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New Life for Abandoned Houses

Extending the life of homes to make the most of the resources is key sustainability and there is great value in restoring old Akiya, Minka, Machiya in Japan into comfortable homes.

Restoring a beautiful old stately home into its original glory
Paul and Kimberly Fredale have renovated old homes in Hawaii before coming to Japan. Once they found a hidden gem in Japan, they did a lot of the work themselves to declutter, cut back the bamboo, restore original wood, uncover historical mysteries, add modern comfort that still retained a classic look, and collaborated with neighbors to restore a beautiful 130-year-old Japanese home.

Restoring traditional Machiya teahouses into Guesthouses in Kyoto
Mike Barr lives in a remodeled Akiya with his family but has also renovated traditional Kyoto Machiya teahouses to create unique, attractive rental accommodation for visitors.

Creating an Eco-House next to Lake Biwa in Shiga
Iain Davey has rebuilt an old pension next to lake Biwa to take in the amazing views of nature around as well as make the most of sunlight through skylights, solar and a green roof. They have also installed compost toilets, a pond, and a veggie garden as well as raise chickens and goats.

Remodeling an old Kominka for a family to live in Modern Comfort in Shiga
Film expert Stuart Galbraith found a more comfortable home and lifestyle than he expected in the rural area of Shiga, not far from Kyoto. In the remodel, they kept many of the original elements but added others to make a more efficient chimney and a more comfortable style layout for a western family. They also installed a compost toilet.

Creating a Permaculture Center and Remodeling Akiya in Okayama
An ambitious plan to make the most of natural resources to grow food and enjoy a comfortable life in the mountainous countryside of Okayama.

Most Popular Video in the Akiya Remodel Playlist