This month on Real Estate Japan, we continue to see strong buyer interest in properties for sale across the country, with surveys showing a year-over-year increase.

Most of the searches and questions are focused on Tokyo, but there are also many buyers searching in regional cities, especially in popular holiday destinations.

This month, here are the top 3 places, except Tokyo, where inquiries are received for real estate for sale:

  1. chinos (Nagano Prefecture)
  2. karuizawa (Nagano Prefecture)
  3. kyoto (Kyoto Prefecture)

#1 chinos — Nagano Prefecture

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

Enjoy stunning views of the Central and Southern Nagano Alps from this 2LDK condo for sale in Chino, Nagano. The list price is ¥10,200,000 ($90,000 USD). Click on the photo for the full list and to contact the broker directly. Image: Tokyo Resort

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

One of the outstanding features of Chino is the nearby mountain views; the town center is about 800 meters above sea level, with parts of the surrounding mountain range rising up to 2000 meters above sea level.

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

1LDK ryokan for sale in Chino, Nagano with stunning views of the surrounding Tateshina greenery. Major renovation completed in July 2018. List price ¥4,000,000 ($36,000 USD). Click on the photo for the full list and to contact the broker directly. Image: Tokyo Resort

Well maintained 2LDK house for sale in a private location, about 19 min drive from Chino Station. List price ¥9,500,000 ($84,000 USD). Click on the photo for the full list and to contact the broker directly. Image: Tokyo Resort Corporation

#2 karuizawa – Nagano Prefecture

Number two this month is a perennial favorite, the pretty mountain village of Karuizawa.

Karuizawa is a mountain resort town in Nagano Prefecture. It is about a 2 hour drive from Tokyo on the Shinkansen. Known for its mild summers, Karuizawa is a popular weekend getaway destination for Tokyo residents. There are many leisure activities in the summer in Karuizawa such as 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 to be 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. Use the filters on the search page to find the properties that match your criteria!

Examples of properties for sale in Karuizawa:

House of 71 m² 3LDK for sale on a large plot of 567 m² surrounded by greenery in the residential area of ​​Tsurudamari in Karuizawa. The list price is ¥18,500,000 ($163,000 USD). Click on the photo for the full list and to contact the broker directly. Image: Tokyo Resort Corporation

Newly built (September 2020) 4LDK house for sale in the Minami Hara area of ​​Karuizawa. Located on a spacious plot of 1.045 m². The list price is ¥89,450,000 ($790,000 USD). Click on the photo for the full list and to contact the broker directly. Image: Tokyo Resort Corporation

View all offers for properties for sale in Karuizawa.

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 those looking to buy homes on Real Estate Japan.

There are many good reasons to choose Kyoto as your home in Japan. A major draw for many resident foreigners are the breathtaking temples, shrines, gardens and other cultural destinations scattered throughout a relatively slow but highly modern city. Osaka station is about a thirty minute express train ride from Kyoto station. Tokyo is also only a two and a half hour drive through shinkansen.

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

On real estate Japan, homes available for sale in Kyoto the offer ranges from renovated traditional machiya (townhouses) to more recently built single-family homes and mid-rise apartments to complete buildings.

Examples of real estate currently on the market in Kyoto:

House for sale in Kyoto

78.77 sqm 1DK house with studio for sale in Kyoto. The list price is ¥19,800,000 ($180,000 USD). This is an exclusive offer from Hachise, a bilingual real estate agency in Kyoto. Click on the photo for the full list and to contact the broker directly.

Apartment for sale in Kyoto

4LDK (4-bedroom) apartment for sale in Kyoto, renovated in 2017. Enjoy a beautiful view of Kyoto Tower from the balcony. The list price is ¥39,800,000 ($362,000 USD). Click on the photo for the full list and to contact the broker directly. Image: Community LAB

You may also be interested in

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

See our seminar page for an up-to-date list of seminars on: How to Buy a Home in Japan, Investing in Japanese Real Estate for Beginners, How to Apply for Permanent Residence in Japan, How to Sell Real Estate in Japan, and much more.

See this article for information on: Getting a Real Estate Loan as a Foreigner in Japan

Check out 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 on purchase and brokerage fees: Breakdown of Real Estate Purchase Costs and Taxes in Japan

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Main Image: Small Street in Nagano via iStock 834731116

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