Kominka

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Shizuman
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Re: Kominka

Post by Shizuman »

wow thats incredible! life goals right there

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BrettRas
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Re: Kominka

Post by BrettRas »

Looks like a nice place, in good shape!

grimpeur
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Kominka

Post by grimpeur »

Hi everyone! New poster here, so thanks to the mods for letting me in and their work maintaining this board. I got here due to a search for kominka and have been reading this topic with interest. To cut to the chase, I've lived with my family in a fully renovated kominka for about 13 years now, so I have both experience and probably some quite strong views on this topic.

There is lots of great information in here, and my apologies for going back several pages with what I am going to post.

First of all, in almost the first post, Brett mentions the Alex Kerr-connected renovations on Ojika. Out of interest, I did a search and this document I found suggests the original plan was to renovate a house as a restaurant and do four others as accommodation with a 140 million yen budget. Is that work basically what happened for phase one? It looks like other places have been renovated there since, but is it fair to assume that that was with another budget?

https://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000039110.pdf

Since I do not know which houses were done and how much work they needed, I can't comment on whether the budget was high or low. Kerr himself says he wishes to overcome the "kominka=discomfort" preconception, so a certain degree of spending is always going to be necessary to take places into Joe Public's comfort zone. What I will say though is "comfort" is much easier when you are battling Kyushu at sea level cold and not what you get in Tohoku or at altitude in Nagano or Niigata. So I doubt the insulation/draughtproofing part of the equation would have been so difficult or expensive for this project in Ojika. Winter cold is by far the biggest and costliest problem to solve with kominka in other regions, to the extent that many kominka cafes and minpaku simply close for winter to get around it. If the kominka is your home, you are either going to have to put up with the cold or pay for a far more extensive renovation, which is what we did.

Our floors are hinoki done with kakishibu and then a clear oil, that natural Osmo stuff from Germany. The vast majority of the house was done by pros and the kakishibu they used did not smell at all. We later did another bit of floor ourselves with kakishibu but ended up overapplying it and got a much more orange floor. It is easy to overapply because it takes a good while for the wood to react and the colour to develop. It's not like a wood stain where you know what you've got immediately. The exposed new lumber and trim in our house was done with kakishibu mixed with bengara to match beams that had been blackened by irori smoke. For the bit we did DIY, we used a commercial mix which I suspect was the stuff now sold as "bengara kun". The colours on the sample sheet look the same.

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Zasso Nouka
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Kominka

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Welcome to Japan Simple Life grimpeur and thank you for joining we really do appreciate that.

I personally don't know a great deal about Alex Kerr but maybe someone else has an answer ?

What sort of work did you have to do to renovate your house ? Does it get cold where you are ? I you feel like posting any pictures of your house it's always nice to see what work folk have done to an old place but no worries if you'd rather preserve your privacy.

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BrettRas
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Kominka

Post by BrettRas »

grimpeur wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:40 pm

First of all, in almost the first post, Brett mentions the Alex Kerr-connected renovations on Ojika. Out of interest, I did a search and this document I found suggests the original plan was to renovate a house as a restaurant and do four others as accommodation with a 140 million yen budget. Is that work basically what happened for phase one? It looks like other places have been renovated there since, but is it fair to assume that that was with another budget?
Hi grimpeur, thanks for your comment. I apologize for its lateness, somehow I didn't see the notification that there had been a new reply.

Thanks for posting that document, I hadn't seen that before. I believe that 140 million yen budget may have been just for the Fujimatsu restaurant and 2 kominka stay homes. The small powerpoint slide-like image in the bottom right seems to indicate that with point 1 being the restaurant and point 2 being two houses.

The text mentions the plan for 4 houses, but I think that this original budget does not include the additional 2 houses. That would also line up with what I have been told that the costs were for the renovations.

There were also additional houses added later, as you mentioned. Additional budgets for later renovations and repairs/revisions and such were certainly necessary.
I believe the total is now at 7 rentable accommodations as well as the restaurant, although two of the houses are split in two to allow multiple groups to stay in the same house, while being totally separate, each with their own necessary facilities. So 5 total houses plus one restaurant.