor main house, an enormous kura storehouse and a samurai-style plaster and tile wall surrounding the entire estate. I know that this area was once famous for gold mines and I'm wondering if Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa had perhaps posted an emissary at Kamiochiai to look after the gold mining operations? But whatever the story is here, this house is a real treasure and perhaps a steal at only $72,000 - though you may have to contend with ghosts and serow as your neighbors.
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.