Japanese Real Estate Terms

Your Japan Properties
Your Japan Properties
Published on July 2, 2018

Japanese Real Estate Terms. Why does is it matter?

When starting a property search, the first thing to do is to contact a real estate agency, and they come up with various property options. At the same time, it is better to check available house rent/buy databases by yourself. Because you never know when a good opportunity can come up and it is better to keep an eye on it. There are many databases with property listings, but most of them still have only Japanese property search and description. Of course, few websites have property listings translated into English or other languages. However, you do not want to narrow down the search to only those properties. Most of the time, best options are those who are sold by homeowners who tend to deal with local real estate agencies. Because they have so many advantages, it is evident that these houses will be sold fast, so there is no need for translation to aim for a bigger market. If you want to target for more apartments and houses and be able to identify the essential information from property listing, please read this article about Japanese real estate terms.


Japanese Real Estate Terms Dictionary.

There are hundreds of Japanese real estate terms and definitions in real estate. Of course, we can not explain all of them, but we will try our best to clarify the essential terms. If you have any other words related to real estate that you need to translate and understand, feel free to send them to us at any time. You can send them to this page.

Japanese Real Estate Terms for Property Type 

    • 売買 – ばいばい – it is pronounced the same as ByeBye 🙂 – Buying and selling
    • 賃貸 – ちんたい – Chintai – Leasing
    • 新築 – しんちく – Shinchiku – New building
    • 中古 – ちゅうこ – Chuko – Pre-owned building
    • 坪 – つぼ – Tsubo – is a Japanese system of measurement, one tsubo is equal to approximately 3.306 sqm
    • マンション – Mansion – Condominium
    • 一軒家・一戸建 – いっけんや・いっこだて – Ikkenya・Ikkodate – Detached house
    • アパート – Apato –  is a flat usually up to two floors; a rental flat.
    • 和室 – わしつ – Washitsu – Japanese-style room with tatami mat
    • 洋室 – ようしつ – Yoshitsu – Western-style room

Japanese Real Estate Terms for Primary Fees 

    • 敷金 – しききん – Shikikin – Security deposit – the money you give to the landlord as the commencement for a rental period. For example, in a situation when you are required to pay for any damage that you cause intentionally or accidentally the repair cost will be deducted from Shikikin. Tokyo Metropolitan Government published the Depreciation Guidance that describes the rate of depreciation for different building materials. It gives guidance on how quick items can depreciate depending on the age of the material, and how much tenant is required to pay for the damage. For example, if a tenant moves out after a couple of years and he damaged wallpaper, he will be asked to pay a portion of the wallpaper cost. Also, if the value of damage is less than Shikikin amount, then the tenant has a chance to get part of the Shikikin back.
    • 礼金・権利金 – れいきん・けんりきん – Reikin・Kenrikin – Starting from the 80s, shikikin and reikin are losing their influence. Currently, there are a lot of properties which do not require any key money or security deposit. It is becoming a dying custom. Reikin is one of the Japanese real estate terms and considered to be “key money,” which you give your landlord as a “thank you” for letting you rent his house/apartment.

Japanese Real Estate Terms for Leasehold land

The following fees are related to the land and property owners. For example, if you are an owner of a unit in a condominium, then you will be included in the “body corporate.” The participants of this group make all crucial decisions. In addition to this, you are required to pay the following fees on a monthly basis. They are used to pay for cleaning and maintenance work of the common space. The salary of ”管理人” – local property manager will also be deducted from these fees.

    • 修繕積立金 – しゅうぜんつみたてきん – Shuzentsumitatekin – Reserve fund – Comes hand in hand with the fees below
    • 管理費 – かんりひ– Kanrihi – Administrative expenses – also paid monthly
    • 維持費 – いじひ  – Ijihi – Maintenance fee – Should be included in the administrative expenses

Land Related Japanese Real Estate Terms

    • 建物構造 – たてものこうぞう – Tatemonokouzo – Building structure
    • 木造 – もくぞう – Mokuzo – Wooden construction
    • 区域外 – くいきがい – Kuikigai – Outside of specific area/district
    • 用途地域 – ようとちいき – Youtochiiki – Urban area
    • 地勢 – ちせい – Chisei – Characteristic of the land. For example, plant land or on the slope, soil land, bare land. 

Another type of ownership is a landownership. You can choose either buy or rent land. In the case of leasing, there are some restrictions and additional fees.

    • 所有権 – しょゆうけん – Shoyuken – Freehold title – A type of land ownership. Freehold ownership gives you full rights to the land, and you are free to build or lease it to other people.
    • 借地権 – しゃくちけん – Shakuchiken – Leasehold title – Permits you to use the land in respect of the owner’s rules.
    • 借地期間 – しゃくちきかん – Shakuchikikan – Lease period
    • 都市計画 – としけいかく – Toshikeikaku – Zoning, which helps you to understand what kind of building is allowed to build on this land.
    • 更新料 – こうしんりょ – Koushinryo – A fee that you need to pay to extend the remaining land lease. For example, you have a land lease for 20 years, and you decided to sell it to another person after 15 years. To make the offer more appealing to a client, you can pay the Koushinryo and extend the lease for more years.
    • 建替承諾料 – たてかえしょうだくりょ – Tatekaeshoudakuryo – This a fee that you pay to the landlord if you want to rebuild a house. Because it is not possible without getting his permission first. However, this problem does not occur if you have a freehold title.
    • 名義変更料 – めいぎこうしんりょ – Meigikoushinryo – In case, if you want to transfer the leasehold title to someone else then you need to pay this fee.

We hope this information about Japanese real estate terms will be helpful for people who consider buying a house in Japan. If you need any additional information related to Japanese real estate terms, you can contact us at any time. We will be happy to assist you with the property purchase process.


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