inbound tourism

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)
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Discover restful and super-affordable properties in Chiba Boso peninsula: Within easy reach from Tokyo

(Boso peninsula)

* Foreigners can buy a property in Japan without having special qualification.

Explore the charming houses by the lovable ocean and beach
New listings in Boso peninsula, Chiba prefecture!
If you live in Tokyo and want to buy a second house near the ocean and beach,  I always recommend Boso peninsula (Kamogawa city, Katsuura city, Minamiboso city, Tateyama city etc). The location is excellent and it takes only 1.5 hours from central Tokyo by car.
You can drive on a highway all through to Kamogawa city from Tokyo and there is no traffic. If you don’t want to drive and rather want to indulge in drinking a beer on the way, there is very comfortable express bus service from Tokyo station. The seafoods and vegetables are nice and fresh (In fact, Chiba prefecture is a major supplier of seafood and vegetables to Tokyo Metropolitan kitchens so nice foods you are eating in Tokyo are often produce of Chiba).  Izu peninsula area in Shizuoka prefecture is also very famous for nice beaches and onsen (hot springs) but Izu’s location is not perfect. It takes about 3.5 hours by car to Izu Shirahama beach from Tokyo. In the modern busy life, proximity matters.
In Boso peninsula, they have great surf in the pacific ocean and the quality of sea water is superb.  (Believe me you can’t imagine how good the quality of water is in Kamogawa city  which is merely 1.5 hours away from Tokyo). In 2020, Tokyo Olympics surfing competition will be held in Katsuura city. According to one of my surfer friends, Boso peninsula is the best surfing spot in Japan.
Today I picked up two interesting properties in Boso Peninsula, Chiba prefecture.


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Priceless Opportunity : Magnificent House in Yakushima (World Heritage) and Huge Land for sale

(View from the property)

One of my good friends in the industry has just listed a beautiful house in Yakushima.

The small, remote island of Yakushima, which lies off the southern coast of the southernmost of Japan’s four major islands, Kyushu, is shaped something like the Hawaiian isle of Kauai. And just as on that other circular bit of rock over 4,000 miles away across the North Pacific, visitors arrive here seeking respite in subtropical rain forests and mountains. (from NYT)

Situated in the sacred island, this sophisticated new construction is in the exclusive Yakushima island.
The property boasts 1932 square meters of forest land and the fantastic ocean-view.
The house is compact wooden with a toilet which is equipped with the natural disintegrator system.
You don’t need the sewerage.
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Japan’s real estate price update: Price up for 3 consecutive years. Very strong growth in Tokyo buoyed by the booming inbound tourism

(Ginza, Tokyo)

The results are in. You will be surprised to learn that Japan’s real estate price -at least some spots are- is breaking the record set during the bubble period.

On July 2, 2018, the National Taxation Bureau announced the average value of a square meter of land for tax assessment as of January 1 2018.The nationwide average price went up by 0.7% from the previous year and it increased for three consecutive years. By prefecture, growth is high in the three major metropolitan areas such as Tokyo (up 4.0%), Osaka (up 1.4%), Kyoto (up 2.2%), Aichi (up 1.5%)The rate of growth is higher in all three major metropolitan areas than the previous year.The rate of growth in core local prefectures is rather high such as Hokkaido (up 1.1%), Miyagi (up 37%), Hiroshima (up 1.5%), Fukuoka (up 2.6%).Average price in Okinawa was up 5.0% and it is the highest rate of increase in Japan.
Here are some key facts.

Tokyo
In Tokyo metropolitan, the average price went up 4.0%, the five consecutive years.
Ginza Chuo-dori has broken its record high for the second year in a row.The top appreciation in Tokyo was 15.8% at Aoyama Street, Minato-ku, Aoyama 3, which is also an upscale residential area. A number of luxury brand flagship stores are located in the area.In terms of growth rate, Aoyama regained the top place for the first time since 2007.The second spot is Adachi-ku Senju 3’s Kita-Senju Station West Exit Square  and it went up by 14.5%.In addition to the revitalization of the area due to the effect of a few universities campus being relocated, the convenience to the center of Tokyo boosted it.
These are the some major and the most expensive spots in Tokyo 23 wards.
(price per square meter ‘000 yen and the growth rate)
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1.5 hour by car from the center of Tokyo, enjoy the magnificent ocean view adjacent to Pacific Ocean: Unspoiled real estate opportunities in Kamogawa

(Sunset in Katsuura city)

* Foreigners can buy a property in Japan without having special qualification.

The days with the ocean view spreading in front of you will make your time away from your busy city life. You can enjoy BBQ, parties etc in the garden with your friends.
Minamiboso area -Minamiboso city, Tateyama city, Kamogawa city and Katsuura city- in Chiba prefecture

can offer you such priceless time.
If you have never been there, you would be amazed to see the beautiful blue ocean.
Okinawa is better ?
Well, there is really no comparison.
I am not saying Kamogawa is the most beautiful in the world and have topped the list of dream holiday destinations.
There’s no doubting the allure of its perfect white sand beaches and swaying palms in Okinawa or Ishigaki islands.
But you can’t go to Okinawa every week.
Kamogawa certainly is a good place to get away from busy Tokyo and treat yourself to a view of the blue oceans, and wide skies.
In fact, in order to captivate the opportunities due to the recent market dynamics in private lodging law, I am seeking a property (house) to renovate and run as a hotel in Kamogawa right now.
Today I am discussing the viability of the investment in Kamogawa and surrounding area.

Where is Kamogawa ?

(Map from Tokyo to Kamogawa city)

Kamogawa (鴨川市 Kamogawa-shi) is a city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
As of May 2018, the city had an estimated population of 32,789. It is a small city.
Kamogawa is near the southeastern tip of the Boso Peninsula, facing the Pacific Ocean, about 70 km south of the prefectural capital, Chiba City,
and about 85 km from Tokyo.

The area has a warm maritime climate with hot summers and mild winters.
(perfect for weekend villa or second house !)
Kamogawa is home to Mount Atago, which at 408.2 m (1,339 ft) is the highest point in Chiba Prefecture.

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What is Hida-Takayama in Gifu ? Why so many Jewish people visit there ? : Will you be ready for investment in private lodging (minpaku) property ?


(Historic village in Hida-Takayama)

It is not secret that Japan is a surprising combination of peace and chaos, old and new and has just the right amount of anorak.
Inbound tourism continues to thrive as a record 28.7 million tourists visited Japan in 2017, up 19 percent from the previous year and apparently keeping the nation on track for the government’s target;40 million in 2020.
Challenges remain such as a tight supply of accommodations that cater to overseas guests and a heavy concentration of visitors from East Asia. 
According to JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization), the estimated number of international travelers to Japan in April reached to 2.9 million with an increase of 12.5% compared to the previous year, recording the best April ever. The estimated number of international travelers to Japan in 2018 reached to 10 million (+15.4% from 2017).

(Number of Inbound tourists by year)

(Inbound tourists by country in 2017)

That said,  Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山)has become one of major tourist destinations among the foreign tourists
but it is not that popular destination for average Japanese.
I have recently read an interesting article about Israeli tourists in Hida-Takayama and would like to share the Takayama city’s
strategy how they become one of the most popular tourist places among foreigners especially Jews.
According to Takayama city statistics, the number of Israeli visitors has increased from mere 2,833 in 2013 to over 10,000 mark for the first time in 2016. The number has more than triple. 

Total number of Israeli visitors to Japan during 2016 was about 30,000 so one-third of them visited Takayama.
In 2017,  the total number of Israeli guests to Japan increased to 32,000 from previous year (up 7%)

(Chic Hida-Takayama old town village with historical kominka)
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A solution to the hotel shortage ? New minpaku (民泊, private lodging) law in Japan : How does it work ? and how can you tap your property ?

I have a friend who has enjoyed hosting international visitors in Tokyo in her
own condo.
She has been hosting international visitors in her spare two-bedroom apartment
but will have to stop it because her building association (管理組合)has decided to
ban the minpaku business ahead of the law’s
enactment in June 2018.
She was able to meet many different people she would have not met otherwise.
A lot of foreign friends have been asking me a question about minpaku (民泊、private lodging) in Japan.
Today I am going to discuss the basic knowledge about minpaku and minpaku law
set by the government in 2016.
How does the new minpaku law work ?
What is the implication on the real estate industry ?

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Is ‘minpaku’ (private lodging) finished in Japan ? : How is the new law affecting the real estate industry ?

 

The new law will be effective from June 2018 to crack down on illegal lodging
Local governments across Japan have just begun accepting applications for operating private lodging (aka ‘minpaku’ in Japanese) rental businesses under a new law going into effect in June 2018.
The law is responding to a sharp growing need for affordable accommodation amid a rapid rise in foreign tourists, while cracking down on illegal lodging.

The law is to limit the number of days per year that rooms in private homes and apartments can be rented to maximum 180.
Operators will have first obtain the certificate from the local governments and then display signs indicating the presence of rental units and manage noise and other complaints from neighbors. No-compliant operators can expect to be fined.

In the meantime, Japan’s  condominium management company association recently released the nationwide survey results on the use for private lodging in condominiums in Japan.
It is the interesting development and I quickly share the summary of the report today.

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Is Kyoto still good for investment in a vacation rental ? : Two boutique guest houses


In light of the surging inbound tourists, Japanese and foreign developers and hotel companies  have stepped up construction, with names like Hyatt, Marriott, Nomura Real Estate Development and Mitsui Fodosan
building new accommodations.
We have been increasingly receiving the inquiries from overseas investors about the properties in Kyoto for vacation rentals.
Generally speaking, lots of investments money to build the hotel and private lodging are flooding in Kyoto now from both inside and outside Japan and therefore the good properties with hotel license tend change hands very quickly.
There are very attractive investment opportunities for foreign investors in Kyoto properties.
I am going to discuss the opportunities of vacation rental in Kyoto today.
Let me start with the recap on the inbound tourism market in Japan, in particular, Kyoto.
The number of foreign visitors to Japan rose 19% to a record of nearly 29 million in 2017.
The government set the road to the target of 40 million by 2020 when Tokyo will host the Olympics.
Spending by foreign visitors rose 18% to ¥4.4 trillion ($40 billion).
Tourists have transformed the face of the nation’s cities, crowding into popular destinations such as the Ginza shopping area in Tokyo, temples in the ancient capital of Kyoto and ski
areas during the winter.
For example, the number of American visitors rose 11% in 2017 to 1.24 million which accounts for about 4% of the total.
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Good opportunities ? : How does the booming inbound tourism impact the property market ?

Japan is enjoying very healthy growth of inbound tourism.The number of inbound tourists, which stood only at 8.36 million in 2012, set record highs for the sixth year in a row. It continues to thrive as a record 28.7 million tourists visited Japan in 2017, up 19 % from the previous year. In 2016, it was up 21 % and in 2015, up 47 %.
Visitors from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong account for more than 70 % of the total number.
The number of Chinese travelers grew 15% to 7.35 million, South Korea increased 40 % to 7.14 million.
2018 January number will be announced on February 16 but apparently it is keeping the nation on track for the government’s target of boosting the annual number of visitors to 40 million in 2020.
There are some challenges, however, that must be overcome, such as a tight supply of accommodations that cater to overseas guests and a heavy concentration of visitors from East Asia.
Further efforts should be made to realize the full potential of inbound tourism as one of the nation’s key growth industries including welcoming more American and European visitors
who have a tendency to stay longer with bigger spending budgets.
(Chinese tourists spend less than Europeans and Americans on accommodations and foods)

Japanese people are regularly talking about the latest inbound tourism booming but how does the industry look more in the global perspective ?

Is only Japan performing well ?
In order to analyze the Japan in the global market, let’s look at the 2017 report published by UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organization).
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