Real Estate

Want to buy a cheap house in rural Japan? This millennial farmer offers his advice


When Lee Xian Jie first stepped foot in the traditional farmhouse located in Ryujin-mura, a village in Japan’s Wakayama prefecture, it was “quite rundown” — with floors so rickety they shook beneath him with every step he took. 

After all, the main structure of the abandoned home was 300 years old, Lee said. But when he took a closer look around the home, he could tell it was “properly built.” 

“The pillars are all Sakura wood, which is an extremely dense and hard wood,” he told CNBC Make It. “It’s also a thatch building, which is very rare in Japan now … So it’s a building with great historical value.” 

“My interest has always been in history. I wanted to see … How did people…


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