A new wood home designed to promote the use of B.C. wood products has opened in the heart of Tokyo.

Forests Minister and Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson was on hand to open the home, which will serve as an office and showroom for the B.C. Wood Specialists Group.

The group promotes the use of B.C. wood worldwide.

“This new facility will allow Japan’s developers and builders to experience first-hand the beauty of B.C.’s wood products and learn more about the many advantages of B.C. timber,” said Thomson.

The showhome was unveiled during Thomson’s forestry-themed Asia trade mission.

According to the province, the home illustrates the ongoing commitment government and industry to supply the Japanese market with value-added wood products.

Prior to opening the showhome, delegates toured a wood-frame home made of B.C. hemlock in Tsukuba, Japan.

The home is reminiscent of a Canadian-style, heavy-timber home, making use of coastal hemlock fir timber from B.C.

Marketed as “Canada Tsuga” in Japan, hemlock is often used for crafting components found in traditional Japanese post-and-beam houses.

In recent years, structural engineers and architects have specified Canada Tsuga timbers throughout Japan in projects such as art galleries, kindergartens, libraries, elderly care residences and high-end homes.

With the Japanese government encouraging greater use of wood in new buildings, enhanced trade opportunities are being created for suppliers of heavy timbers for both residential and non-residential developments.