Top 5 places where foreigners are looking to buy homes in Japan, outside Tokyo – July 2021

This month on Real Estate Japan, we’re continuing to see an uptrend in inquiries for For Sale properties throughout the country.

The majority of buyer interest is focused on Tokyo, but there is also strong buyer interest in regional cities.

This month, here are the Top 5 places, other than Tokyo, receiving inquiries for For Sale properties:

  1. Hamamatsu (Shizuoka Prefecture)
  2. Kyoto (Kyoto Prefecture)
  3. Kanagawa Prefecture
  4. Naha (Okinawa)
  5. Fukuoka Prefecture

Below we briefly introduce Hamamatsu, a beautiful coastal city on the main island of Honshu.

Hamamatsu, Shizuoka

Hamamatsu, Japan – May 20, 2015: Surfer walking with his board through Nakatajima Sand Dunes. Image: iStock 476422560 Credit:peeterv


Hamamatsu is a seaside city (population 791,000) in western Shizuoka prefecture, located about 80-km southwest of the city of Shizuoka and about 260-km south of Tokyo (about a 1-hour 40-minute trip on the Tokaido shinkansen).

It is the prefecture’s largest city and is known for being a major manufacturing hub, especially for musical instruments and motorcycles. The headquarters of  Suzuki Motor and YAMAHA Motor, as well as Kawai Musical Instruments, Roland, and Yamaha (the world’s largest manufacturer of pianos) are all based in Hamamatsu.

Hamamatsu is also known for being home to the Nakatajima Sand Dunes, where loggerhead turtles lay their eggs in the summer and for being the site of the Hamamatsu Festival, when hundreds of traditional kites are do battle over the sand dunes. On a foodie note, Hamamatsu is famous for unagi, or freshwater eels.

The city also has an abundance of outdoor attractions due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and a river, freshwater lake, mountains, and an onsen (hot springs) resort. Lake Hamana is one of Japan’s best freshwater lakes for activities like swimming, fishing, sailing, and windsurfing. There is also a dedicated 48-km bicycle path that winds around the lake.

Hamamatsu is important historically as being the home of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder and the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which ruled Japan from 1603 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Today, his home, Hamamatsu Castle, is surrounded by hundreds of cherry trees, a Japanese garden and spacious lawns for strolling and relaxing.

Hamamatsu’s only skyscraper, Act City Tower, situated next to JR Hamamatsu Station, is a symbol of the city. It was designed to resemble a harmonica, a nod to Hamamatsu’s nickname as the City of Music. The building houses shopping and a food court, the Okura Hotel, and a 45th-floor observatory overlooking the city center.

Foreigner population

Hamamatsu has a significant population of Nikkei (descendants of Japanese emigrants), especially Brazilians. In 2019, there were 25,640 foreigners residing in Hamamatsu, or about 3.2% of the total population. Nationally, resident foreigners comprise about 2.3% of Japan’s population.

In 2019, the top five foreign nationalities residing in Hamamatsu were Brazilians, Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese/Taiwanese, and Peruvian, with Brazilians numbering 9,609 people (or about 38% of the foreign population).

Many foreigners work in the manufacturing sector, especially in automotive manufacturing.

Properties for sale in Hamamatsu

On Real Estate Japan you can find a range of properties for sale in Hamamatsu, from 1-bedroom pied-à-terre to more spacious apartments and single-family homes.

Example of a 2LDK (2-bedroom) house for sale in Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka. Western and Japanese-lstyle rooms. Enjoy beautiful views of Lake Hamana and surrounding mountains from the deck. List price ¥26,800,000 ($243,000 USD). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire to the agent. Image: Tokyu Resort Corporation

FAQs About Buying Property in Japan

Can a foreigner buy property in Japan?

Yes. You can buy property in Japan regardless of your nationality or country of origin. There are also no residency requirements for buying real estate in Japan. Securing financing as a resident foreigner is more complicated. For info on financing, please see Basic Requirements for Getting a Mortgage as a Foreigner in Japan

Seminars on Buying Property in Japan

Please see our seminar page for a current list of seminars on: how to buy a home in Japaninvesting in Japanese real estate for beginnershow to apply for permanent residency in Japanhow to sell property in Japan, and much more.

How do I get a property loan as a foreigner in Japan?

Please see this article for information on: Getting a property loan as a foreigner in Japan

What is the process for buying a property in Japan?

Please see our step-by-step guide: Guide to Buying Property in Japan

See how much you can borrow and your monthly payments in yen: Yen Mortgage Loan Calculator

For information about purchase and brokerage fees: Breakdown of real estate purchase fees and taxes in Japan

Need to know: Earthquake building codes and technology in Japan

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Real Estate Japan is pleased to offer free, no obligation appraisals for owners of property in Japan. Please click here and fill out the form: How much is my property worth?

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Lead image: Surfer walking with his board through Nakatajima Sand Dunes. Image: iStock 476422560 Credit:peeterv