Microrentals and "Dead Space" in Tokyo Microrentals and "Dead Space" in Tokyo
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Microrentals and "Dead Space" in Tokyo

by Andrew Price

April 18, 2010
From compact electronics to capsule hotels, Japan knows how to economize when it comes to space. The latest example? Microrentals. From The Wall Street Journal:
Nokisaki.com seeks pockets of "dead space" around cities and converts them into short-term rental property. In Tokyo, where every sliver of land is at a premium, a few feet of unused private property near the front entrance of an apartment building can be used to sell muffins. A patch of storefront space transforms into an ad hoc vegetable stand for a farmer or a consulting space for a fortune-teller. Those spaces can be reserved at Nokisaki for short periods of time—starting from three hours—and for as little as $15 total.
This just makes for a more efficient use of urban space. Nokisaki's business model would only work in a handful of super-dense cities like Tokyo right now, but there are hints of this same trend—selling property in ever-smaller, ever-shorter units—elsewhere (see the fight over "coach houses" in Vancouver).

Via PSFK. Image: Mansei's alley, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from oimax's photostream
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Microrentals and "Dead Space" in Tokyo