Japanese internet and e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. said Oct. 9 that the collaboration of its vacation rental services provider, Rakuten Lifull Stay Inc., and Expedia Group Inc.'s vacation rental marketplace, HomeAway Inc., will debut its first folk house rental in the country's Koga City.
Rakuten Lifull, HomeAway, Koga City in the Ibaraki Prefecture and the Ibaraki Kominka Association agreed to use historical buildings, such as traditional Japanese houses, known as kominka, in the city as vacation rentals. The partnership aims to promote the traditional buildings to domestic and international tourists, promoting long-term stays.
The agreement also marks the first step of the alliance, formed in June, to use folk houses in Japan as rentals.
The first kominka to be refurbished as a vacation rental is a 144-year-old property located on a 100,000-square meter site in the Onna district of Koga and is scheduled to open in spring 2018.
Koga City and the local kominka association will provide information about the property as part of the deal. Rakuten Lifull will provide support to the facility in the run-up to its opening and, along with HomeAway, work on the promotion of the site.
Earlier this year, Rakuten Lifull also partnered with temple accommodations provider Waqoo Co. Ltd. to offer temple lodgings to Japanese and foreign tourists.
In addition to vacation and rental services in Japan, Rakuten Lifull also offers vacation services in Vietnam with Luxstay, in South Korea through Yanolja Corp., and other countries in partnership with a number of vacation services providers.