Want to Get Cheap Accommodation in Japan? Stay in a Haunted 'Jikkon Bukken', Of Course

How to Get (Spookily) Cheap Accommodation in Japan? Stay in One of Its Haunted Houses, Of Course

Would you stay in a haunted property to save on accommodation costs?

Image Credits: Shinichi Sugiyama

The Japanese believe that ghosts do exist, lingering in places where they died (especially if it was a suicide or murder). This has led to the rise of stigmatized properties called jikko bukken, as the locals call it. They are understandably very hard to sell off, which explains its incredibly low prices.

Jikko Bukken: What Exactly Is It?

Jikko bukken by law has other specific definitions. Other than the above, they could be properties on former spiritual sites, graveyards or crematoriums. They could also have been located near criminal gang activities or garbage disposal facilities, or previously burnt down or flooded. 

As a general courtesy, housing agents do inform their clients if a death or tragedy has happened within the last ten years.  The specific room or place of death within the property is usually renovated and estate agents only have to inform you about a prior death if you are the first person to stay there after the incident. 

Renting such a property in Japan requires the usual paperwork such as a visa, deposit, credit checks and guarantors but they may be speeded up when you get such a property. In fact, such properties are becoming increasingly popular and can actually remains relatively costly within Tokyo’s city. A ‘stigmatized’ apartment in Shinjuku rents for only slightly cheaper than the rest of the flats in the building. 

These Stigmatized Homes Are Surprisingly Popular

Other than approaching a real estate agent, you can also start your own search online. UR Housing provide listings clearly and SUUMO (Real estate company) even went so far as to create a campaign in 2013 which marketed to single people to live with ghosts for some companionship. One of the most popular sites is Oshimaland which shows you on the map where such properties are. 

As housing is relatively expensive in Japan’s cities, these houses are snapped up fast and in demand by low-income households. Affordable housing remains a challenge in major Japanese cities; according to Mansion Market Lab, you can enjoy lower rates of up to 20 percent on stigmatized houses.

Fancy a stay? Important factors to consider

Other than whether there are spiritual entities living under the same roof, you do want to consider other important factors which will affect your stay. Check for pest or odor problems, and if there are any damages to the room due to suicide or fire. For example, an infamous apartment in Zama, Kanagawa had an odd smell due to the nine bodies being kept there by the murderer. Another story also includes the use of a washing machine to clean the body parts of a murdered woman. (Pretty morbid stuff, we know). 

Image credit: Ian Muttoo

Also Read: Real Life Creepy Encounters While Travelling

At the end of the day though, not all the backstories behind these stigmatized properties are gruesome; in fact, some of these places are refreshingly affordable options popular among many Japanese youths.

Would you stay in a jikko bukken


Also Read: 8 Useful Tips To Enjoy Amazing Savings On Your Accommodation in Japan

About Author

Alicia Chong
Alicia Chong

Besides dreaming of far-fetched locations, Alicia enjoys training herself and others on ice in figure skating.