Am I Eligible to own Japan Real Estate?

The rules vary slightly from country to country but as a citizen from Australian, US, Canada, UK or EU you can purchase Japan real estate and fully own both the property and land without ever having visited the country. Buying a real estate in Japan is made simple by the services Japan mountain homes provides.

What documents are required for buying Japan Real Estate:

There is only one original document required when buying a house in Japan – a statutory declaration of  the residing address in your home country. In Australia this can be certified by a Justice of the Peace inside Australia. In Japan this can be done at the Australian embassy in Tokyo on select days. It must have been validated less than 14 days before purchase date.  You can view a  sample which we have used  for australian citizens in the past.

Certified copies of identification such as Passport and Drivers license will also be required but in most cases this will be all that is all the documentation initially required to purchase Japan real estate.

A 10 step process to your new investment! 
Phase 1 – Search:
Phase 2 – Inspect

Building inspection will cost you approximately ¥100,000

Phase 3 – Negotiate and Lock in a deal!


a) Deposit (usually ¥400,000)

b) Agent Brokerage fee (by law the maximum is 3% + ¥60,000)

c) Stamp Fee (approx ¥10,000)

d) Registration/Lawyer fee (approx ¥160,000)

e) Property Tax (based on town law)

Phase 4 – Sign and Pay

We recommend Transferwise as they usually have the lowest fees on international transfersIn many cases, The title of Structure and Land are bought “as is” in Japan and for that reason contract is kept as simple as possible.

The remaining amount owed for the title and property tax paid directly to the owner. In some circumstances the owners bank will not accept international transfers and the payment must be sent to a intermediary account.

Extra fees + taxes are dependent on where you are purchasing the property. The agent should provide a full breakdown of these costs once the sale price has been confirmed by the real estate.

Purchasing Prerequisites:

Since April 2018 it is now law for a building inspection to take place and costs start from ¥100,000.

After Purchase Expenditure:

An unkept 4bdr could cost over ¥200,000 to perform a full initial clean. Most properties will come with the furniture and appliances which might be outdated.  A 4-6bd, cluttered house could cost upwards of ¥600,000 to completely remove everything.

Expect to pay over ¥300,000 to furnish a 2 bedroom property. 

Updated Heating and Insulation usually is required and starts at a minimum of ¥200,000 for one decent FF kerosene heater and many houses over 2bedrooms will require more than one.

Extra services required:

Setup of core utilities and bank account 

Change of name to new owner on all utilities, create new internet account, setup bank account and direct debit on available bills.

Car Purchase 

A registered company is required to purchase a car in Japan without a residence visa.

Approximate Ongoing Costs:

These costs are based on a 2bdr cabin we currently run which is over 50% occupied in winter.

Sewerage + Water















Winter Only

Extra power costs



Kerosene (1000l@¥100)



Snow Clearing



Japan Real Estate – Renovations and Repair

Please note that standard trade work in Japan does work slower and at a larger expense than in comparison to some countries.

Airbnb Registration, Pension (lodge) Registration & Hotel Registration

Airbnb Registration

If you are wishing to your Japan Real Estate listed on the Airbnb platform, there are new laws which took effect June 1 2018. All properties must be registered with the appropriate government organisation based on their capacity and must have an associated registration number to be listed on Airbnb. If you are not a resident of Japan (or you are a resident of Japan who lives at another location) you must have a certified property management company handle your property for the process to be approved.

Pension/Hotel Registration

If you are looking to purchase a lodge/hotel you must have a registered Japanese company if you are not planning to be a resident of Japan. All fire, health and safety licenses will be registered under the newly created company and we partner with a legal team who are immigration specialists if visas are required. The Pension/Hotel license does not require a property management company and as an owner you are legally able to assist in operations of accomodation without a working visa if you are acting on behalf of your own registered company. Please note that you are only allowed a maximum of 90 days per visit and 180 days per year.

Japanese Fire Regulations

Under 5 Bedrooms has the least regulations but still needs registration and  a fire inspection/fit with costs usually starting from ¥150,000 for a 2bdr house if it has not been previously registered or is an older style building.

5-10 bedrooms requires a Pension license and 10+ is a Hotel license. If the building is currently registered it will need to be re-inspected and re-registered but in most cases should not have significant upgrades needed (less than ¥200,000 for a 10 bedroom lodge). If the building registration has lapsed, it needs to be re-registered and could require more than ¥500,000 of safety upgrades.