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    • Spring
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Into the Mystic

        While you probably won’t encounter an elusive river sprite in the highlands of the Northern Japan Alps, you may feel a bit lightheaded from the refreshing thin air, remarkable vistas and mystical aura of the mountains and valleys in Kamikochi.
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • Summer
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
        A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Autumn
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Winter
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Shuzenji Sanctuary

        Nestled in the ...
    • Near Tokyo
      • Air it Out

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        Ark Hills Marche

        Tucked away in ...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Summer Runs, Races & Tours

        Trail running is a great way to explore the beautiful nature of a country while getting away from the usual tourist spots.

        Tokyo Escapes: Summer Camping

        Tokyo summers can be stifling—luckily it’s easy to escape the city for a cool break from the heat.
    • Near Kyoto
      • A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Cycling Awaichi

        “Awaichi” is sh...
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...

        Air it Out

        There is no bet...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • River and Lake
      • Air it Out

        There is no bet...
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...

        Minakami Mofest

        Head up to Japan's outdoor mecca of Minakami for the country's biggest outdoor adventure festival!
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        All-Season Outdoor Playgr...

        Enter the all-season world of Shinetsu Shinzekyo in Nagano and Niigata with outdoor professionals
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        The Reemergence of Arai

        Lotte Arai Resort will definitely become a hotspot for western skiers and boarders over the next few years.

        Tohoku Storm Chasing

        Just a few hours north of Tokyo by Shinkansen (bullet train) await remote mountains and the countryside of Tohoku’s Akita and Iwate prefectures.
    • Travel
      • Gravity-Defying Farming in Nishi Awa

        Discover the centuries-old secret behind what keeps southern Japan's mountains growing

        Up Market in Osaka

        There wasn’t mu...

        Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
    • Food and Drinks
      • Gravity-Defying Farming in Nishi Awa

        Discover the centuries-old secret behind what keeps southern Japan's mountains growing

        Up Market in Osaka

        There wasn’t mu...

        Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
    • Races and Events
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

Getting Started

 

Buying real estate in Japan need not be much more difficult than it would be in one’s own country. Here we’ll take you through the process step-by-step from start to finish, so you know what to expect.
 
Step 1: Get educated. For most people, a house is their single biggest investment. As with any investment, buying real estate means consulting a real estate professional or, better yet, several. Find someone with whom you are comfortable, do your homework and ask plenty of questions. Decide what things (the cost, the view, the commute) are most important to you and go for it.
Step 2: Get a licensed agent. Agents must have their licenses displayed on the wall of their offices. (Builders and construction companies are required to do so as well.) This doesn’t always guarantee mistakes won’t occur, but it does offer a better chance of protection against unscrupulous and substandard practices (particularly earthquake resistance).
 
Much of the work done by the agents will overlap that normally done by lawyers in other countries (such as contract preparation and requisitions on title). That makes choosing a competent agent doubly important.
Step 3: Once you find the property you like, make sure you understand any zoning or other restrictions that might hamper your efforts. Building height restrictions, setback restrictions and any quirky local ordinances (such as snow shedding rules) should be understood prior to building. Even the location of the telephone poles and garbage drop-off should be taken into account (particularly if either is in front of your property).
 
Step 4: Before building, development approval is needed prior to offering the contract. Once approved, the contracts can be exchanged and the deadlines set for returning the contracts and the deposit.
 
Step 5: Transfer of the deposit is handled through the seller’s side with a fixed deadline for complete settlement. Once the funds are transferred from buyer to seller, you are in the home stretch.
 
Step 6: Construction can commence. Don’t forget to agree on a timetable for progress reports. These are particularly helpful if you are out of the country during construction. For existing houses, the keys will be handed over and the new owners are free to move in.
 
One last piece of advice, “Be nice to your agent,” says Charlie Dawson of Niseko Real Estate. A good relationship with your agent can get you first crack at a prime piece of real estate or your dream house.

 

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