A bit of Kyoto in Manoa


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I went to a broker’s open yesterday to see an amazing home in the gated East Manoa Estates (which is another story in itself), since it would be the only open house for the property. The effort did not disappoint.

It’s located at the very end of this private, secluded community and has a fairly plain façade—nothing like the exquisite workmanship on the other side of the garage door. (Click here for details.)

The owner, James Salter, was inspired by homes in Kyoto, so he researched to ensure his details were authentic. On top of that, he crafted many of the elements himself—as you walk down the stairs to the entrance, you pass the workshop in which all of the doors and some of the furniture was made.

All of the wood flooring in this 4,132-square-foot home is koa, except the dining room, which is mango. A river runs through the back yard so you can hear it from every room.

The most spectacular feature is the master bedroom, which is on its own floor. It opens out to the pool and garden on one side, and has the master bathroom (a work of art in itself) on the other, with an uber-modern marble furo … and an uber-modern western shower. The other three bedrooms are below that.

Whoever buys this house will get a home that’s like new: the owner bought the property in 1996, built the basic structure in 1998, then set about completing the home room by room. They say the home was officially finished last year, although they just put in the last closet door recently.

The Japanese tile roof is custom made and is guaranteed for life; all of the slates on the roof are being changed as of this writing because the owners want the home to be perfect when they turn it over.

Bonus: there are 24 photovoltaic solar panels, so this is a “zero energy” home—meaning that all the energy you need is produced in those panels. Double bonus: the garden is full of useful trees, like lemon, strawberry guava, starfruit, avocado, mango, banana, tangerine, kumquat, jaboticaba, lychee, mountain apple, and cashew. With all that, there’s probably no reason to leave your Japanese oasis.

Money talk: $2,900,000 fee simple
Contact: Malia Siu, Prudential Locations, 808-732-5062, malia.siu@pruhawaii.com

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