The Truth about Buying an Akiya or Vacant House in Japan — An Interview With Matt Ketchum

Amélie Geeraert
Kokoro Media
Published in
16 min readDec 20, 2023

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A man is turning his back at the camera, walking in the middle of a deserted road in the Japanese countryside, towards the mountains. The sky is blue.

Akiya, or vacant houses in Japan, have become a hot topic on international news websites. Articles about Japan giving away countryside houses for free or for 500 US dollars have fueled the dreams of people desiring to come and live in the Japanese countryside. Reality is much more complex — although rural real estate in Japan can be very…

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Amélie Geeraert
Kokoro Media

Living in Japan since 2011. I love interviewing inspiring people.