Creating sustainable communities by renovating vacant Japanese houses

The Problem

The number of vacant houses across Japan has increased to over 10 million due to unbalanced development, depopulation, and an aging society. These structures devastate neighborhoods by undermining the quality of life, diminish the value of nearby properties, and cause severe fiscal damage to local governments while creating a blight on environments.

The Opportunity

We can all help to revitalize communities. Many regions with high concentrations of vacant houses are also home to unparalleled natural beauty and are easily accessible, creating an opportunity for everyone to enjoy these “curated homes” produced by Minkalife.

About Us

Leveraging over 50 years of collective experience, MinkaLife breathes life back into vacant houses in Japan. Through careful renovation we reposition vacant houses, enabling them to become assets to society once more. We de-risk these assets through proprietary data analytics, pre-investment due diligence, post-investment management, and impact measurement during the operational phase.

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1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Our Impact

The restoration and repositioning of abandoned houses reinvigorates economic activity in neglected regions, enabling occupants to positively influence communities while crafting new lifestyles in line with their own values. As technological advancements continue to improve connectivity, MinkaLife looks to provide smart, comfortable houses while leading the transition away from today’s demolition and throw-away society by substantially increasing the lifespan of Japanese houses.

MinkaLife Properties

Sado Island Project

Our first project lies in the beautiful nature-rich island of Sado, located 50km off the coast of Niigata prefecture in the North of Japan.

A traditional townhouse with a kura warehouse sheltered from the elements will be transformed into a home-away-from-home for explorers, artists and athletes.

Turnkey Services

We passionately seek out properties in Kyoto, Niseko, Sapporo, Kyushu, and throughout Japan that have a unique story to share. If a certain locale in Japan has captivated your heart, we invite you to connect with us and discover more about our Turnkey Services.

Our approach is meticulous: we identify homes steeped in history that possess immense potential. We then tastefully renovate them, ensuring they meet modern standards of comfort and energy efficiency. Finally, we expertly manage these properties as vacation rentals for discerning travelers in search of authentic experiences.

Our Team

The MinkaLife management team is made up of a diverse group of experts with more than 50 years of combined real estate and asset repositioning experience in Japan.

Roland Thompson

Over 30 years of real estate experience as an entrepreneur, chief executive, and trusted advisor while working with corporations, investors, and start-ups. Current president and CEO of Austvent Japan.

Sam Bird

20 years working in Japan and the UK in strategic marketing communications, creative management, business development, and key account management for B2B and B2C digital marketing services.

Hidemasa Kuwae

Over 10 years of experience in tourism, architecture, real-estate, and construction. Acquired BizDev skills through involvement in early-stage projects and companies.

Naoki Martin

Researcher and data analyst with experience in IT and real estate. Currently studying economics and biology at the University of St Andrews.

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