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How We Bought Our Abandoned House in Japan | Process, Costs, Risks, Finance, How to Find One

In this video I go into more (or too much?) detail about how we found and purchased our akiya/abandoned house in Japan. It’s a traditional Japanese house style – a “minka” or “kominka”.

In spite of there being a large number of vacant houses (akiya) in Japan, very few are on sale, so finding a suitable one can be difficult. Even if you find one you like it is not without its risks. Furthermore, though the house itself may be cheap, there are hidden costs like taxes. Renovation costs can quickly escalate, so it’s not necessarily the cheapest alternative to finding an affordable place to live. But if you’re after a certain combination of larger land size, lifestyle, country living, DIY/renovation, and yes, something perhaps cheaper than a new house, then it could be a viable option.

Values indicated in Yen/US dollars.

The video’s rather long, and there’s a lot of talking, so if you want go to certain sections here are the markers:

What is an akiya? 1:58
Why buy an akiya? 5:00
Buying an akiya 7:42
Risks 12:37
Hidden costs (taxes) 14:43
Renovation 19:05
Financing an akiya 23:40
Conclusion 27:45


In between videos I’m posting to my Instagram:


Akiya sites
Akiya banks throughout Japan:
Marketplace for akiya:
Akiya listings:
Site with a lot of kominka:
There are quite a few regional sites, for example this one in Kyushu with some nice, cheap houses:
This company buys, renovates, and sells properties including ex-akiya:


Public Auction (公売)
To find local tax offices holding public auctions google “prefecture name” 公売 e,g. 茨城県 公売
Yahoo Auctions:

Some regional sites (I’ll keep adding to this list):



Guide to Japanese Real Estate Taxes

6 things to know about inheritance without a will in Japan

General info on akiya

Websites used in video

Stock video credits
Video by Nithin Pa from Pexels
TV static:

#akiya #abandonedhouse #japanproperty