Airbnb Removes 80% of Listings in Japan Airbnb Removes 80% of Listings in Japan

Airbnb Removes 80% of Listings in Japan

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A few days ago, 80% of Airbnb listings in Japan disappeared. The total number of properties available plummeted from over 62,000 to 13,800. According to the Japan Times, the move comes in response to a new law in Japan as of June 15, 2018.


New Regulations

The new law requires all property owners to register their Airbnb listings with the local authority, so they can be inspected for fire and safety regulations. Airbnb has requested that homeowners submit proof that they are compliant with the law before they will reinstate their rooms on the site.

As part of a local and national crackdown on house and room sharing, which is called minpaku, local authorities have implemented various differing regulations across the country. Osaka has minimal restrictions, while in Kyoto the person running the apartment must reside within half a mile of the building. On the other hand, the Bikan canal district of Kurashiki has a complete ban in place.

Our Take

The key point to take away from this development is when planning your travels, it is essential that you have backup plans for accommodation, in case there is any unforeseen development. This is especially important when dealing with newer ventures like room and home sharing which are still subject to dramatic regulatory changes overnight.

While much more of a freak accident and to a significantly lesser extent, if you had an upcoming stay at the Mandarin Oriental in London, you might be very disappointed after it suffered a huge fire on June 6, 2018. Backup plans are a must.

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  • Steven Yuen says:

    This is rough – Japan can be an expensive city and having AirBnB as an option would have been great as an alternative.

  • I dont regularly use Airbnb, but this seems just like what countries do to Uber, too. People will just continue to rent their places through other sites like Facebook (albeit without the security of Airbnb) without having to pay extra fees.

  • Crackdowns on Airbnb is happening everywhere. It is bound to happen when the Web 2.0 firms all try to be the next Amazon and investors as well as property owners try to maximize yields on their real estate holdings and investment properties in the most aggressive manner imaginable.

  • I think having someone comply to fire and safety regulations is a must. Living within half a mile does sound excessive. So what if I live half a mile away? I might work 20 miles away…

  • well the Japanese hotels and service are exceptional so If you can’t utilize air BnB staying at a Japanese hotel in not such a bitter pill to swallow

  • Japan, especially Tokyo, has very expensive lodging. These new regulations for AirBnb are terrible, because now prices tend to rise even more. This is too bad for free competition.

  • While I understand the theory behind having a plan B while traveling, the reality is that it is very difficult to have a plan B when even having a proper plan A is not easy.
    Hopefully stuff like this will not happen again, or at least often again.

  • I had a great time staying at several different Airbnbs while traveling Japan a couple of years ago! Too bad!

  • Interesting development. Will make me consider safety more often with any Airbnb rental and contingency plans.

  • Wild; makes one wonder what the actual percentages are of property owners simply not wanting to bother with the registration process, versus those that bailed because they know that their rentals would not pass safety and/or other code inspections. I tend to be anything but alarmist, still, the huge number of opt-outs are kind of scary in that respect.

  • Strange, because Airbnb don’t usually mind posting listings for rentals that are deemed illegal by local government. (or make it shockingly easy to get around the restrictions)

  • Interesting rule: person running the apartment must reside within half a mile of the building. I liked back in the day when most airbnb’s I stayed at were locals homes while they were away.

  • Airbnb has moved a long way from the original concept and is now a big business. The days of travelers getting a cheap room and homeowner getting an easy bit of cash for letting someone stay will soon be gone, if they are not already.

  • I assume enough people have been hurt at substandard accommodations over time that they thought it was necessary.

  • Maria Di Pace says:

    It´s really dissapointing, because AIRBNB is a great way for visiting places at affordable prices.

  • This is too bad but not surprising. I had looked forward to using AirBnB to explore many locations in Asia, including Japan. These regulations will likely make accommodations much more expensive. Any time a government can get in on a lucrative business, they will. Though, many times, the regulations can be necessary for safety.

  • Usually I have backup plans also when I go to less regulated market where an hotel can sell my room if someone offer more of what I have paid.
    Airbnb is no exception, problems in the apartment, problems for the owner, etc.