For Australians, housing prices are at record levels. To get on the property ladder, the first rung is a median house price of 937,000 Australian dollars (about ¥91 million) for a house in a capital city.

Yet in places like Myoko Kogen, Niigata Prefecture, Escape Myoko owners Tayler Paulsen, 37, and her Kiwi husband Neil, 39, managed to purchase a fully-equipped lodge for only AU$110,000 (about ¥10 million).

Myoko Kogen is a sleepy valley in Japan’s central snow country. The area has seen better days, with hundreds of abandoned houses scattered amongst the region’s pine forests, but its famous powder snow continues to entice many overseas travelers each winter season. Before buying their Myoko property, the Paulsens were no strangers to Japan. With backgrounds in hospitality and adventure tourism, Neil had worked in Minakami in 2010, and the couple had later spent two seasons in Niseko, Hokkaido.