Short-term stay apartment or sharehouse in Japan

Why are there no short stay apartments (2weeks, fortnightly) in Japan where you can live by the week?

The short stay apartment business is a real estate business where people live for a certain period of time by signing a lease contract with the owner. (The sharehouse business is also included in the real estate business.) On the other hand, accommodations that allow people to stay for a minimum of one night are lodging businesses defined by a law called the 旅館業法 Ryokan gyohou or “Accommodation Business Law”. In order to operate as a ryokan, hotel, or guesthouse, you must apply for a 旅館営業許可 Ryokan eigyo kyoka or “Accommodation Business License,” and you must comply with detailed regulations such as the number of bathrooms and toilets. Therefore, the cost and time required to run am accommodation business is comparable with that of a sharehouse business.


So, in terms of systems and laws, the question is whether a sharehouse should be considered an “accommodation business” or a “real estate business.” The answer to this question is that the legal wording does not clearly state the boundary between the two, but rather relies on the opinion issued by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

According to them, 旅館業法 Ryokan gyohou or “Accommodation Business Law”. applies to stays of a few weeks or less, as the purpose of the stay is not to have a home base.
On the other hand, a stay of more than 30 days is considered as having a home base, and therefore, in principle, the 旅館業法 Ryokan gyohou or “Accommodation Business Law”. does not apply.

For this reason, most of the sharehouses on the market are real estate businesses, and require a minimum stay of one month or more. (Incidentally, this is also the reason why マンスリーマンション [Monthly Mansion] and ウィークリーマンション [Weekly Mansion] have different names, as Weekly Mansions probably have a 旅館営業許可 Ryokan eigyo kyoka or “Accommodation Business License.”

People from countries where you can stay every two weeks (fortnightly) and pay rent every two weeks (eg. Australia, England) , may wish to do the same in Japan, but for the reasons mentioned above, there are no sharehouses where you can stay on a weekly basis.
*In Australia, there is a “Rooming House” system for managing sharehouses, which sets standards for building safety, bedroom area and maximum occupancy based on the length of stay, water supply, etc.