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Real Estate in Japan - General Information

Real Estate in Japan

Under the current Japanese law, foreigners may purchase real estate in Japan without restrictions.
You do not have to be a Japanese national, nor do you have to be a legal resident in Japan.

As compared to other Asian countries, where such a right is denied to some foreigners.

There are some regulations in place of course, but they equally apply to Japanese nationals as well. Depending on the area, you may need to submit a notification to the authorities.You are obligated to do so under the Japanese National Land Use Planning Act —  国土利用計画法 (Kokudo Riyō Keikaku-hō), also called The National Land Utilization Law.

There are of course some lots, where you will not be able to construct a building, despite acquiring them legally, due to some restrictions. But those present in a number of countries, and it is not a restriction targeted specifically at foreigners.

We already covered those topics on our blog:

    • Home building restrictions in Japan.
    • Reporting your real estate transaction in Japan.

If you are still not sure, whether it’s a good idea to purchase a real estate in Japan, check out the average ROI (return on investment) in real estate in Japan, to find out how much money your property may generate for you — Japanese Real Estate ROI.

Real estate in Japan and Investment

You may hope to purchase a Real Estate in Japan for Investment. In that case there are some information to know before you actually purchase it. You may try  to find excellent real estate via internet that is located in very center of Tokyo and high yield on investment. However you may find that you can not find it at all. 
Basically if the website of real estate in Japan is written in English Language, the real estates will be selected expensive real estate for rich foreigners.

However it does not mean it is reasonable price. So if you try to find a real estate via internet, it should be better not to use English language. 

Moreover you will not be able to find suitable real estate via internet. Because information of excellent real estate is not shared with general public basically. 
Real Estate market is always closed market.

If you hope to know how to find suitable real estate in Japan, you can kindly refer to this page.
➡ “Criteria in Japan Real Estate Investment”  

Real estate transaction in Japan

When you purchase a real estate in Japan, you will need to find and hire a Japanese real estate broker. In Japanese, they are called “fudosanya” (不動産屋). Without getting in touch with a proper Japanese “fudosanya”, it is virtually impossible to find a seller (or a buyer for that matter).

The full and detailed information on any given real estate is provided exclusively by a real estate broker. 
There is no workaround here, the Japanese real estate market is basically a closed market.

As it is common in the US or Europe, Japanese real estate brokers provide their services on fee or commission basis. We have already covered this topic on our blog, take a look at our Real estate broker’s fee in Japan blog post.

Renting and purchasing real estate in Japan

In western Europe renting real estate is way more common than it is in North America. If you have the funds to purchase a property in Japan, but you are hesitating, whether you do it or just keep renting check our blog post where we are comparing Renting vs owning in Japan using a small apartment as an example.

Got some additional questions? Get in touch with us, by using the email address provided below:


Other than articles mentioned above, you can find many articles. You can find them in “Blog about Japanese Law and Tax” or you can search it in this website.