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REINS is the MLS Service for Japan

Visitors to Find Hokkaido Agents come to learn more about how to buy Hokkaido property or about renting an apartment in Hokkaido. As part of that process, our visitors often ask:

How can I view available properties online here in Hokkaido? Does Hokkaido have a multiple listing service that shows available properties online?

Viewing Japanese Property Online

While there are online property listing websites in Japan that will show you some of the available property in an area, there are some problems with that approach (for example, “bait advertisements,” and problems with agents attempting to establish “dual agency”).

It is generally true, and especially true that foreigners that want to look at property in Japan should talk to an agent first. That agent can not only forward properties to see online, but can prescreen those properties, and advise about a given opportunity versus other property that might be better suited for the client’s needs.

Licensed Real Estate Agents in Japan Can Give You Access to REINS

A good agent can show you more property than the for-profit websites, particularly as agents have access to REINS. Your agent can conduct a search for you on REINS, and then give you access to view property (for sale and for rent in Hokkaido).

REINS listings are not generally available to the public. While the MLS in the US can sometimes be accessed directly by buyers, in Japan, you need a licensed broker/agent to perform a real estate search for you in REINS.

REINS is the Most Comprehensive Property Listing Service in Japan

One tool that is only available to licensed agents in Japan is REINS, the multiple listing service in Japan – which is the most comprehensive database of for-sale properties in Japan.

Many countries have a real estate listing service – and sometimes those listings are available to the public online. In the US, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is an example of a database of real estate for sale (or previously sold). The equivalent of the MLS in Japan is called the Real Estate Information Network System – or REINS.

The real estate agent which received the request not only searches for a buyer using their own network, but also posts the client’s real estate information on the information exchange site only for real estate agents called REINS (Real Estate Information Network Systems), and the portal sites that carry real estate transaction information, to solicit buyers from throughout Japan.
— From our review of the book Real Estate Transactions in Japan

The Website Address and URL for REINS in Japan

The Japanese Real Estate Information Network Systems (REINS) was developed in 1990 by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) under the Real Estate Brokerage Act. The URL for REINS in Japan is https://system.reins.jp/

REINS is an extensive, searchable database for property in Japan, run by the Japanese government. Typically, properties for sale are added to REINS by realtors, and are then accessible by other realtors and real estate brokers. All information is provided in Japanese only. REINS is divided into regions to make searches more specific. In 2018, the MLIT began working to include data about purchase prices in the REINS database. REINS is not as user-friendly as the US-based MLS, and it doesn’t necessarily contain as much data, but it is otherwise similar in many ways.

Looking At Property in Japan as a Foreigner

To buy real estate in Hokkaido, the typical process is: You find a real estate agent in Hokkaido that speaks English, work with that real estate agent to discuss your needs, they help you review properties (often using information in REINS), your agent helps you to see properties in person, and you continue the transaction from there.

Unlisted Property for Sale in Japan

While most property for sale in Hokkaido is shown in the REINS database, some are not – so there is certainly property for sale in Hokkaido that is not listed in the REINS listing service.

There are private sales of real estate in Hokkaido – property that is sold via introductions, that are not included on REINS. Sometimes the owner of the property might arrange for a sale directly with a buyer, without being represented by a licensed agent that could provide access to REINS. Other times, the property has been for sale for a long time, and is taken off of REINS (for a variety of reasons) but is still for sale.

In many cases, having a local agent with a strong network of contacts will mean a buyer can find some properties not listed publicly at all. Local connections can make a difference.

Talk to a Real Estate Agent with No Obligation

Buyers can gain access to information in REINS as they begin working with a local Japanese real estate agent. No contract is required to have an agent help a buyer view available properties for sale in REINS. Thought all information on REINS is in Japanese, some agents may provide translations.

We do not offer our clients access to REINS, but we can quickly and easily connect you with a real estate agent than can help you gain access to REINS, as well as to see properties in person in Hokkaido.

We work for you, not the real estate companies.

We provide person-to-person introductions to prescreened agents that help you sell, buy, lease, or rent property in Hokkaido. We search our custom database to connect you to real estate professionals that speak your language, address your needs and are available now to help you find what you want.

Local. Trusted. 100% free to you.

To Get Started

  1. Contact Us or Call NOW:


  • (+81) 50 5806-5302
  • (+1) 833-893-0711

For More Information:

— Our collection of articles on real estate in Sapporo
— Some details on buying a house in Niseko and more
— Research on property in Otaru
— More general articles about Hokkaido real estate
— Some particulars on real estate taxes in Japan

We are a Japanese company, located in Sapporo, Japan (Hokkaido) serving clients from all over the world.

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