Hello and welcome
to Akiya Japan!

Akyia Japan provides access to real estate listings and akiya bank data that is usually limited to Japanese speakers only. We are a private search service that translates public listings via a translation algorithm for English speakers. Users can then utilise regular search tools to find properties they would never otherwise find.

We regularly update our database of thousands of listings, providing images of the properties, map locations, parking information, and other powerful search features that are not usually found on regular Japanese property sites.

Once you find a property we recommend you recruit the support of a fluent Japanese speaker, or buyer's agent in Japan, to handle the administrative aspects of the purchase.

We have thousands of properties in our database, ranging anywhere between $0 to a few hundred thousand.

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What is an Akiya?

Akiya or 空き家 refers to any abandoned or vacant real estate in Japan. The term literally means “empty house.” Sometimes such properties sit vacant and not available for sale for many years.

What is an Akiya Bank property?

Akiya Bank properties refer to public listings that appear in municipality databases for sale. They are usually older homes that have been left empty for a period of time and are often in need of significant repairs and renovations. Typically these types of akiya are sold at a lower price than other types of real estate, making them an attractive option for first-time homebuyers. The lower price is due to the fact that these properties require a significant investment in time, money, and resources to restore them to a livable state. Additionally, the purchased costs depend on its condition and location, as well as the amount of work needed to bring it up to code.

In some cases, an akiya property may be eligible for a subsidy or grant from the Japanese government, which can be used to offset the cost of repairs and renovations. Additionally, some cities and towns offer tax incentives and other programs to help buyers of akiya properties.

Many people who purchase an akiya property see it as an opportunity to customize their home and add their own personal touches. With the right renovations, an akiya property can become a unique and beautiful residence.

The process of purchasing an akiya property can be complicated and time-consuming, so it’s important to be aware of all the steps involved. First, a buyer must contact the owner or the municipality to inquire about the availability of the property. If the property is available, the buyer must then inspect the property to assess its condition and make sure it meets all safety requirements. Once an agreement has been reached, the buyer must then make all the necessary arrangements to transfer the title of the property.

Akiya properties offer a unique opportunity to own a home in Japan without breaking the bank. While they can require a significant investment of time, money, and resources, they can be well worth it in the end.

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Why are some akiya properties so cheap?

Akiya properties are homes that are offered for sale at a much lower price than normal. These properties can be found all across Japan, but are especially common in rural areas. There are a few reasons why akiya properties are so cheap, and understanding them can help you make an informed decision on whether buying one is the right choice for you.

  • Age of the Property: Akiya properties tend to be older, often built before the 1960s. Older homes require more maintenance and often come with outdated features, making them less desirable.
  • Location: Many akiya properties are located in remote areas, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. This can make them less appealing to people looking for a more convenient living situation.
  • Low Demand: As akiya properties are located in rural areas, there is often a low demand for them. This means that sellers are more likely to accept lower offers in order to move the property quickly.
  • Outdated Features: Many akiya properties still have outdated features, such as old-style tatami mats, sliding doors, and low ceilings. These features can be difficult and expensive to replace, making them unattractive to potential buyers.
  • Seller Incentives: Many sellers of akiya properties are willing to offer incentives to potential buyers in order to move the property quickly. These can include discounts on the purchase price, free renovations, and other incentives.
  • Poor Condition: It’s not uncommon for akiya properties to be in poor condition due to years of neglect. This can mean that they need extensive renovations and repairs, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

Overall, there are a few factors that can contribute to the low cost of akiya properties. Understanding these factors can help you make an informed decision on whether buying an akiya property is the right choice for you. It’s important to note that while akiya properties can be an excellent investment, they may also come with some risks. Therefore, it’s important to do your research and carefully consider all the factors before making a purchase.

Yes, you can purchase a property in Japan!

In recent years, foreign citizens have become increasingly interested in purchasing property in Japan. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities, Japan has become an attractive destination for international buyers and investors.

Despite this interest, the process of buying and owning property in Japan can be quite complex. For foreign citizens, there are a number of different restrictions, regulations, and laws that must be considered and followed in order to purchase a property.

Foreign citizens are generally restricted from purchasing certain types of property, such as agricultural land. However, they are allowed to purchase residential and commercial properties. In order to purchase a residential property, foreign citizens must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Ministry of Justice, and they must also obtain a bank loan in order to finance the purchase.

In addition, foreign citizens must be aware of the taxation laws that apply to property ownership in Japan. While the taxation laws are complex, the main point to note is that foreign citizens are subject to capital gains tax, which can be quite high. It is important to consider this when planning a purchase, as it can have a big impact on the overall cost of the property.

Finally, foreign citizens must be aware of the restrictions on renting out their property. While it is possible to rent out a property in Japan, there are strict regulations in place which must be followed. For example, foreign citizens must obtain a landlord registration from the local government and must also comply with all rental laws.

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"Leasehold" versus "Freehold"

Unlike many other countries in Asia where ownership of a property is on a “leasehold”, Japanese properties can be purchased “freehold”.

This is a very important distinction. The leasehold system does not allow full ownership of a property -- in fact the “buyer” is not a buyer at all. They are actually leasing the property from the government for a defined period (often 99 years). After that period, the rights to the property are automatically withdrawn from your family and returned to the government. It is a system that has been applied in countries where land is in very limited supply, such as Hong Kong or Singapore.

Freehold, by contrast, allows the purchaser to retain ownership rights in perpetuity, to be inherited by successive generations in your family. It is similar to ownership rights in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and many others.


This service offers a convenient means for English-speaking buyers to explore the akiya property market in Japan. It collates existing Japanese-language listings of akiya properties for sale all across Japan and translates them into a searchable database in English.

Information provided here is updated as it becomes available to ensure user are getting a current snapshot of the market. You can search for properties via a map or using a keyword search.

You will be provided with English translations of listings, along with links to the original source for you or your representative to initiate enquiries with the seller. If you do not speak Japanese, you will require a Japanese speaker to assist you with the administrative processes of the purchase. This site is unable to assist with purchases.

credit: https://unsplash.com/@thedlkr
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