It seems that finding a cheap flight to Japan may no longer be the biggest problem for those wanting to travel to the land of anime, Jpop, and ramen. Over the past months, Airbnb has removed 80% of their home listing in Japan, making it more difficult to find an affordable place to stay during your trip.
This sudden drop in home listing is a result of a new Japanese law for “minpaku” or “private lodging services”, which will go into effect next week on June 15th. In short, Japan is trying to do away with illegal rentals, and has chosen to place additional regulations on how, when, and where these listings can operate. To support this effort, the new law requires homeowners to register their rental properties with the local government, which will conduct fire and safety checks before giving them a passing rating.
In March of this year, Airbnb had 62,000 properties for rent in Japan, but now, that number is only 13,800! This huge drop was likely due to the fact that many of the listings may have been operating illegally or semi-legally.
If you stay at an Airbnb in Japan later this month, you will probably notice some new restrictions in place. For example, homeowners will need to keep a guest registry, and in Sapporo and Kanazawa, they cannot operate minpaku on most weekdays.
So what does this mean for you? Well, finding a place to stay will become more difficult, and more expensive! But don’t worry, there are plenty of cheap places to eat in Japan (Cheap Food In Japan!), which will help you save a little bit of money!