Becoming an Airbnb Host in Japan: A Comprehensive Guide

Airbnb business is booming! Find out how you can start your own in Japan with this guide.

A cozy, well-lit Airbnb room in Japan showcasing traditional Japanese design elements.

Becoming an Airbnb Host in Japan: A Comprehensive Guide

Experiencing Airbnb in Japan opens up a world of rich cultural elements including cherry blossoms, sushi boat eateries, and anime culture, painting an unforgettable global travel experience. Imagine waking up to the serenity of a Japanese morning, where soft sunlight peeks through delicate shoji screens and the scent of cherry blossoms wafts through the air. From the bustling city of Tokyo to the tranquil antiquity of Kyoto, Airbnb allows travelers to immerse themselves fully in these unique environments. Sipping warm matcha tea from your host’s kitchen adds an intimate touch to your journey, offering a more personal and engaging alternative to traditional hotel stays.

Airbnb search trends in Osaka, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Fukuoka highlight Japan’s appeal. International visitors rose 2,648.7% to 1,817,500 in March 202, per the statistics provided by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

Moreover, the April 2023 figures continue to illustrate this rising trend, with an estimated 1,949,100 overseas visits to Japan, an increase of 1,296.7% year-on-year. From January to April 2023, the total visits amounted to an impressive 6,739,527. These figures emphasize the increasing appeal of Japan as a global destination and the growing potential for Airbnb hosts in the country.

Airbnb is LEGAL in all of Japan, including Tokyo and Osaka.

But opening an Airbnb in Japan demands considerable planning and awareness. Prospective hosts must familiarize themselves with local rental legislation and property regulations, even when demand is high. Knowing your guests’ tastes can also help you succeed – do visitors like Tokyo’s bright skyscrapers or Kyoto’s antique temples? Do they want a tiny, ultra-modern metropolitan flat or a traditional Japanese home with tatami mats and tea ceremonies? These might help you choose and set up your Airbnb home.


Yes! Airbnb is LEGAL in all of Japan, including Tokyo and Osaka. There are, however, a few requirements you must fulfill. For instance, you’ll need to get your property listed after registering and including your license number. A copy of your passport is required for all non-U.S. citizens (unless you have a permanent residency card). It is also important to verify Japan’s enforcement order for information about your property’s location, as local laws and regulations may differ.


For Japanese nationals, becoming an Airbnb host is relatively straightforward. Register your property at your local city hall and report your guests’ information once every two months. However, the process can be more complex for foreigners and requires liaising with local agencies and embassies. The language barrier is also an issue. But this can be eased by partnering with SME Japan, which assists small-to-medium enterprises in starting Japanese businesses.


As an Airbnb host in Japan, there are certain things to anticipate. For instance, you can only rent your property out for a maximum of 180 days a year. However, if your property falls within Special Zone areas—frequently visited by tourists—you can apply for a Special Zone Private Lodging certificate. This allows you to rent your property for more than 180 days a year but requires a minimum of two nights per booking. Cities like Osaka, Tokyo, Niigata, and Kyushu house these special zones.


Earnings from Airbnb in Japan can significantly fluctuate based on location, amenities, and property type. For example, an annual revenue of $6,590 could come from a studio in Tokyo. In contrast, a one-bedroom apartment might garner up to $10,935. Efficient management can turn any Tokyo Airbnb into a steady income source.

To be continued in the next blog, we’ll delve into the Top 5 Most Profitable Airbnb Locations in Japan and explore Airbnb’s newest venture in Japan’s most hidden village—Nanto, Toyama Prefecture. Stay tuned!

"Otsumami" - a bite size snack:

Airbnb is legal in Japan! Learn how you can start your own Airbnb business now!

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