Modular Units Transform into Hotel in Japan

Factory-built homes in Japan are a rarity, in part because Japanese roads are narrower and strict regulations govern size of cargo that can be moved on them. One man in Ibaraki Prefecture has a part-time operation importing very basic modular homes from Canada. Though very plain looking, they were built to withstand Canadian weather and are thus airtight and structurally sound. Although they move on wheels much like pre HUD Code homes, they can also be folded down into a more compact unit for transport, but even then the maneuvering through roadways is still tight. The main advantage to these homes is they are not subject to property taxes, and the price tag of $3,000 to $7,000 make them very affordable. Four innkeepers who lost their facilities in the tsunami of March 2011 that wiped out Onogawa were denied the right to rebuild because the government said the land had to be raised 12 1/2 feet, an expensive, time-consuming operation. Instead, they combined resources and spent $100,000 assembling a community of factory-built homes they operate as a hotel. As MHProNews has been informed by, El Faro has 108 beds as well as a front desk and attached restaurant.

(Photo credit: Philip Brasor/

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