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New funds turn Kyoto's aging town houses into inns

Crowdfunding touches off investment boom in Japan's ancient capital

New investment vehicles financed by crowdfunding are helping turn machiya town houses into inns aimed at overseas travelers.

TOKYO -- For investors who want an unusual place to put their money, how about helping to spruce up a machiya in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan?

The traditional wooden town houses -- those in Kyoto are often called kyomachiya -- are fast disappearing. In the seven years through March 2017, 5,600 were demolished, according to the city government.

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