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Where foreigners want to buy homes outside Tokyo - March 2022

Where foreigners want to buy homes outside Tokyo – March 2022


This month on Real Estate Japan we’ve seen a big jump in inquiries for For Sale properties in both the Tokyo metropolitan area and outside the capital.

In this post, we share the three most popular places outside Tokyo, ranked in terms of views and inquiries on For Sale properties.

Coming in at number one this month is the lovely city of Hamamatsu, in Shizuoka prefecture.

Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka, downtown cityscape at sunset via iStock 924461444

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 about midway between the cities of Nagoya, in Aichi prefecture, and Shizuoka, the capital of Shizuoka prefecture.

The city 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. For foodies, an interesting fact is that Lake Hamana is the birthplace of Japan’s eel-farming industry!

The city is also known for its beautiful public parks and cherry blossoms. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate and one of the three great unifiers of Japan, lived in Shizuoka for almost all of his life, including 17 years in Hamamatsu Castle. The castle and surrounding area is home to hundreds of cherry trees, a Japanese garden and expansive lawns for strolling and relaxing.

Hamamatsu Flower Park is another well-known local attraction. This is a large public park, featuring 100,000 flowers and plants in 3,000 varieties, and has greenhouse exhibits, shops and restaurants.

Hamamatsu’s easy access to Tokyo and high livability make it an ideal city for those looking for a second home near Tokyo, or as a first home, for those looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.

Our featured for sale property this month is this spacious 131.33 m² 2LDK (2-bedroom) log cabin-style house. Situated on a large 521.01 m² lot. This home features high ceilings and both western- and Japanese-style rooms. Large wraparound L-shaped deck for outdoor dining and enjoyment. List price is ¥25,000,000 ($204,000 USD). The listing agent for this property is Tokyu Resort Corporation. Please click on the photo for all properties currently available for sale in Hamamatsu. Image: Tokyu Resort Corporation

At number two this month is the beautiful lakeside city of Otsu, the capital of Shiga prefecture.

Kosei line 113 series train and Lake Biwa via iStock 666114730

Otsu is known as the main port of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake. As such Otsu, is a popular a day-trip for people coming from Kyoto, which is just a 20-min direct train ride away.

There are numerous onsen (hot springs) hotels, traditional ryokan (Japanese-style inns), and other accommodations surrounding Lake Biwa that cater to tourists, who come to enjoy gorgeous lake views, cruises, and hiking around the lake. Those looking to buy a first or second home in Otsu will also find that Otsu is a very livable city, with plenty of amenities for local residents, including a baseball stadium and large public parks. The location is ideal for people who want to live closer to nature, while being able to commute easily to Kyoto (about 20-minutes by train) or Osaka (which is about an hour away by train).

Our featured for sale property this month in the city of Otsu, is this spacious 200.43 m² 3SLDK house. This is a lake-facing property, with a small wooden deck. Toilets on both floors and four parking spaces. List price is ¥77,000,000 ($627,000 USD). The listing agent is Real Estate Co. Ltd. Please click on the photo for all available For Sale properties in Otsu. Image: Real Estate Co. Ltd.

Three-way tie for third place

#3 Gunma prefecture

Please click to see all properties for sale in Gunma

Our featured property in Gunma is this 54-sqm 2LDK (2-bedroom) apartment for sale in the Kurtoa Kusatsu condominium building, overlooking the mountains of Kusastu. Residents of the building can use the onsen spa of the adjacent Kusastu Now Resort hotel. List price is ¥6,500,000 ($53,000 USD). The listing agent is Tokyu Resort Corporation. Please click on the photo for all properties currently available for sale in Gunma. Image: Tokyu Resort Corporation

#3 Kyoto (City)

Please click to see all properties for sale in Kyoto

#3 Osaka (City)

Please click to see all properties for sale in Osaka

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Featured Agents in this article

All of the agents who list properties on realestate.co.jp are bilingual in Japanese and English. Some agents can also handle inquiries in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and other languages. Please click on the links below to see their listings:

Bilingual Agents

All of the agents who list properties on realestate.co.jp are bilingual in Japanese and English. Some agents can also handle inquiries in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and other languages. Please click on the links below to see their listings:

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

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

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

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Can I legally rent out my home in Japan on AirBnB?

Repair reserve fund fees explained

Parking spaces in Japanese condominium buildings explained

Building your own home in Japan

7 reasons why foreigners are interested in buy a home in Japan, especially now – March 2022 Update

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?

7 situations when you should consider selling your investment property in Japan

What are the main factors affecting home sale prices in Japan in 2019?


Lead image: Kosei line 113 series train and Lake Biwa via iStock 666114730



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