Meeting Locals on a One Year Trip Around the World

Is Airbnb Illegal in Japan? (Yes, Kind Of)

September 3, 2017|Lena
Is airbnb illegal in japan
(Post Updated on 29th of April 2018)
 
In July of 2017 I started a very small Airbnb business with a nice lady from Kyoto. She offered two rooms to guests in her home, I helped her set up on Airbnb and to communicate with guests on the platform.
 
Unfortunately, our venture has come to a sudden end.
Michiko (the nice Kyoto lady) was contacted by Kyoto officials and told to stop immediately. Because what she (and I) were doing is illegal. I had been researching and trying to find out what was allowed and what wasn’t but had misinterpreted the information I had found. This is, of course, no excuse as it is the responsibility of the host to make sure that what he or she is doing is legal.

Want to Stay with Locals?

Gain access to the Social Travel Experiment Free Content Library

Including checklist for Couchsurfing signup, personal requests, a packing list and gift guide

free staying with locals printables
 
 

So for everyone out there who is not sure what is allowed and what isn’t let me give you an overview (how I understand it now).

Michiko was told by the government official that hosting people for pay in her own home was against the Hotel Business Law. Michiko was told that this law states, that it is not allowed to live on the premise of your own hotel-style business.
That at least is the current law.
Yes. In June 2017, there has been a change in the so called Minpaku law. It will come into effect on June 15th 2018.
For any people staying in a Japanese Airbnb before June 15th this year, please not that what you (and especially your host) are doing isn’t strictly legal, but it isn’t strictly illegal either.
 

What will change with the new law?

The new law is supposed to regulate Airbnb listings. This includes the need for every single host to register with the government and receive a number which has to be input into your Airbnb listing. Airbnb has promised it will take down any listing without such a number by June 15th 2018.

If Airbnb really manages to crack down on illegal listings, this will mean for all travelers to Japan who want to use Airbnb that they can now be assured that what their host is doing is legal. We will have to see if everything really works out how the Japanese government intends.

So, what does this mean for Michiko or anyone else who wants to run a legal Airbnb business?

There are a registration process and security measures that need to be met.

This process takes time and also some money. There is a high chance that you won’t be approved at all, because of the location of your property or other security reasons. Michiko went through the registration process in April this year and was declined a permit out of security concerns. Her house is a three story building with the guest rooms at the top. She would need to have some form of security exit to get approved.

By the way, even with an approval the law is very restrictive. For example, are hosts only allowed to receive guests for up to 180 days per year. From location to location there are even stricter rules. For examples, Kyoto is contemplating only allowing the use of Airbnbs from January 15th to March 15th each year, so they won’t be able to compete with hotels during peak seasons.

These regulations make it very hard to be profitable and many hosts will have to shut down their operations on Airbnb.

Gain access to the exclusive
Social Travel Experiment Library

And start planning your unforgettable gap year around the world
using the Gap Year Prep Check List

Register as a hotel or ryokan to list on Airbnb seems to be the best option.

You can get around the above mentioned restrictions if you register your place as a hotel or ryokan. Unfortunately, the rules here, even though they have been loosened as well, are even stricter and it seems to be almost impossible to get a permit.

What does this all mean for guests visiting Japan?

To summarize: Until June 15th this year you still have to be careful where you stay. Technically Airbnb is not legal in Japan until then. There might be cancellations in the transition period because Airbnb is likely to shut down listings that don’t meet requirements by the mentioned date.

After June 15th you should only be able to book with registered and legal Airbnb hosts. There will be less Japanese hosts all in all for sure, and the prices might go up because otherwise these listings are no longer profitable. We will have to see if everything really turns out as expected.

And if all of this is too much of a hassle for you, there is always Couchsurfing to consider.

 

Pin this post!

Airbnb in Japan - Why your stay in 2018 might be canceled. There is a law change coming in June 2018 that will take down many Airbnb listings. If you are planning a stay using Airbnb in 2018 you should know about it and what it might mean for you as a guest. #Airbnb #JapanTravel #Minpaku #LawChange
Is Airbnb Illegal in Japan? | Minpaku Law Japan | Airbnb Law | Stay with Locals | #Travel

Lena

Authors Note:
None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been payed for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by purchasing products through my links!

Gain access to the exclusive
Social Travel Experiment Library

And start planning your unforgettable trip to Japan
using Destination Guides and other free content

free destination guide printables
Spread the love
  • 149
  •  
  •  
  • 201
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    350
    Shares
Search
Categories
About Lena

Hi, I'm Lena the founder of The Social Travel Experiment. My mission is to help bussy millennials plan an unforgettable trip around the world, through stays with locals, without wasting valuable time and money.

Find out more About Me and The Social Travel Experiment

If you are a business we might be able to work together so check out the Work With Me page for more details

Ads
Subscribe
Facebook
Search
Categories
About Lena

Hi, I'm Lena the founder of The Social Travel Experiment. My mission is to help bussy millennials plan an unforgettable trip around the world, through stays with locals, without wasting valuable time and money.

Find out more About Me and The Social Travel Experiment

If you are a business we might be able to work together so check out the Work With Me page for more details

Ads
Subscribe
Facebook