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Needing a place to stay before moving to a new home, James Degan recently went on Airbnb and found an apartment in Tokyo’s upscale Minato Ward. At ¥8,000 per night with a double bed and fully equipped kitchen, it came cheaper than staying in a hotel and was conveniently located near a station close to his workplace.

Degan, a Franco-British financial trader, said he looked at other short-term minpaku (private lodging) sites but couldn’t find any operating in Japan with the variety offered by Airbnb. He attributed that advantage to the service’s early entry into the nation.

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