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Testing the water

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  • Testing the water

    Like the title says...

    I'm looking at a piece of land, specifically an old, abandoned mikan orchard, about 200 tsubo, offered for a song.

    The adjoining land (also abandoned, though for less years) is double in size. I may or may not be able to get this, though.

    Talking hypothetical, were the two deals to fall in place, the thought crossed my mind to open up a camp site.

    Primarily, I'd be selling The View:



    but I'd also be able to offer add-ons, such as;

    takenoko hunting
    farming/pick your own (year-round, though it'd only be a goer from April to October)
    kayaking
    fishing (pier)
    fishing (boat)
    island visitin'
    swimmin'/ snorkelin'/spear fishin'
    charcoal makin'

    Nascent idea at the moment, not wanting to give too much away. Just bouncing An Idea Out There. But don't you just love the lack of powerlines ahead of yer? And the sun sets into that sea...

    Comments, criticism, ridicule, advice all welcome.

    Cheers,

    KC

    <Important addendum: Yamaguchi, Seto-side>

  • #2
    Looks like a great view judging from the one photo.

    Those are some good ideas, but I recommend that you draw up a chart and list for each one of those ideas:
    what it would cost to set up
    what it would cost to operate
    potential business
    how much direct work / effort / time it will require to set up / maintain
    potential profits
    what interests you (tho, I imagine your list is only things you are interested in)
    consider your competitors

    Compare and contrast.

    Consider a B&B. A B&B with attached rotenburo (exterior) baths that have a view of the ocean could likely get you 15,000 - 30,000 / night for a couple depending on the season. Personally, I'd do that. Have two, maybe three rooms. Work weekends and pull 300,000+ yen/mo. If you can make a decent dinner and breakfast and clean a room, you're good to go.

    Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kirinclassic View Post


      <Important addendum: Yamaguchi, Seto-side>
      First thing I would look into if you haven't already is the zoning restrictions.
      If it's been an orchard for years, it could take years before you could build on the land after applying for rezoning (of course this may vary).



      BTW, here's a panorama shot I took last month from the other side of the Seto inland sea.
      Really really big (44 megapixels) version here.
      I live in NE Fukuoka on the coast, and I saw Yamaguchi clearly for the first time ever.
      I took this shot from a hill in a neighbourhood park with a telephoto (unfortunately the focus isn't the best).
      It's about 40km away, but looks much closer. I think the approximate location of the left side is here on Google maps.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hamakko View Post
        First thing I would look into if you haven't already is the zoning restrictions.
        If it's been an orchard for years, it could take years before you could build on the land after applying for rezoning (of course this may vary).
        There are ways to get around it...

        Comment


        • #5
          I can't offer to much here but it seems like a reasonable lifestyle choice at least.
          And....there are more and more Japanese people who want to go and give a hand on the land..so if you could tap into that it could be good. I imagine that the Seto Sea, which is already very nice will one day, in a hundred years, be amazing.
          The trouble is now that it's littered with factories and such facing the sea. In time I imagine that will all become more valued.
          good luck anyway, Sounds like a lovely idea.
          (And I think you'd make money but best refer to hml etc for that)
          Last edited by twelvedown; 2012-01-08, 12:52 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            200 tsubo isn’t large enough to do too much with – so your plan may indeed hinge upon that additional piece – and depending upon the overall size – you need to consider which of your list is actually achievable, and which ones taken together are achievable. There is a lot of effort in doing these things, and more in the setup.

            Great view. What is likely to be done with the land that is adjacent to yours, and between it and that view? Could it get blocked?

            One more idea – how about a motorcyclist camp site?

            Comment


            • #7
              200 tsubo is about 0.16 acre, or if the land is a perfect square it would be about 84 x 84 feet. Tiny. I hope you are aware of this.

              hml doesn't offer any specifics about how to get around zoning regulations. Not very helpful. Are the ideas even legal?

              Is the land itself on the coast? If not, how close it is? Be wary of tsunami potential to wipe you out.


              Other questions I'd consider.
              Taxes (the obvious first question!)?
              If it was an orchard, how was water supplied?
              How can you get electric power?
              What kind of road access is there?
              Can you legally build a pier? If so, what would it take?
              What kind of dropoff is there from beyond the tree line?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Glenski View Post
                hml doesn't offer any specifics about how to get around zoning regulations. Not very helpful. Are the ideas even legal?
                Thanks for asking! This particular method may not be legal, but not necessarily illegal either. If you can pay for the entire construction with cash, build the damn thing. Authorities will tell you "bad boy" but will not make you demolish. That's the fastest way.

                If you want to do it a bit more "legally" then apply for permission to build a house because you "farm" it. You may need to get a "farmers permit" which could take a year or two of renting land and actually growing something, but this process is usually used to gain the permission to purchase farmland - which is *dirt* cheap. ba da da dam! Anyway, what you build to live in, or to work in is pretty much up to you.

                You can also look into building something that is not a domicile - for example, a restaurant. But whose to say you don't put some rooms on the second floor to sleep in??

                Originally posted by Glenski View Post
                Is the land itself on the coast? If not, how close it is? Be wary of tsunami potential to wipe you out.
                ...
                What kind of dropoff is there from beyond the tree line?
                Maybe the drop off is big enough to fend of that tsunami you are worried about. Judging from the photo, if that land was wiped out with a tsunami, 70% of the population in Japan would be in dire trouble.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hml View Post
                  ...70% of the population in Japan would be in dire trouble.
                  What - we aren't? (Off topic comment...)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TJrandom View Post
                    What - we aren't? (Off topic comment...)
                    Hahaha I took myself so seriously for a moment and realized the truth of it when you posted that!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the replies. Some good thoughts in there, I'll try to address them all. Apologies if I miss some stuff, though.

                      First, a bit more info. Both the 200 tsubo parcel and the 400 tsubo parcel are shigaiichi choseikuiki (spelling?) which means an ordinary Joe like me CAN'T by it (to the best of my understanding) The stipulation seems to be one must already own at least 2 are of farmland to buy more (a stupendously idiotic catch 22 if ever there was one). F-I-L meets the criteria and is willing to lend his name, so it'd be his name on the deed, not mine - not the best way to go. That's why this quote from hml is VERY interesting as I've been farming over 2 are for years now:

                      "
                      If you want to do it a bit more "legally" then apply for permission to build a house because you "farm" it. You may need to get a "farmers permit" which could take a year or two of renting land and actually growing something, but this process is usually used to gain the permission to purchase farmland - which is *dirt* cheap. ba da da dam! Anyway, what you build to live in, or to work in is pretty much up to you.
                      "


                      The 200 tsubo plot has been offered to me for about 10man. It's so cheap because it's not been tended for at least 10 years. The adjacent plot, also abandoned (but for fewer years) would be more expensive, and it's getting the second plot that's key to the whole idea. Elevation is about 30-40 meters, 500m as the crow flies to the beach. Can see Oita on a clear day, perhaps wave at Hamakko.

                      Utilities: None. No water, no electric. Electric would be easy to do - we already have a generator for DJ parties in our existing orchard. Water would have to be carted five minutes up a one-car lane in tanks. Toilet would be compostable. For these reasons, setting up a B&B is out of the question, hence thinking high quality (everything provided - from tents to charcoal) niche camp ground, with the add-ons mentioned before. Motorcyclists would be more than welcome.

                      Thanks to all for all the input so far. Much appreciated.

                      Cheers,

                      KC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hml View Post

                        If you want to do it a bit more "legally" then apply for permission to build a house because you "farm" it. You may need to get a "farmers permit" which could take a year or two of renting land and actually growing something, but this process is usually used to gain the permission to purchase farmland - which is *dirt* cheap. ba da da dam! Anyway, what you build to live in, or to work in is pretty much up to you.
                        I'm afraid it's a lot more difficult than this seems to imply. If the area is designated as farmland for the local city you will need planning permission for even a shed or storehouse. There is no way they will give you planning permission for a campsite. If you go ahead and build the campsite and somebody complains you will have to tear it all down. You will run into hygiene regulations for the composting toilet and the taxman certainly isn't going to sit back twiddling his thumbs while you take all cash inhand. If you are serious about the idea I recommend you use a Japanese estate agent of good reputation in the local area to handle all the negotiations for you. I don't want to put you off, but you should realize that there are many reasons why such a wonderfully situated piece of land has been deserted and allowed to revert back to the wild. It was nice to be let in your dream ! I thought something similar about some mountain land my wife's family owned, but you don't even want to go near that. Too many vested interests. Japanese poor people had land given to them after WW2 and it is very much a "From my cold, dead hands" scenario.

                        Comment

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