Price slash: $53,000 to $36,000 USD
I found another house for sale in Japan which I know is featured in one of my old Walking in Japan videos, though I haven't yet found it... This house is located in a "secret" village which I didn't know existed for years, until one day I decided to explore what I thought was a tiny farm road which in fact led to an enormous bowl-shaped valley nestled within very high mountains containing a fairly large and healthy farm village. The day I found this village I parked my car at the Shinto shrine and set out on foot with camera in hand. I remember this particular house due to its location, as it stands at the fork of two valleys, and I distinctly remember lingering in front of the house (the camera may have even been running) looking left and right trying to decide which way to go. I never did return here (though I intended to many times) and therefore never discovered what is to be found along the left fork of this valley.
Unlike many mountain villages in Japan, this particular village seemed quite alive and healthy, as evidenced by the fact that I even met children here. I even recall a very old playground (I think it was attached to a Buddhist temple), with antique - yet functional - playground toys and occupied by three small children and their pleasant, watchful grandmother, who answered my questions about the village and agreed with me that the valley was indeed, a very, VERY beautiful place. I think the reason this village is healthy is due to it's close proximity (maybe two kilometers) to a main highway, providing easier access to services such as grocery stores and restaurants.
The "house" appears to actually be two houses joined at the hip. The older, probably original structure, is the one in the back, with the red metal roof (great for listening to rainstorms); with the newer, two-storied house in front likely added within the last forty years. The family who once lived here were probably green tea farmers, as green tea (visible everywhere as green, rounded shrubs) literally surround every home and bit of open land throughout the village. Another sign that this was a farmer's house is the outdoor sink to the right of the entrance, which is an indispensable feature of every Japanese farmhouse, where fresh veggies (and the farmers coming home from the fields) need a good wash-up before going indoors.
I especially like the tiny triangle of land at the pointy-end of this lot where the two streams converge; and I could imagine making that little plot into a garden with a splendid view out and over the village below and the mountains beyond. Lastly, and perhaps best of all, I would so enjoy listening to the surround-sound of flowing water from twin streams on either side of the house. And how cool to have a house with a bridge for a driveway!
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My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.