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Rakuten STAY Advances into Hokkaido: Luxury Rental Villas in Kitanomine, Furano

2024年03月15日 09時00分

It was learned on March 7 that Rakuten STAY (headquartered in Tokyo), which operates the Rakuten Group’s Rakuten STAY brand of lodging facilities, is planning to expand into Hokkaido. The company acquired approximately 6,000 m2 of land in the Kitanomine area of Furano City where ski resorts, hotels and pensions are concentrated. Luxury rental villas will be constructed there in the future. The presence of a major domestic player is expected to create new tourism and investment needs and revitalize Kitanomine, where large-scale development has been slow.

Further revitalization of Kitanomine Resort highly anticipated

The land is located at 2050-26 Furanoshirikishimanai, approximately 2 km south of central Kitanomine. Blessed with natural scenery, there are several small lodging facilities in the vicinity. Furano Ski Resort Furano Zone is also nearby. The area falls within a rural residential district and is subject to special use restrictions including a building-to-land ratio of 60% and a floor-area ratio of 200%.

Rakuten STAY operates approximately 40 facilities nationwide. The company will supervise everything from interior design, construction management, selection of amenities, sales management, and customer inquiry response, to on-site operations. Focusing on diversifying accommodation needs, it is developing a group of villas that can be rented out as a single building and condominiums that can be used as a base for sightseeing and business.

The company opened 21 private villas in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture last December, and a five-story, 24-room lodging facility at Lake Ashinoko, Motohakone, Hakone-cho, Kanagawa Prefecture, on March 1 this year.

The company has been expanding its services to resort areas across the country, but not to Hokkaido yet. Kitanomine is home to a ski resort that is extremely popular both domestically and internationally, making it a suitable location for lodging facilities. A Rakuten STAY representative was “unable to comment” about the expansion into Furano.

In recent years, Kitanomine has become increasingly popular as a resort area second only to Niseko, and land sales have been brisk. However, construction investment has been slowing due to soaring material prices. Scheduled construction of hotels and condominiums is currently almost completely on hold.

The entry of this well-known brand into this market is a positive factor in raising the profile of Kitanomine and Hokkaido as a whole. Development in harmony with nature and the local community is expected to revitalize the area.

(Excerpt from an article on March 8, 2024)

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