The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), announced the Standard Land Prices on September 19th. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, land prices across all uses increased by 3.0% from last year, recording the fifth consecutive increase in land prices. Commercial land prices in Tokyo’s 23 wards increased by an average of 5.9%, after recording a 4.9% increase in 2015. Shibuya Ward was in top place with 8.6% growth (6.6% in 2016).

The survey site under the Ginza Owaricho Tower in Ginza 6 Chome saw a 21.8% increase in land prices over the past 12 months.

Nationwide, standard land prices were down 0.6% for residential land, but up 0.5% for commercial land. This is the first time in 10 years to see an increase in commercial land prices.

Kyoto’s tourism boom drives commercial land price growth

Thanks to surging tourist numbers, five of the top 10 increases in commercial standard land prices across Japan were located in Kyoto city. The highest increase across the country was for a commercial site just in front of the Fushimi Inari shrine. The standard land price in 2017 was 350,000 Yen/sqm, up 29.6% from 2016 and up 78% from 2014. It is still well below its peak of 1,300,000 Yen/sqm seen in 1990 during the bubble era.

Fushimi-Inari Station has seen a 70% increase in passenger numbers between 2013 and 2016, with as many as 4.4 million passengers using the station last year. It is about 300 meters from the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine which is famous for having thousands of red torii gates lining a long mountain path.


The Ginza shopping district took the top 3 spots in Tokyo to see the highest increase in commercial standard land prices, with prices increasing by 17 ~ 22%.

Chiyoda Ward saw the largest increase in residential land prices in the 23 wards with a 5.0% increase. In 2016, land prices increased by 10.0%. Commercial land prices saw a 6.2% increase in 2017.

Minato Ward saw an average increase in residential land prices of 3.9% in 2017, shrinking from a 4.3% increase in 2016. Commercial land prices, however, increased by 7.0%, up from a 6.4% increase in 2016.

Top increases nationwide:

[1] Kabayama, Kutchan, Hokkaido: 27,000 Yen/sqm +28.6%
[2] Torikai, Fukuoka City: 283,000 Yen/sqm +13.2%
[3] Aja, Naha City, Okinawa: 199,000 Yen/sqm +13.1%
[4] Ameku, Naka City, Okinawa: 226,000 Yen/sqm +13.0%
[5] Shiobaru, Fukuoka City: 195,000 Yen/sqm +11.4%
[6] Higashihachibancho, Sendai City: 167,000 Yen/sqm +11.3%
[7] Nishikimachi, Onojo City, Fukuoka: 161,000 Yen/sqm +11.0%
[8] Ropponmatsu, Fukuoka City: 302,000 Yen/sqm +10.6%
[9] Murasakiyama, Sendai City: 73,000 Yen/sqm +10.6%
[10] Urashibatamachi, Sendai City: 158,000 Yen/sqm +10.5%
[1] Fukakusa Inarionmaecho, Kyoto City: 350,000 Yen/sqm +29.6%
[2] Souemoncho, Osaka City: 14,200,000 Yen/sqm +29.1%
[3] Meieki 3 Chome, Nagoya City: 5,150,000 Yen/sqm +28.8%
[4] Tsubakicho, Nagoya City: 5,510,000 Yen/sqm +28.1%
[5] Shijo-Dori Gion-Machi Kitagawa, Kyoto City: 1,680,000 Yen/sqm +27.3%
[6] Shijo-Dori Tachiuri-Nakanocho, Kyoto City: 4,700,000 Yen/sqm +25.3%
[7] Senshojicho, Kyoto City: 1,050,000 Yen/sqm +24.4%
[8] Higashishiokojicho, Kyoto City: 940,000 Yen/sqm +24.0%
[9] Meieki 2 Chome, Nagoya City: 940,000 Yen/sqm +23.7%
[10] Reisenmachi, Fukuoka City: 1,270,000 Yen/sqm +23.3%


The biggest declines

Although Niseko saw the greatest increase in residential land prices, thanks to demand for holiday homes from foreign buyers, other areas in Hokkaido made 5 of the top 10 locations nationwide to see the largest decline in residential standard land prices. In top place across Japan was a site in Bibai City, located 60km north-east of Sapporo City, which saw the residential land price drop by 12.1% to 2,900 Yen/sqm in 2017, worsening from a 9.59% decline in 2016 and the 31st year in a row to see either no change or a drop in land prices.

Other areas in Hokkaido to make the top 10 decreases included Sunagawa City (-9.3%) (60km north-west of Furano), Iwamizawa City (-8.0%) (30km north-east of Sapporo), and Takekawa City (-7.7%) (55km north-west of Furano).

Five of the top 10 nationwide decreases in commercial standard land prices were also located in Hokkaido. Commercial sites in Bibai City, Uryu District, and Sunagawa City all saw declines of between 7 ~ 8%.

The most expensive land in Japan

The following is the most expensive land across Japan based on standard land prices in 2017:

[1] Rokubancho 6-1, Chiyoda, Tokyo 3,800,000 Yen/sqm (+4.7%)
[2] Sanbancho 9-4, Chiyoda, Tokyo 2,810,000 Yen/sqm (+6.0%)
[3] Kojimachi 2-10-4, Chiyoda, Tokyo 2,400,000 Yen/sqm (+4.8%)
[4] Nibancho 12-10, Chiyoda, Tokyo 2,110,000 Yen/sqm (+4.5%)
[5] Roppongi 5-13-1, Minato, Tokyo 2,040,000 Yen/sqm (+4.1%)
[6] Minami Aoyama 4-26-18, Minato, Tokyo 1,650,000 Yen/sqm (+5.1%)
[7] Nishiazabu 3-15-8, Minato, Tokyo 1,610,000 Yen/sqm (+3.9%)
[8] Minami Aoyama 7-13-5, Minato, Tokyo 1,420,000 Yen/sqm (+3.6%)
[9] Jingumae 3-16-6, Shibuya, Tokyo 1,340,000 Yen/sqm (+5.5%)
[10] Higashi Azabu 3-4-9, Minato, Tokyo 1,320,000 Yen/sqm (+4.8%)
[1] Ginza 2-6-7, Chuo, Tokyo 38,900,000 Yen/sqm (+17.9%)
[2] Ginza 6-8-3, Chuo, Tokyo 27,400,000 Yen/sqm (+21.8%)
[3] Marunouchi 3-3-1, Chiyoda, Tokyo 25,500,000 Yen/sqm (+3.7%)
[4] Otemachi 1-8-1, Chiyoda, Tokyo 24,300,000 Yen/sqm (+3.8%)
[5] Kita Aoyama 3-5-30, Minato, Tokyo 24,200,000 Yen/sqm (+10.0%)


About Standard Land Prices:

In contrast to the Standard Land Prices, the government assessed land values (chika-koji) measured on January 1 each year showed a nationwide increase for the second year in a row, while residential land values increased for the first time in 9 years.

The reason for the two sets of data is due to the different set of survey sites used. Chika-koji land values cover just 1,627 survey sites nationwide with a focus on urban areas in town planning zones, while the Standard Land Prices cover 21,675 survey sites of all types and varieties across Japan, including 3,500 sites located outside of town planning zones with little-to-no development potential and limited opportunities for price increases.

Standard Land Prices tend to follow chika-koji prices, although with less volatility. During the bubble economy, chika-koji prices increased by more than 20% at one point, while the Standard Land Prices increased by around 10%. During the most recent mini-bubble in 2007 and 2008, chika-koji prices were in the positive territory, while kijun-chika prices remained negative.

The Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, September 19, 2017.
The Sankei Shimbun, September 20, 2017.