Masako Tsubuku

For Masako Tsubuku's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Garden states: looking good on the outside

| May 2, 2015

Garden states: looking good on the outside

One problem with designing your own house is that you don’t necessarily know what it’s going to be like until it’s finished. The company we hired to build ours doesn’t make model homes the way some housing companies do. It’s one of the reasons ...

Japan's public housing system has a shelf life

| Apr 4, 2015

Japan's public housing system has a shelf life

One of the most desirable properties in Tokyo is Chateau Mita, located in Minato Ward within walking distance of several embassies and Tokyo Tower and less than 10 minutes from four subway stations. The apartment building was constructed in 1964 and by 2000 there ...

Cheap rural homes come at a price

| Mar 6, 2015

Cheap rural homes come at a price

Though the hollowing-out of population in regional areas in Japan has become a major issue for the central government, it’s been a problem for regional governments for more than three decades. Twenty years ago there was a popular promotional method called “I-turn,” devised as ...

Renting comes with guarantors, not guarantees

| Feb 6, 2015

Renting comes with guarantors, not guarantees

According to the most recent census, as of 2010 the population of Japan stood at a little less than 128 million, and if demographic trends continue at the current rate it will be 107 million in 2030 and 97 million in 2050. Despite this ...

Property borders: Where to draw the line

| Jan 2, 2015

Property borders: Where to draw the line

Some years ago we lived in western Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, in a neighborhood that clung to the contours of a hilly terrain. Many of the streets were just dirt and gravel, even though the area was fully developed. Neighbors told us that they had ...

What's really behind the drop in home sales?

| Dec 5, 2014

What's really behind the drop in home sales?

Thanks to the upcoming snap election, which is being called a referendum for the government’s economic policies, everyone is aware that Japan’s GDP has worsened since the consumption tax was raised last April. A large portion of this drop is being attributed to declining ...