It may not be the most bustling of towns, but for those of you in the market for real-estate, have we got a good deal for you!

Your own plot of land from just one yen per square-metre!

Yup, one yen! That’s 0.01 US dollars!!! 0.009 Euros!!! 0.01 Panamanian balboa!!! Holy bargains, Batman!

Bizarrely, there’s no catch. No “but it’s infested with rabid ferrets!” or “but you must spend the night in a haunted house with Rosie O’Donnell!” punchline. The town of Chippubetsu in Hokkaidō is genuinely offering habitable land for the incredible price of one, single yen. And, as a result, is receiving an unprecedented amount of attention from both the media and Japanese internet users. Someone in Chippubetsu is getting a lot of pats on the back for coming up with this initiative, we’re sure…

The town, whose official population is listed as just 2,692 people (1,284 males to 1,408 females), has already received eight applications –including three households who, thanks to the scheme, are able to move out of municipal housing– claiming 12 of the 460-square-metre plots, but many more are still up for grabs.

Holiday, or second, homes in Hokkaidō are extremely popular, with many Japanese, particularly the retired and wealthy, spending the hotter months of the year up north in more temperate climes. Naturally, during Hokkaidō’s long, snowy winters, many people return south to escape the cold, but, thanks to its abundant ski and snowboarding locations, Hokkaidō sees a fair amount of tourism.

But were the internet masses tempted by Chippubetsu’s rock-bottom land prices? Even at one yen, is the town too far out in the wilds for comfort? As you might expect, it’s something of a mixed bag…

“Living somewhere that cold on a budget would be tough…,” chirped one bargain hunter.

“I might buy a plot and live in a tent beside a roaring campfire!” tweeted an excited outdoorsman before another user doused the flames with the slightly pessimistic but well-founded theory “And then you’d be bear-food.”

Those bears do love a good campfire sing-along…

But it isn’t all doom, gloom and satire on the forums.

One adventurer, at least, was incredibly keen about the bargain plots, commenting: “This looks like fun! I was planning on moving to Brazil, but this could actually be quite a fun challenge…”, while others simply couldn’t believe that land could possibly be sold at such a miniscule price exclaiming: “This is incredible! At first I thought it was just a joke, but, checking out Chippubetsu’s homepage I see that it’s for real!”

Our own interests piqued, we took a peek at Chippubetsu’s homepage for ourselves. And we have to admit, we’re kind of taken with the little town.

Hot spring resorts; athletics grounds; a public rose garden; fresh, naturally-grown produce; a “gate-ball” (croquet) course; an animal farm called “Baa-baa Land”!!! You know, life might not be all that bad up in Chippubetsu, so long as we can get some high-speed internet and the occasional decent coffee.

Anyone up for some snowboarding?

Source: Himajin Sokuhou