Kyôto was the historical capital of Japan for more than 1000 years before Tokyo took over. Located in Kansai, in the center of the main island of Honshu, its population is now around 1.5 million and the city remains the capital of the prefecture of the same name. With the development of the region, Kyôto is often included in the metropolitan area Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe. The city, and its international influence, is therefore an ideal place to invest in real estate, both for a residence and for renting.
Before investing in Japan, it is important to know that foreigners, even non-residents, can buy, sell and own land or property in Japan for life. This can of course be done in order to make a residence (principal or secondary), or to earn income through renting or other economic activities. Also there is no limit in the acquisition of real estate and these can of course be bequeathed as an inheritance.
The position of Kyôto in the metropolitan area of Osaka, in the heart of the Japanese megalopolis allows the city to be very well served, especially with the high-speed train Shinkansen. But the city is also directly connected to Kansai International Airport (KIX). In addition, its transport network, consisting of subways, buses and trams, is very dense. With several prestigious universities, multiple sites recognized as World Heritage by Unesco and a history more than millennium, Kyoto is a city with a unique atmosphere that attracts locals and foreigners. So because of its position and its important tourist industry, the city of Kyoto has a certain interest for investment in real estate with good prospects for valuation.
One of the particularity of real estate in Kyoto is, in addition to the possibility of buying apartments or recent houses like everywhere else, the significant presence of machiya. The machiya are the traditional wooden townhouses where the merchants and artisans of the former imperial capital resided. These incomparable houses can be bought at reasonable prices and then renovated.
Becoming owner of a property in Japan may seem difficult for a foreigner who does not speak the language perfectly, especially because of the use of terms specific to the field of real estate. That’s why some agencies offer services in English to help foreign clients in their efforts. They therefore take care of the sale but can also manage a holiday residence, a rental or a guesthouse in the case of an investment other than a principal residence.
Investing in real estate in Kyoto is therefore quite possible for foreigners even if they do not reside in Japan. Whether it is to make a residence (principal or vacancy) or to obtain an annuity, the steps to acquire a property are sometimes complex. That is why it is strongly recommended to contact specialized real estate agencies offering their services in English to help you overcome the obstacles that may represent language or cultural differences.