Airbnb’s Removed Listings in Japan Complicate Visas

Due to the new Japanese law, all the Airbnb listings without permits have been removed from the site. The place we booked is also one of them. We had two groups booked with the same host on the same date at the same location. After the law passed, they contacted Airbnb and the host, and cancelled it right away so guests could find a new place.

However, when we tried to request a cancellation, they wouldn’t do it. They kept asking me to wait for the host to get the permit. Because I had to apply for a Japanese visa, I was really in a hurry to get a response. No one seemed to care at all. They said that if I wanted to cancel, because it is a long term stay, I would lose the first month’s rent. This is not my fault. Then they said that they only can cancel it ten days before the departure date if the host cannot get the permit… this is ridiculous.

So we have to wait ten days before my trip to know if we have place to stay or not? How they can treat the guests like this? We have to stay in Japan for three months. Not just a few days. This is why my friend wanted to cancel the property for the same dates as us, but we cannot do it. This is a horrible experience. I can’t believe any company would doing this to their guests Can someone give me any suggestions for this? Can I still use the Airbnb confirmation letter to apply for my visa?

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. Is this because your visa application requires you to have an address for the entire duration of your stay?

    I wouldn’t know how to deal with this to be honest. I would try to message the host again to explain the timeline you are on due to your visa application. That you understand this new law is difficult for them too but that you simply can not wait to hear yes/no 10 days before your trip since that is too short to arrange your visa. You can also say that I will cancel regardless, and that it’s better for them to keep the listing for those days online so local guests can book it, because they will lose money if you cancel (if you have to, cancel absolutely at the last minute if the host is not willing to accept your cancellation now).
    Another strategy: explain how difficult your position is to the host, the host may agree to cancel. If not, go and stay at this place (if possible, even if you might get your visa on another address) and ruin this host’s ‘game’. Complain to airbnb about mould, smell, pest infestation, anything that a ‘guest from hell’ can get away with to get a full refund for their stay, maybe even a free stay (I think I’ve read about people complaining about things halfway into their stay and get all their money back). This host is being insensitive towards your situation, so when they don’t want to be decent, ruin their business when you are forced to keep the reservation.

    • Good to read that you admit being a professional cheapskate. It’s mainly due to folks like you that this website exists……

      • No, Michael, this site exists because Airbnb doesn’t understand basic human decency. And the fact they have their dogs like you running around this site, barking incorrect facts and hate, just further proves it 🙂

  2. I disagree with Michael above. He really does not understand what you are saying. Also Airbnb does not deal in nuance. They have a playbook that only works for ‘simple’ cases. I pray to the Airbnb hell gods (how ironic( for your delivery.

  3. So because a country changes its laws you reckon you’re entitled to a full refund? Airbnb is a company NOT a charity. Get a grip.

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