Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory Information

2020 Accommodation Tax In Japan: A Guide For Travelers

2020 Accommodation Tax In Japan: A Guide For Travelers

Translated by Sandy Lau

Written by Lin

Kyoto 2020.03.05 Bookmark

Travelers in Japan are subject to accommodation taxes in many cities. Are you familiar with the tax fee in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Fukuoka? Will different rules apply during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? What about double taxation? This article covers all you need to know about the fees to pay.

A Complete Guide To Japan's Accommodation Taxes

Fukuoka has decided on a double taxation for lodgings.”

Miyagi Prefecture in Tohoku is considering introducing taxing lodgings.”

Headlines regarding accommodation taxes in Japan have been featured frequently in recent years. Did you know travelers have to pay this tax in Japan? Do you know how it differs in each city? We’ve created a comprehensive guide on the current accommodation taxes in Japan.

Accomodation Taxes by Region in Japan

1. Tokyo: Japan's First City with an Accommodation Tax
2. Osaka: Second City to Follow Tokyo! Private Lodgings Included
3. Kyoto: An Inevitable Tax Introduction
4. Kanazawa: Simplifying the Tax's Categorization
5. Kutchan, Hokkaido: The Only Place With a Fixed Rate
6. Fukuoka: Double Taxation by Prefecture and City
7. Miyagi, Tohoku: Currently Reviewing Whether to Tax

Tokyo: Japan's First City with an Accommodation Tax

The accommodation tax in Tokyo is charged to travelers who stay in most lodging facilities. It is calculated based on the rate per night (per each person).

ONE@Tokyo

Tokyo introduced an accommodation tax in 2002. Tokyo citizens criticized the city, claiming it was a “double taxation on consumption tax.”

However, hoping to boost the appeal of Tokyo as a cosmopolitan city, guests at hotels and ryokan (Japanese inns) are charged. However, the Hotel Business Law states that “accommodations that have not received permits”—in other words, private lodgings like certain listings on Airbnb—are not subject to the tax (please confirm directly with your host).

Accommodation Rate (per person, before tax) Amount of Tax
Under 10,000 yen No tax
10,000 – 15,000 yen 100 yen
Over 15,000 yen 200 yen

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Taxation Website
The accommodation tax is separate from the consumption tax implemented by the Japanese government. How this tourist tax is collected and its rate is determined by each region’s local government.

In Tokyo, you will be charged if your accommodation cost per person for one night is over 10,000 yen. This tax only applies to hotel charges, so meals and extra expenses, like breakfast and dinner, are not included.

This fee is based on the lodging fee before tax. For example, if your fare is 9,800 yen (one person/night) but amounts to 10,780 yen with tax, you will not be required to pay an accommodation tax.

Tax Waived During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

During the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games, there will likely be a steep increase in fares for hotels and other accommodations.

To lessen the burden on travelers, Tokyo has decided to waive the accommodation taxes for a period of three months from July 1 (Wednesday) to September 30 (Wednesday), 2020.

Osaka: Second City to Follow Tokyo! Private Lodgings Included

Osaka Guesthouse Midoriya

Following Tokyo's lead, Osaka, the second largest city in Japan, introduced an accommodation tax in 2017. Private lodgings are also subject to the tax. Additionally, the fee is organized into four categories according to accommodation fare.

Accommodation Rate (per person, before tax) Amount of Tax
Under 7,000 yen No tax
7,000 – 15,000 yen 100 yen
15,000 – 20,000 yen 200 yen
Over 20,000 yen 300 yen

Source: Osaka Prefectural Government Website (Japanese)
Osaka also anticipates a surge of tourists to the city during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. As such, the Osaka Prefectural Government plans to improve tourist facilities with the revenue from accommodation taxes.

Kyoto: An Inevitable Tax Introduction

Recommended Accommodation in Kyoto

After Osaka, Kyoto was next to introduce an accommodation tax on October 1, 2018. Private lodgings are also subject to the tax.

In Kyoto, the accommodation tax is arranged into three categories. What separates Kyoto from Tokyo and Osaka is that the city does not exempt anyone from the tax. All lodgers must pay an accommodation tax of 200 yen or more. This fee is also the highest in Japan.

Accommodation Rate (per person, before tax) Amount of Tax
Under 20,000 yen 200 yen
20,000 – 50,000 yen 500 yen
50,000 yen 1,000 yen

Source: Kyoto City Official Website (Japanese)

Kanazawa: Simplyfying the Tax's Categorization

th_kanazawa_shiro_2016_0417a

Easily accessed via the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, Kanazawa is a convenient and popular destination for travelers around the world.

Kanazawa introduced an accommodation tax in April 2019 to help local residents and expand their tourist attractions. The taxable amount is divided by rates either under or over 20,000 yen per night.

Accommodation Rate (per person, before tax) Amount of Tax
Under 20,000 yen 200 yen
Over 20,000 yen 500 yen

Source: City of Kanazawa Website (Japanese)

Kutchan, Hokkaido: The Only Place With a Fixed Rate

Niseko Sightseeing Guide: Access, Area Information and Souvenirs

Picture courtesy of Hanazono Niseko Resort
Kutchan in Hokkaido is home to the renowned ski resort, Niseko near the beautiful Mt. Yotei.

Niseko Sightseeing Guide: Access, Area Information and Souvenirs

Photo by Pixta
Located in the south of Shakotan Peninsula in southwest Hokkaido, Niseko in Kutchan is accessible by car in about two hours from New Chitose Airport. This popular spot annually draws skiers from all over the world in winter.

The area is filled with magnificent nature, including Mt. Yotei, also known as Ezo Fuji, for its resemblance to Mt. Fuji. Numerous tourists are swarming this area outside of the winter season, too.

Kutchan introduced an accommodation tax on November 1, 2019 to provide accessibility to Niseko and preserve the nature of Mt. Yotei. The tax rate is a flat 2% of your accommodation fare (not including food expenses or consumption tax) for one night.

Fukuoka: Double Taxation by Prefecture and City

stand by me Saburo

Fukuoka, a famed sightseeing spot in Kyushu, will introduce an accommodation tax starting April 1, 2020. Private lodgings will also be subject to the tax.

What makes Fukuoka different from other regions is that you will be charged an accommodation tax from three local governments: Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City, and Kitakyushu City, respectively. For example, you'll be taxed twice by Fukuoka Prefecture and Fukuoka City when staying at a hotel in the prefecture and city.

Fukuoka is the first region in Japan to implement double taxation. This resulted from repeated discussions and meetings by Fukuoka City and Kitakyushu City.

3 Hotels For Sightseeing In Kyushu's Historic Mojiko Port Area

Picture courtesy of ARK BLUE Hostel
Those subject to the tax include hotels, inns, and private lodgings. Both Fukuoka and Kitakyushu City will add a city tax of 150 yen per person for one night. Prefectural tax will be 50 yen.

If your accommodation fare in Fukuoka City exceeds 20,000 yen, the city tax costs 450 yen and prefectural tax will be 50 yen. If you are staying outside of Fukuoka or Kitakyushu cities, you will pay a fee of 100 yen from the prefecture, along with a tax established by the municipalities that enforce accommodation tax. In areas that do not enforce this, you will be charged a flat 200 yen prefectural tax.

Kitakyushu City

Prefectural Tax City Tax Total
50 yen 150 yen 200 yen

Fukuoka City

Accommodation Rate (per person, before tax) Prefectural Tax City Tax Total
Under 20,000 yen 50 yen 150 yen 200 yen
Over 20,000 yen 50 yen 450 yen 500 yen

Other Cities in Fukuoka Prefecture

Prefectural Tax City Tax Total
Fukuoka Municipality 200 yen 0 (Not Collected) 200 yen
Fukuoka Municipality 100 yen Tax Collected 100 yen prefectural tax + tax rate determined by the municipality

Source: Fukuoka Prefecture Website

The current hot spring tax charged to those entering onsen facilities will change with the accommodation tax. In Fukuoka City, the hot spring tax has been 150 yen. After the accommodation tax is implemented in April, it will be reduced to 50 yen. The hot spring tax will also be 50 yen for non-hotel guests visiting a lodging with onsen facilities.

Miyagi, Tohoku: Currently Reviewing Whether to Tax

A Guesthouse Near Sendai Station! ORIT Hostel & Cafe + Bar
Accommodation Rate (per person, before tax) Total
Under 3,000 yen No tax
Over 3,000 yen 300 yen

Located in Tohoku Region, Miyagi Prefecture is considering to introduce an accommodation tax in 2021. Those staying at hotels, inns, and private lodgings in Miyagi will likely pay a flat fee of 300 yen when paying more than 3,000 yen per night.

Be Prepared to Pay Accommodation Taxes

The number of travelers visiting Japan has continuously increased in recent years. As such, several local governments have considered whether to introduce accommodation taxes.

This tax is by no means a large sum. However, it is important to know how much you are paying at your lodging and why. This is especially true for online hotel or hotel-and-flight packages that are unclear on the price per person per night.

Be prepared and informed to prevent misunderstandings before embarking on a pleasant trip to Japan!

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

Related topics