As you may have already heard, guest house business is booming in Kyoto.

The penetration of vacation rental web services such as airbnb or homeaway contributes this uptrend.

When I was working for a local real estate company in Kyoto, I received many inquiries from overseas customers regarding the guest house business such as….”how to obtain guest house license in Kyoto” or “what exactly is the hotel business law like?”.

It is very difficult for overseas customers to understand the local laws or regulations considering the fact that even local Japanese people don’t understand what MINPAKU (Japanese term for guest house business by using his or her own residence) means.

Recently Kyoto city created a special webpage that is explaining laws or regulations, hotel license application process, inquiry counter etc. It is very useful and helpful, but unfortunately…..written only in Japanese!!!

The actual application process of the license should be done by local professionals such as administrative scrivener or architect but it is better for you to understand the general information before purchasing the house because sometimes even the sales person of real estate company doesn’t understand the exact information.

So, I would like to explain and comment on the current laws or regulation on the following blog posts so that the foreign customers can have an idea of how to start guest house business in Kyoto and can avoid illegal operation that is recently strictly punished in Kyoto.