The SoraHouse becomes a playhouse for our reporters.

It’s been a few short months since our boss Yoshio purchased a super-cheap property in the mountains of Saitama, Tokyo’s neighbouring prefecture to the north, for just one million yen (US$9,100).

Since then, Yoshio and some of our colleagues have been excitedly exploring the property, which covers 353 square metres (3,800 square feet) and includes a two-storey house with 131 square metres (1,410 square feet) of floor space.

▼ Can you believe we own this patch of serenity?

On a recent trip out to the SoraHouse to get started on the renovations, our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma snuck a little something into his backpack after being inspired by a story he’d heard from a friend who runs a guesthouse overseas.

According to his friend, this addition to their guesthouse turned it into a tourist spot overnight, when photos shared on Instagram had people everywhere wanting to come and see it in person. While there are no current plans to turn our house in the Japanese countryside into a guesthouse, you never know what the future holds, so Masanuki thought he might as well test out the idea to see how it goes before they got started on any renovations.

▼ And that’s why Masanuki brought this swing with him to the SoraHouse.

Masanuki purchased this swing, called the “Dokodemo Blanco” (“Anywhere Swing“), online, choosing it for its convenience, as you don’t need a tree branch or heavy-duty hooks to use it.

▼ It also has a maximum load capacity of 150 kilograms (330 pounds), which makes it suitable for adults.

However, as you can see, our rundown little property doesn’t have a lot of options when it comes to safe, carefree swinging outdoors.

Masanuki’s visions of swinging away in nature, watching the likes pile up on his social media accounts as he made everyone green with envy over his picture-perfect life, immediately dissipated when he actually saw the ramshackle state of the property.

To add salt to the wound, Masanuki spied this glorious setup a short distance from the property, as if someone had read his mind and was now rubbing his nose in it. Unsure of who owned that beautiful swing by the road, and if he were able to use it, Masanuki now strengthened his resolve to set up his own swing, come hell or high water.

▼ So he went straight into our ramshackle house and installed the swing indoors.

He ran into a problem when one of the belts wasn’t long enough to go around the beam, but he soon fixed that by using a broken power cord to make up the extra length.

▼ Do not try this at home.

▼ As it turns out, despite the indoor location, this spot did have a view of the great outdoors.

With the sliding glass doors fully opened, it would be almost like swinging outside, but before trying it out he let Yoshio, the official owner of the property, have a go on it first.

▼ “Whee!

Yoshio survived, as did the swing, and so Masanuki kindly let his colleague Go Hatori have a go.

▼ “Whee!

The glee with which his two workmates swung made Masanuki even more excited for his turn.

▼ “Whee!

Masanuki swang and swang, getting quite a bit of air beneath him as he desperately tried to evoke the carefree abandon of an Instagram model.

However, he couldn’t escape the reality of the situation. Masanuki was just a bloke in a hard hat swinging on a swing in a rundown building, and rather than living his best life, he looked more like a sad man having a mid-life crisis.

Masanuki and the gang have quite a lot of hard work ahead of them if they’re ever to turn this place into an idyllic tourist spot with this trusty old swing. Still, now that the renovations are about to start — once they stop swinging, that is — they’ll be one step closer to achieving that goal. And if the river next to our house winds up having gold in it, there’ll be no end to the number of swings Masanuki can buy!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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