10 mins from a lovely ski resort in Naganao : Akiya property samples


(Hakuba-dake in Nagano)
Do you want to get a taste of traditional Japanese country life where you can reach a gorgeous ski resort in 10 mins ? 
There are more than eight million vacant properties(it is called akiya in Japanese) in Japan and the number  of akiya is 
increasing. Recently we have received a number of inquiries from all over the world from people who want to buy akiya. In fact, searching akiya is not as easy as you might think because majority of akiya is not widely listed. You can find only a friction percentage of akiya online.
Today we pick up a few sample akiya properties in good spots in Japan.

1 Kyoto prefecture (one and half hours from Kyoto city center)
2 Chiba prefecture (close to the beautiful ocean)
3 Nagano prefecture (10 mins to a ski resort)

1 A property (akiya) in Fukuchiyama city in Kyoto prefecture

Kyoto city is the capital of Kyoto prefecture. When people refer ‘Kyoto’, they usually mean Kyoto city but there are many other cities in Kyoto prefecture. Fukuchiyama city is one of them. It is about one and half hours from Kyoto city center. 


Fukuchiyama (福知山市 Fukuchiyama-shi) is a city in northern Kyoto Prefecture.
It is about 25 km inland from the Sea of Japan at the Fukuchiyama Valley’s southern end, and is surrounded by beautiful mountains. Fukuchiyama is quite well-known for filming locations and some movies and TV dramas were shot there in the past. If you are willing to travel for two hours every day, you could commute to Osaka city or Kyoto city (but I don’t recommend it)

(Onsen, hot springs in Fukuchiyama)

(Ohesan(Ohe mountain))

(Ohesan, cloud sea)

(Yosenji, Zen temple)

Property information
Location :Azatano, Fukuchiyama city, Kyoto prefecture

Land size : 412m2
Residence area : 157ms
2-storey, Wooden structure
Built: 1968
Layout : 7 K (7 bed rooms and one kitchen)
Rights : Freehold
Asking price : 5.5 million yen (U$55,000)

It comes with a small guest house and Japanese style kura (store house). The owner has the forest and far lands behind the property. If you are keen in farming and forestry, you could rent the land at nominal rate.The architect design is in very traditional style. The house is equipped with wooden parts such as tokonoma (alcove in a traditional Japanese room where art or flowers are displayed) and shoji doors.

(The house)

(The house)

(view from the house)


2 Property (akiya) in Minamiboso city in Chiba prefecture

shimi Minamiboso city is in the southern portion of Chiba Prefecture, near the southern tip of the Boso Peninsula. It is surrounded by water on three sides facing the Pacific Ocean to the east and south, and the entrance to Tokyo Bay on the west. It takes only on hour and forty mins from Tokyo central area.The winter is relatively warm by the warm current which flows through an offing, and summer is the cool marine mild climate, and the climate possesses part frostless region. The city possess the historical wealth of the remains to the modern times and the shrines and temples from natural resources abundant in flowers in full bloom and antiquity in each season.Being surrounded by water on three sides, the entirety of Minamiboso is famous for the aforementioned seafood as well as sushi and sashimi. You can enjoy very fresh sushi and sashimi which are caught on the day. Another famous thing in the area being flowers, edible flower dishes are well known. Facing the ocean, fishing is also very popular and there are many famous surfing spots along the coast. In my opinion, being very close to Tokyo Metropolitan, Boso peninsula area is very under-rated. The area should attract more foreign tourists who are fed up with overwhelming crowds    in hot spots such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. 


(Sunset in Minamiboso)

(ocean in MinamiBoso)


(flowers in early spring in Minamiboso)

(Sushi in Minamiboso)

(Sushi in Minamiboso)

(Sashimi in Minamiboso)
Property information
This akiya property used be ’ryokan’, Japanese style inn. A ryokan is a guest house that accommodates visitors for a fee, usually in a Japanese style building with traditional furnishings.

(Ryokan house)

(Ryokan house)

(Japanese style Entrance)

(Tatami mat room)
Location :Wada, Minamiboso city, Chiba prefecture

Land size : N/A
Residence area : 237m2
2-storey, Wooden structure

Built: N/A (probably 50 years old or so)
Layout : 10DK (10 bed rooms, kitchen, dining room)

(1st floor layout)

(2nd floor layout)

Rights : Freehold
Asking price : 7.8 million yen (U$78,000)
The property used be equipped with the official hotel license (Under Japanese law, to run the hotel business, you need to get the license from the government). If you are interested in airbnb type of business, It is a big plus as the property is more or less meeting the various regulations the hotel operator are required. With the proper hotel license, you can operate 24/7 as the hotel unlike minpaku (airbnb) license which allows to operate only 180 days a year. 

3 A property (akiya) in Chino city in Nagano prefecture

Chino is located in a mountainous area of east-central Nagano prefecture. Notable mountains within the city limits include Mount Yatsugatake, Mount Tateshina and Mount Kirigamine. If you are a skier or snow boarder, you don’t have to go all the way to Hokkaido to ski. You can enjoy the great snow in Nagano prefecture. The snow is good, the food is delicious, and there are nice hot-spring baths everywhere. In summer, you can also enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful mountain view. Kirigamine followed over the Washigamine from Kurumayama, alpine plants that bloom in colorful beautiful plateau. Alps, the best scenery with views of the mountains such as the Yatsugatake mountain range, Mount Fuji, has been lovedby many people for a long time. The tableland of Tateshina is blessed with stunning natural beauty location,including the grand foot, highlands, mountains, lakes, valleys, and the peaks of Yatsugatake. Thearea is veiled in rich greenery, beautiful blossom and flowers, creative gorgeous and ever-changing scenery throughout the each seasons.The tableland of Tateshina is also rich in cultural history from the Jomon Period of about 5,000 years ago until the present. The tableland of Tateshina is well-known for its therapetic spa areas, with hot springs prevalent throughout the area. Although different in the quality of the springs and in the health benefits, there are many open-air baths where visitors enjoy the benefits of the hot baths in beautiful and scenic natural settings. The house is close to a number of ski reports such as Kurumaya ski resort and Tateshina ski resort. You can reach some ski resorts within 30 mins.

Location :Kitayama, Chino city, Nagano prefecture (about two and half  hours from Tokyo central area)




(Suwa-taisha shirine)

(Shirakaba-ko , Shirakaba-lake)

(Tateshina-kogen ski resort, 20 mins from the property)

(Kuruma-yama ski resort, 10 mins from the property)

(Shirakabako(Shirakaba lake) ski resort)

Property information
Land size : 1081m2 (huge land)
Residence area : 82.8 m2
2-storey, Wooden structure
Built: 2003
Layout : 2LDK (2 bed rooms, living-diding room, kitchen)

(1st floor layout)

(2nd floor layout)
Rights : Freehold
Asking price : 7.5 million yen (U$75,000)
The house was renovated recently so no major renovation is required. There are many onsen (hot springs) spots nearby. You could take onsen bath everyday ! Also if you love winter sports, the location is ideal. You can reach some famous ski resorts in Nagano within 30 min.

Final thoughts

Since there more than 8 million akiya (vacant houses) all over Japan, very wide range of akiya varieties are available. Despite the very scarce data, if you spend good time to search, you could find a trove of hidden gems. Some western medias are reporting that Japanese government is giving away distressed houses but those reports are not entirely accurate. There is no official program by the government to give away houses. That said, a number of generous subsidy programs provided by municipal  governments are available.

Other Helpful Articles

What to know about Akiya (abandoned house) investment in Japan : Options you should be aware. Is it really free ?

The lure of Japan’s hidden treasures “Akiya” : Why are so many houses abandoned in Japan ?

ou want to flip akiya (abandoned house, 空き家) into a rental property in Japan ? : Please do the math first

Our Consultation Service
Spot consultation is available for those who are interested in buying an old Japanese property.
Spot consultation fee starts from 50,000 yen per two hours (plus tax). Consultation over Internet telephone is  possible for those who are distant from Tokyo.
If you are seriously interested in buying akiya, please contact us. Consultation fee starts from 50,000 yen per two hours (plus tax). We provide the following consulting service for akiya investment as well.
1) Akiya search service
100,000 yen (plus tax) per project. We will look for an appropriate akiya for you.
It requires time consuming process.
Finding a good akiya is not as easy as you might think.
If you buy a wrong property in a wrong location, your investment could be a disaster.
We will not search akiya for free.

 2) Contract support
   200,000 yen + tax per one property
  After you find a good akiya, you need to go through
  all the transactions including due diligence, making purchase contract, tax, title registration, finding a builder      to renovate, finding a property manager, promote your property for leasing (if you want to rent out) etc
  All the relevant documents are in Japanese.
  We support the process.
 If you are seriously interested in buying a Japanese old house, please contact us.
*AKIYA is always very old and run-down. You need to allow very significant budget to make them livable.
Cost could be as much as 20-25 million yen.

Articles on akiya in medias

Japan has so many vacant homes it’s giving them away (CNN)

Japan is GIVING AWAY abandoned homes and selling others dirt-cheap because superstitious buyers don’t want an ‘unlucky’ house (Daily mail)

Japan has so many empty homes it’s giving them away (World Economic Forum)

Rural areas woo city slickers to vacant properties in Japanese countryside(Japan Times)

Toshihiko Yamamoto
Real estate investing consultant and author.
Founder of Yamamoto Property Advisory in Tokyo.
International property Investment consultant and licensed
real estate broker (Japan).
He serves the foreign companies and individuals to buy and sell
the real estates in Japan as well as own homes.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from
Osaka Prefecture University in Japan
and an MBA from Bond University in Australia

Toshihiko’s book, “The Savvy Foreign Investor’s Guide to Japanese Properties: How to Expertly Buy, Manage and Sell Real Estate in Japan”is now out on Amazon, iBooks (iTunes, Apple) and Google Play.
About the book 
Amazon.com Link







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