Please legalize airbnb in Japan!!!
Hi, my name is tomo and I'm an airbnb host in Japan.
I have been a host for almost 2 years now and being a host helped me on many levels. For instance, it payed the hospital bills for my father who had a stroke a year before I started hosting. Not to mention, I was fortunate to make new friends that evolved from just a guest-host relationship to something more beautiful.
Currently in Japan, being an airbnb host is considered illegal due to a hotel and inn law that was set up about 70 years ago. Long before the days of the internet. Although there are mixed views on this topic, technically 99% of the hosts are hosting illegally. But in order to get a proper license to host, you need to either make a front desk and run it like a guest house or have your guests to stay longer than 6 nights (guests can not stay for shorter days). Along with many many requirements that most of the homes can not follow.
*Some people wanted to know more about this illegal part so as a side note. Currently in Japan, if you are getting paid for allowing a guest/guests to stay repetitively, you are considered to be running an hotel or an Inn business. To be running a hotel or an Inn, you need to abide by strict fire hazard rules and must be in accordance with the health and sanitation standard set by the department of health and sanitation. Now it all sounds fair, but the problem is that most of the homes that these home sharing hosts have do not meet those standards. It would require massive fixing up to do to change but in some cases, the construction law, management companies would not allow you to modify the house to meet these standards. Big dillema.
Good thing is that the government are about to change the law, but it seems like it will be heavily restricted. So restricted that most of the hosts in Japan will need to stop hosting or guests will be staying at a illegal homes that can be evicted anyday. Which could mean you will not be able to stay at your booked reservation just one day before your departure... And that is scary.
Now in the near future, I will have an opportunity to meet some government officials to discuss the hosts side of the story, but I want all of you airbnb guests to say something about this as well.
Please sign this petition if you would like to use airbnb in japan and experience living like the locals.