Mar 2019

Tourism and Real Estate in Japan

Tourism and Real Estate are linked in so many ways. Tourists bring the need for guest houses or hotels, hotels either increase or decrease the land prices in the area, depending on the type of hotel – just Google “Love Hotels in Japan” if that sentence confused you. The tourists spend more money in Japan’s shops so Japan builds more shops. Entertainment districts boom, more trains and bus routes appear, etc. etc.

For the longest time in Japan tourism passed the country by. A hangover from the bubble where people thought it was too expensive to visit, coupled with the inaccessibility of the country, all signage in Japanese only and very few English speaking tour guides and service workers in general meant that only a couple of million tourists dared set foot in Japan.

What a change a few year make!

2019 the government are predicting over 30 million people will visit Japan! Great news for the country, bringing new money, jobs and opportunities to the towns and cities from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

Closer to JPI’s home region of Kansai, Osaka has been a huge winner in attracting tourists. In 2012 Japan’s second city welcomed 2 million tourists and in 2017 that number had increased to an incredible 11 million tourists!

No surprise to those of us living in Kansai. It is a great place to live, accessible, the people are friendly and there are 25 World Heritage site within the Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto area. And did I mention how much cheaper hotel rooms are compared to Tokyo?

Kansai is set to continue booming with Japan’s first casino resort currently under construction in Osaka. There could be over 20 million tourists visiting Kansai by 2030. Find out more here from the South China Morning Post.

All of this has an effect on residential real estate prices and we have seen increases in and around Osaka of up to 25%, unheard of outside Tokyo. Osaka was one of the first cities in Japan to really embrace AirBNB. We heard stories of “pop up foreign landlords” suddenly renting out 40 – 60 apartments and making a small fortune running rent to rents to tourists. Until the government regulated the sector and made it hard to turn a profit.

With all of this activity in Kansai it makes a great place to invest for cashflow and the possibility of capital growth in the not too distant future.

Contact us at to find out more about the region and the opportunities it has to offer.