Japan Airbnb Rule Change June 15, 2018

Japan Airbnb Rule Changed June 15, 2018 – What Japan Airbnb Users Should Know & Do!

If you or someone you know is planning to travel to or within Japan over the next year and is planning to use Airbnb or other short-term rental platforms you need to know about the Japan Airbnb Rule Changed June 15, 2018.    On June 15th, 2018 all Airbnb listing without a registered license (issued by local gov offices) were dropped from the Airbnb platform.  I am sharing the information below so that families traveling can be prepared. As a licensed Airbnb host, For our tips on how to find the best Tokyo airbnb for your family check here. 

I have received numerous questions from people who want to rent Airbnbs. When renting an Airbnb or other short-tern rental under 30 days in Japan make sure you ask about the “minpaku license”. I recommend only staying in a licensed unit since it has the proper documentation and is most likely safer than a non licensed unit.  How to decide if staying in an Airbnb is right for your family vacation. 

Here are my two Family Airbnbs in Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo! Pictures also below. (Unit 102 and Unit 103)

We also offer Japanese cooking and Art & crafts classes in our licensed studio in Unit 101. Please join us for a fun class while in Tokyo – class details and schedule here.

Japan Airbnb Rule Changed June 15, 2018 – What Airbnb Users Should Know & Do!

Japan Airbnb Rule Change June 15, 2018 The Japan New Housing Law stipulates that landowners (housing accommodation business operators), managers and brokerage site operators are required to register their rental properties with the national government and local governments. The revised law went into effect nationwide on June 15th, 2018.

I am supportive of the licensing since it will assure all short-term rentals are safe.  If landowners, managers or brokerage site operators are not licensed after June 15th, 2018 the government is authorized to inspect properties for illegal public housing. The penalty is one million yen if found breaking the law.

Some interesting Japan Tourism and Airbnb Data – Since I am a data geek

(source; Airdna, Hotels.com, Nikkei, Japan Time and other news sources) 
  • The Japanese Government was targeting 40 million visitors per year by 2020 (data from 2018). In 2017, 28.7MM people visited up 19.3% YoY.  The Rugby World Cup took place in Autumn of 2019. 2019 visitor numbers have stalled in the low 30 millions and the government is worried it will not hit 40 MM this year (2020), It will be interesting to see if shortage of hotel rooms results in fewer visitors for the Olympics and Paralympics this summer 2020.
  • In Tokyo, there are 120,000 registered hotel rooms; 120,000 X 365 = 43,800,000 hotel room nights per year. Hotel rooms are predicted to increase up to 15% more over the next three years with new construction and converted office buildings and apartments to hotels. Despite the increase, the occupancy will be extremely high in popular seasons.
  • The average 3-star hotel in Tokyo costs 12,500 yen and accommodates average 2 people, the average 4-star hotel in Tokyo costs 24,000 yen an accommodates avg 2 people. For a family of 4-5 to rent two hotel rooms in Tokyo typically costs 25,000 yen on average.
  • In May 2015 there were approximately 3,000 Airbnb listings in Tokyo; as of April 2018 that number has increased to approximately 20,000.  The number fell to 1,000 Tokyo listings following the Minpaku rule in June 2018, but in 2020 is back to the level of listing pre min-aki ruling. The central Tokyo five star Airbnb for avg 2 people is 11,500 yen and typically include cooking and laundry facilities.  The average 2 bedrooms, five-person capacity Airbnb in central Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Minato-ku`s) runs on average 17,000 JPY.
  • In Tokyo, as of April 2017, there were approximately 20,000 Airbnb units active in Tokyo and according to Airdna.com on avg the per night rate is about 11,000 yen and the occupancy rate is 90%. The top four areas of Tokyo by active Airbnb unit (#) are 1. Shinjuku-ku (4,800), 2. Shibuya-ku (2,400), Taito-ku (2,000),  3. Toshima-ku (1,500) and 4. Minato-ku (1,300).

What happen on June 15th, 2018 on Airbnb in Japan?

All Japan Airbnb listing without a license were delisted (people could not longer  place reservations) on June 15th, 2018.  People who had reservations which were canceled were given coupons of same monetary value to book other licensed Airbnbs. It cost Airbnb millions of USD, but they did what was best for the customer.


Some of our most popular posts for families living in and visiting Japan! 

Tokyo Family Bucket List

Tokyo Teen Check List – See, Do & Eat

What Open on Monday in Japan – Top 25 

Tokyo with Kids – One Day Shibuya, Harajuku, Omotesando, Aoyama

Free Tokyo Attractions for Kids 

Tokyo One Day with Kids – Odaiba

Tokyo One Day with Kids – Daikanyama, Meguro, Ebisu 

Japan Airbnb Rule Change June 15, 2018 – What Japan Japan Airbnb Rule Change June 15, 2018Airbnb Users Should Know & Do!


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  1. Many Airbnb guests coming to Japan do so on low budget airfares which don’t allow cancellations or changes. The upshot is we’ll see many backpackers winging it on the streets and staying in love hotels, manga cafes, or sidewalk camping after getting their accommodations cancelled As an owner and multi-listing host I’m really appalled at the lack of preparation or understanding Airbnb has shown. They’re doing nothing to mitigate this ensuing mess. Since getting my registrations completed I’ve doubled my rates to cover costs and ensure continued profitability. I now worry if Airbnb will remain a viable platform moving forward as this impending mess will obviously degrade trust in their brand.

    • Glen in Portland

      I found this website when doing a search on this Airbnb licensing issue in Tokyo. We booked a listing before June 15 not knowing anything about the listing regulations. After June 15, Airbnb did send us an email letting us know about the whole mess and that we should book a new listing. I won’t go into the all the refund and credit issuance mess we encountered with Airbnb. Needless to say, I have lost confidence in Airbnb. One thing we are concerned about even though we have a legal booking that has already been paid for, is that the host on our listing seems to be a different person depending on which week you book the listing. What’s up with that? Has there been any word of mouth or stories about fake “legal” listings or a business that offers multiple listings and employs people to be their hosts? We just don’t want to be stranded on the sidewalk in Roppongi. If you can offer any insight, please do.

      • Hi Glen, Changing the name of the host may make sense since to get the license some people had to change registered entity. But but the host changing more than once is very suspicious. There have been rumours of some hosts putting in fake registration numbers, however, I have not actually heard about this happening to anyone I know. Have you called Airbnb to ask? lauren

  2. Is your Airbnb licensed and available to rent now? I would like to refer some friends who are coming to Tokyo.

    • Yes, we have two airbnb units that are licensed. Here are the links.

      unit #102 has two bedrooms (one queen and two twins that can be converted to a king). https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16920657

      unit #103 has two bedrooms (one king size bed and one queen size)https://airbnb.com/rooms/5255533

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