How To Buy

A guide to take you through the process of purchasing a property in Kyoto.

The distinctive custom of real estate transaction in Japan is significantly different from ones in other countries. In addition, Kyo-Machiya townhouses are special type of properties with complex laws and regulations. Therefore, we ask our foreign customers to understand the procedures, costs and risks before purchasing a Kyo-Machiya in Japan.

Purchase without visiting Kyoto

Under the travel restrictions entering Japan due to Covid-19, we now offer new solutions to customers who wish to purchase from us even without visiting the properties.

Instead of visiting the properties in person, we can tour you through the properties with video call (Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype etc.) to check the current conditions of the house. You can also ask someone you know in Japan to be your attorney and have on-site viewings on your behalf. Once you have decided to purchase, we will ask you to fill out the LOI (Letter Of Intent to purchase) first and there are 2 ways to close the deal without your presence in Kyoto.


If there are anyone who can be your attorney in Japan, he/she can visit the property, receive the explanation of contract and important matter of the property and sign on them on your behalf. We can also give you the same explanation in English in advance if you wish. You can also ask your lawyer to translate all the documents in English if you feel more comfortable. We can also introduce judicial scrivener or lawyer to be your attorney.


Escrow Agent Japan is an entity that holds property in trust for third parties while a transaction is finalized or a disagreement is resolved. Escrow Agent Japan can receive the explanation of important matter on your behalf but since they are unable to sign on the original contract, we would recommend a online contract instead. However, the escrow agent offers remittance of earnest money service with a charge of 22,000JPY (tax incl.) for those who do not have a bank account in Japan.

*For those who purchased without visiting the property, please note that Hachise will not be held responsible to compensate for damages even if there is a discrepancy between the property and its location or the surrounding environment.

If you find a property that you are interested in, please contact us via the contact form for property viewing or questions. Please inform us in advance of the property viewing as early as possible.

Please note that we do not provide compensation for any costs during the buying process (including airfare). This policy will stand, even in the rare case an offer is made on the property you are interested in while you are heading to Kyoto for the property viewing.

2. Property Viewing

Please come to our office at the appointed time. We will take you to the properties that you requested in advance.

During the viewing process, we highly encourage you to carefully look into the conditions of the properties, such as any signs of damage, roof leaks, leaning or tilts, and crossing of property boundaries. Conditions and situations of Kyo-machiya townhouses vary from property to property, as some of them are used antique houses that are more than 80 years old. We kindly ask buyers to accept them in their current conditions “as is”.

In case of Kyo-Machiya townhouses there are also many peculiar considerations. We would appreciate it if you could read the instructions in advance and learn what these conditions are.

NOTE: Properties for which an offer has already been made are shown as “Under Offer” on the property web page. We are unable to show properties for which negotiations are underway, or for which a contract has already been established.

3. Purchase Application

Once you have decided to purchase a property after viewing, the next step is to submit a “Letter of Intent (LOI)”. LOI is a non-binding letter that expresses your interest in purchasing, which also lays out the terms and conditions including your expected property price, payment procedure, etc. LOI can be submitted to us by hand , airmail, E-mail or FAX.

Note that the seller will reserve the right to decline the LOI or break off the negotiation if an agreement cannot be reached regarding any of the conditions proposed by either party. Once agreed, contract preparations will begin.

4. Contract Conclusion

Necessary Items: Passport (for I.D.)

When both parties reached an agreement to make a contract, we will prepare all the contract documents (written in Japanese only) and send them to you so that you can review the contract conditions in advance.

For contract conclusion, please come to our office in Kyoto to sign the sale and purchase contract. We or the designated broker will explain the terms and conditions of the contract in Japanese prior to the signing (This procedure is in accordance to limitation of Building Lots and Buildings Transaction Business Act). Please make sure to have the earnest money ready, and we will also ask you to pay stamp duty plus the first half of the agent commission during this meeting. Learn about all costs and taxes.

Governing Language

All documents related to the contract will be prepared in Japanese only, but our English speaking staff will be able to provide verbal translation if needed. If you need explanation in your mother tongue, please hire a translator to have the contract document translated (or provide you with a translated abstract) and/or reviewed on your behalf. We would recommend you to hire a solicitor/attorney as your translator/reviewer as they have expert knowledge in real estate transaction laws.

Earnest Money Deposit

Upon making a sale and purchase contract, we request all clients to make an earnest money deposit which is 10% of the purchase price. This deposit is a portion of the overall payment for the property, and will also act as a guarantee deposit for penalty that may be incurred.

The payment should be made in Japanese YEN via cash at the time you sign contract OR via bank transfer by the morning of the contract-signing date. Please be advised that overseas transaction can take several days to be processed; we strongly encourage any payment be made well in advance to avoid any last minute complications. Bank transfer fees will be the responsibility of the buyer.

5. Closing

Necessary Items:
- Passport
- (Title: Individual) Affidavit for Proof of residence, or equivalent certificate
- (Title: Company) Certified copy of corporate registration, or equivalent certificate

When closing, we request payment of remaining balance. The payment must be made in lump-sum via cash at our office or bank transfer in Japanese YEN by the morning of the closing date. At this time, we also ask the second half of agent commission be paid, as well as the settlement money for Fixed Asset Tax. Learn about all costs and taxes.

To close the transaction, please come to our office for closing meeting. If you cannot come in person on the closing date, you may need to prepare more documents in advance (please consult with our staff).

At the meeting, we will begin by confirming your payment and issuing a receipt followed by going through all the documents on property title transfer and handling over of keys. Your real estate solicitor or attorney needs to be presented during the closing meeting, as well as to register the title transfer at the Legal Affairs Bureau immediately after this meeting.


In Japan, solicitor/attorneys handle legal process regarding real estate transactions, such as certificate preparation and title transfer. We can introduce solicitors/attorneys who conduct business in English. Other solicitors and attorney welcome but he/she must be a Japanese native and possess the necessary skills and knowledge in real estate transaction with foreign clients.

Three essential and two optional procedures can be entrusted to them:

1. Assisting preparation of certificates
2. Witnessing the closing meeting (not required for contract meeting)
3. Registration of title transfer at Legal Affairs Bureau
4. (Optional) Translation and/or reviewing of contract documents
5. (Optional) Tax administration

6. After Purchase

Necessary Items for Utilities Payment:
- Credit Card (VISA, Master, JCB or Diners Club)

Immediately after key handover, we will help you go through the necessary procedures regarding utilities. In Kyoto, all utilities bill can be paid via credit card. If you have a Japanese bank account, you may choose to pay by electronic withdrawal. Learn about the customs of living in Kyoto.

Home Insurance

Home insurance protects you against loss or damage to personal property, which includes fire insurance, earthquake insurance and so on. We can introduce you to insurance company who provides home insurance for you. For an insurance quote in advance, please ask our staff for details.

After Purchase Services

Whether it's a primary residence, vacation house, or investment property, for every renovated Kyo-Machiya purchased at Hachise, we provide comprehensive support and services to match your needs.

Selling your Property

There is no need to worry about selling your property after purchasing. Leave your property to us as our staffs are experienced in Kyo-machiyas and the real estate market in Kyoto.

Cost and Taxes

See the complete list of costs and taxes during and after your purchase.

Machiya Considerations

There are many laws and regulations regarding Machiyas that you should be aware of.


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