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How to start an Airbnb in Japan? Become an Airbnb host in 8 steps!

starting airbnb in japan

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Listing your property on Airbnb in Japan can be a profitable decision. This guide covers the necessary steps, legal considerations, and profitability insights for hosting on Airbnb in Japan.

List your property on Airbnb in Japan

Listing your property on Airbnb in Japan involves steps that ensure you meet all legal requirements and successfully publish your listing. Here’s a step-by-step guide to becoming an Airbnb host in Japan:

  1. Ensure eligibility: Verify that your property is eligible for an Airbnb listing according to local zoning laws and residential regulations. Also, check if your building’s management allows short-term rentals.
  2. Register your property: You must register your property at the local city hall or ward office. This involves obtaining a Minpaku (private lodging) license, which is necessary to legally rent your property on platforms like Airbnb.
  3. Prepare your property: Ensure your property complies with safety and health regulations. This includes installing fire safety equipment and meeting hygiene standards.
  4. Gather necessary documents: Assemble required documents, typically including identification (passport for foreigners), property ownership or rental agreement, and the Minpaku registration license.
  5. Create your listing on Airbnb: Click here to register for Airbnb in Japan. Create a listing, provide detailed descriptions, high-quality photos, and all essential information about your property, and set house rules, availability, and pricing.
  6. Set up payment information: Enter your bank account details or preferred payment method to receive earnings from your rentals on Airbnb in Japan.
  7. Publish your listing: Once you complete all the details and ensure that your listing is as attractive and accurate as possible, publish your listing. You can start hosting once guests begin booking your property.
  8. Manage bookings: Efficiently manage your bookings, respond promptly to guest inquiries, and update your listing details as necessary to keep your information current and competitive.

By following these steps, you can ensure your Airbnb hosting complies with all the necessary Airbnb laws in Japan.

Is Airbnb legal in Japan?

Airbnb is legal across Japan, including major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. The legal framework requires Airbnb hosts in Japan to register their properties and adhere to specific rules, such as the limitation of renting out for no more than 180 days per year. However, exceptions exist, such as in designated Special Zone areas where properties can be rented out for longer periods if guests stay for at least two nights​.

Can foreigners start an Airbnb in Japan?

Yes, foreigners can start an Airbnb in Japan, but they face more complexities due to the need for additional documentation and potentially navigating language barriers. Foreigners often benefit from partnering with local agencies that can assist with registration and compliance with local regulations.

Airbnb taxes in Japan

For foreigners, income generated through Airbnb is subject to Japanese income taxes. Different rates may apply depending on the amount of income and the individual’s tax status. These include:

  • Income tax: Rates vary based on total income but can be as high as 40% for higher income brackets.
  • Residential tax: Typically around 10% of the income tax due.
  • Business tax: This is applicable if your earnings exceed a certain threshold, and rates depend on your income level and local regulations.

Is Airbnb profitable in Japan?

The profitability of Airbnb in Japan varies significantly by location and is influenced by factors like property prices, rental yields, average daily rates, and occupancy rates. Here are some examples from different cities in Japan to illustrate the potential returns:

  1. Tokyo: As the capital city and a major tourist destination, Tokyo offers substantial earning potential for Airbnb hosts. The average daily rate for a studio apartment is approximately $76, with an occupancy rate of around 20%, leading to an annual revenue of about $6,590​.
  2. Osaka: Known for its rich culture and bustling city life, Osaka boasts an impressive occupancy rate of 86% for properties listed on Airbnb. The average daily rate here is around $65, which can generate an annual revenue of approximately $5,417.
  3. Kyoto: This city, famous for its historical sites, has a lower occupancy rate of 22% and an average daily rate of $88. Despite the lower occupancy, Kyoto’s unique appeal can still yield around $7,679 annually for properties.
  4. Nagasaki: The average property price in Nagasaki is around $158,111, and hosts can expect an average annual revenue of approximately $7,075. The average daily rate here is about $302, with an occupancy rate of 41%.
  5. Okinawa: This tropical destination attracts beach lovers and offers a higher average property price of $265,324. With an average daily rate of $70 and an occupancy rate of 30%, hosts can achieve an average annual revenue of $9,260.
  6. Saitama: Less known than Tokyo but nearby, Saitama presents a unique investment opportunity with a gross rental yield of 5.3%. The average property price here is $217,674, with an annual revenue of around $11,663.

These examples show that while the initial investment and daily rates can vary, the strategic location and proper management can make Airbnb in Japan profitable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the requirements for becoming an Airbnb host in Japan?

To become an Airbnb host in Japan, you must register your property with the local government, obtain a Minpaku (private lodging) license, and ensure your property complies with safety and health regulations. Foreign hosts must submit a copy of their passport unless they have a permanent residency card.

Is Airbnb legal in Tokyo?

Yes, Airbnb is legal in Tokyo, as well as throughout Japan. Hosts must comply with local laws, including property registration and displaying a license number on their listing.

How to get an Airbnb license in Japan?

To obtain an Airbnb license in Japan, you must apply for a Minpaku license at your local city hall. This involves submitting necessary documents such as identification, proof of property ownership, or lease agreement and ensuring your property meets all local safety and health standards​.

How to get approved for Airbnb in Japan?

Getting approved for Airbnb in Japan involves registering your property, obtaining a Minpaku license, ensuring compliance with local regulations, setting up your Airbnb listing with accurate details, and maintaining high standards of guest hospitality​.

Must Airbnb hosts ask for a passport in Japan?

Yes, in Japan, Airbnb hosts must ask for the passport details of foreign guests who do not have a residence card. This is part of the regulatory requirements for managing a lodging business under the Minpaku law.

Does Japan have Airbnb?

Japan has Airbnb and supports Airbnb operations nationwide, including major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. Hosts must adhere to local regulations and registration requirements to legally operate Airbnb in Japan​.

Written by Matt Timmermans

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Airbnb is a globally popular booking platform that allows property owners to list their properties for rent. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn a passive income. List your property on Airbnb today!