Where foreigners are looking to buy homes outside Tokyo – November 2021 Edition

This month on Real Estate Japan, we’re continuing to see strong buyer interest in For Sale properties throughout the country, with inquiries showing a year-on-year increase.

The majority of searches and inquires are focused on Tokyo, but there are also many buyers searching in regional cities, especially in popular resort destinations.

This month, here are the Top 3 places, other than Tokyo, receiving inquiries for For Sale properties:

  1. Chino (Nagano Prefecture)
  2. Karuizawa (Nagano Prefecture)
  3. Kyoto (Kyoto Prefecture)

#1 Chino — Nagano Prefecture

Coming in at number one this month is the city of Chino, in Nagano prefecture!

Enjoy gorgeous views of the Nagano Central and Southern Alps from this 2LDK apartment for sale in Chino, Nagano. List price is ¥10,200,000 ($90,000 USD). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent. Image: Tokyu Resort

With a population of about 55,600, Chino is a rural town about a two-hour train ride from Tokyo and offers abundant year-round activities including snow sports, hiking, and cultural activities.

One of Chino’s outstanding features is the nearby mountain views; the city center is about 800 meters above sea level, with parts of the surrounding mountain range rising to 2,000 meters above sea level.

Our partner agent Tokyu Resort Corporation, is currently offering a wide range of properties for sale in Chino. Here are a few examples:

1LDK ryokan for sale in Chino, Nagano with a lovely view of the surrounding Tateshina greenery. Major renovation completed in July 2018. List price ¥4,000,000 ($36,000 USD). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent. Image: Tokyu Resort

Well-maintained 2LDK house for sale in a private location, about a 19-min drive from Chino Station. List price ¥9,500,000 ($84,000 USD). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent. Image: Tokyu Resort Corporation

#2 Karuizawa – Nagano Prefecture

At number two this month is a perennial favorite, the lovely mountain resort town of Karuizawa.

Karuizawa is a resort town in the mountains of Nagano prefecture. It is located about 2-hours from Tokyo by shinkansen. Karuizawa is known for mild summers and is a popular weekend getaway destination for Tokyo residents. There are many summer recreational activities in Karuizawa, including hiking and cycling. Skiing and hot springs are popular in the winter.

On Real Estate Japan, many of the properties available for sale in Karuizawa are plots of undeveloped land and resort-style single-family homes. You can find price points from the equivalent of less than $100,000 USD to several million US dollars. Please use the filters on the search page to look for the properties that meet your criteria!

Examples of properties for sale in Karuizawa:

71-sqm 3LDK house for sale on a large 567-sqm lot surrounded by greenery in the Tsurudamari villa area of Karuizawa. List price is ¥18,500,000 ($163,000 USD). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent. Image: Tokyu Resort Corporation

Newly built (September 2020) 4LDK house for sale in the Minami Hara area of Karuizawa. Situated on a spacious 1,045-sqm lot. List price is ¥89,450,000 ($790,000 USD). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent. Image: Tokyu Resort Corporation

See all listings for properties for sale in Karuizawa.

#3 Kyoto

Kyoto, November 25 2013: Tourists walk on a street leading to Kiyomizu Temple via iStock-498528983

At number three this month is the city of 10,000 shrines…Kyoto, a perennial favorite among people looking to buy homes on Real Estate Japan.

There are many good reasons to choose Kyoto as your home in Japan. A top draw for many resident foreigners is the breathtaking temples, shrines, gardens and other cultural destinations sprinkled throughout a relatively slow-paced but thoroughly modern city. Osaka Station is about thirty minutes by express train from Kyoto Station. Tokyo is also just two and half hours away by shinkansen.

This is not to mention the food (Kyoto is known for its tofu, kaiseki ryouri, and Buddhist vegetarian offerings) and proximity to spectacular natural areas, such as Arashiyama, located on the western outskirts of the city. Kyoto, of course, also offers urban delights. Shopping, dining, and entertainment are concentrated around Shijo-Kawaramachi. The covered shopping arcades will give you some relief from the summer heat and rainy season humidity but you will still have to jostle with the crowds.

On Real Estate Japan, properties available for sale in Kyoto run the range from renovated traditional machiya (town houses) to more recently constructed single-family homes and mid-rise apartment units, to whole building properties.

Examples of properties currently on the market in Kyoto:

House for sale in Kyoto

78.77 m² 1DK house with atelier for sale in Kyoto. List price is ¥19,800,000 ($180,000 USD). This is an exclusive listing by Hachise, a bilingual real estate agency in Kyoto. Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent.

Apartment for sale in Kyoto

4LDK (4-bedroom) apartment for sale in Kyoto, renovated in 2017. Enjoy excellent views of Kyoto Tower from the balcony. List price is ¥39,800,000 ($362,000 USD). Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent. Image: Community LAB

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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

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Lead image: Small street in Nagano via iStock 834731116