About Akiyaz

Established in

1986

Pioneering Akiya Investment in Japan

At Akiyaz, we specialize in transforming abandoned properties across Japan into thriving hubs of activity and innovation. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities presented by akiya properties, our mission is to unlock their potential through strategic investment and creative revitalization.

Our Journey

Founded by industry veterans with a passion for both modern technology and traditional Japanese culture, Akiyaz combines expertise in real estate, data analysis, and sustainable development. Our journey began with a simple idea: to harness the untapped potential of akiya to foster economic growth and community revitalization in rural Japan.
Matt Ketchum of Akiyaz.io

Matt Ketchum

Operations & Business Development

Originally from the US, Matt Ketchum has spent 12 years in Japan. He has worked across a wide range of industries, particularly in IT and Entertainment management positions.

Matt began cataloguing akiya in 2017. After years of research and while acting as the Executive Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Coronavirus hit, causing many of his friends & associates to ask about his extensive knowledge of the akiya market.

Once his first akiya business had taken off, Matt sought to introduce more robust digital tools to the ecosystem and took a sabbatical to formulate this approach. During that time, he was introduced to Sho Hihara, and in 2024 they decided to launch akiyaz.io as the next step in rural development.

Outside of Akiyaz, Matt also advises businesses as MKUltraman curates concerts in Japan’s independent music scene as Kaala Music, and plays guitar in Worship Pain.

Sho Hihara of Akiyaz.io

Sho Hihara

Infrastructure & Technical Development

A native of Japan with considerable time spent in North America, Sho Hihara is a talented software engineer with a colorful history across industry.

Previously, Sho was the CTO of Shiftbase, where he was instrumental in the development of their educational platform, Unchain, as well as the incubator program that went along with it. Sho personally oversaw each of their 13 cohorts, mentoring developers on their path to deployment and, later, success.

With Akiyaz, Sho leads the development and implementation of our analytics and auditing platforms. His expertise in programming and technology infrastructure is key to building a robust and scalable service that meets the diverse needs of Akiyaz’s clientele, which range from individual buyers to institutional investors, to municipal governments.

Our Approach to Akiya Investment

We employ a comprehensive approach to akiya investment, focusing on data-driven strategies to identify properties with the highest potential for return on investment and community impact. Our team works closely with local governments and community leaders to ensure that each project supports long-term sustainability and cultural preservation.

Mission

To foster collaborative growth in rural Japan, revitalizing vacant properties into vibrant spaces that respect local culture, support sustainability, and enhance community well-being.

Values

  • Audacious Revitalization
  • Data-informed Humanity
  • Unbounded Celebration
  • Resilient Innovation
  • Community Empowerment

Vision

Empowering rural communities through high-tech solutions, we blend tradition with modernity, transforming abandoned properties into hubs of sustainability, culture, and innovation for collective growth and well-being.