Japan's Minpaku Law

What Travellers Need to Know

In recent years, the rise of private lodging services like Airbnb has transformed the way travellers experience destinations worldwide, Japan included. To address the surge in short-term private rentals, the Japanese government introduced the "Minpaku" law in June 2018. This legislation regulates the provision of short-term stays in private residences, aiming to balance the booming tourism sector with residential comfort and safety. Here's a comprehensive guide to understanding the Minpaku law and its implications for travellers planning a visit to Japan.

Understanding the Minpaku Law

"Minpaku" is a Japanese term that refers to the renting out of private homes or rooms to tourists on a short-term basis. The Minpaku law was enacted to ensure that these private lodgings meet specific standards of safety, hygiene, and respect for local communities. Under this law, property owners wishing to offer Minpaku accommodations must register with the local government and adhere to regulations, including but not limited to:

  • A maximum of 180 rental days per year for each property.
  • Compliance with local government regulations, which may impose additional restrictions.
  • Ensuring the presence of safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and emergency exit guides.
  • Providing guests with information on local laws and customs to prevent nuisances in neighbourhoods.

Implications for Travellers

Wider Choices with Peace of Mind

The Minpaku law has legitimised and expanded the range of accommodation options available to travellers, from traditional Japanese homes (machiyas) to modern apartments. Properties listed under the Minpaku system are verified for safety and legal compliance, offering peace of mind to travellers.

Understanding Local Restrictions

Travellers should be aware that local restrictions may vary across different municipalities. For instance, some areas may have stricter rules on noise levels or curfews to minimize the impact on local residents. It's advisable to familiarise yourself with these regulations to ensure a harmonious stay.

Booking Through Recognised Platforms

To comply with the Minpaku law, it's recommended that travellers book accommodations through recognised platforms that verify the legal registration of their listings. This not only supports responsible tourism but also safeguards against potential legal issues or scams.

Tips for a Smooth Minpaku Experience

Check the Property's Registration

When booking a Minpaku property, look for the registration number in the listing to confirm that it's legally compliant. Reputable platforms usually display this information clearly.

Respect Local Customs

Embrace the opportunity to experience Japanese culture firsthand by respecting local customs and community rules. This includes maintaining cleanliness, observing quiet hours, and properly sorting waste, which is particularly important in Japan.

Communicate with Your Host

Effective communication with your host can enhance your stay. Many hosts are willing to provide local tips and assistance, from navigating public transport to recommending hidden gems in the neighbourhood.

Review the House Rules

Before confirming your booking, carefully review the house rules provided by the host. Understanding these rules in advance can prevent misunderstandings and ensure a pleasant stay for both guests and hosts.


Japan's Minpaku law represents a proactive approach to integrating the growing trend of private lodging with the needs of local communities and the safety of travellers. By staying informed about these regulations and choosing compliant accommodations, travellers can enjoy a diverse range of lodging experiences while contributing to responsible and sustainable tourism in Japan. Whether you're seeking the comfort of a home away from home or the authenticity of living like a local, Japan's Minpaku accommodations offer a unique window into the country's rich culture and daily life.