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Question: Buying akiya as a foreign buyer who will not live there full time


I lived in Japan for a few years back in 2016 - 2018. I’m now back in the USA, but I’m interested in perhaps buying an akiya on the cheap. However, I’d like to live there for just part of the year. Is that possible? I don’t have a specific location in mind right now, but certainly have preferences. I’m also curious about the costs of akiya in terms of property taxes.

My Japanese language skills are adequate to handle non-English-speaking sellers although I’d probably want a bilingual lawyer to make sure all the legal language is correct.

Any help or advice would be appreciated, thank you!

Hi there,
Your best bet is to go through a company that specialises in this. You don’t have to be resident to buy a place, but trying to do everything remote by email and phone would be very, very challenging if not impossible.
They (of course) charge fees but a company like Akiya & Inaka or Nippon Tradings (inexplicably, their website is not available) are great places to start.
In terms of living here, I don’t think there are any issues with that but you’ll be restricted by the limitations of a temporary visitor visa (3 to 6 months depending on the country) and of course you won’t be permitted to enter until the Japanese government has opened the borders. Owning property won’t be a sufficient reason for the Japanese government to let you in.
I’m afraid I can’t answer the property taxes question. Given the often low value of these places, I don’t imagine that it would be significant.

Hi Greg, thank you so much for your reply! That all sounds great, and appreciate the advice on using a company. That would definitely make things easier.