Garden Maintenance Responsibilities in Japan for Renters

It is important to start this conversation with the caveat that the contents of YOUR housing contract may be significantly different than the broad generalities outlined in this article. As with anything, read your contract to find out for sure what YOUR rights and responsibilities are as a renter!

If you are lucky enough to rent a property in Japan with a garden, the lessee (tenant) is usually contractually responsible for the maintenance of that garden; including weeding, which is particularly obvious if not done, resulting in a call from the landlord! Ideally garden weeding should be performed 3 times a year, during the following periods:


In summer, the weeds grow fast due to the rains of the rainy season followed by the start of summer’s sunny days. If you weed during these months, it will prevent weeds from overtaking your garden.

September – October

In fall plants, including weeds, growth rate decreases, especially after September as the temperature drops. In their dormant phase, plants lack power during these months, and weeding will have a bigger impact than at other times of the year. Weeding during this period will make the job easier throughout the year!

November – December

With the start of winter’s chill, plants and weeds die gradually in the increasing cold. If you weed during these months, you can maintain the garden scenery easily until spring.

If you weed during these months, it will save you from weeding many times through the year and keep the landlord happy!

Trimming Trees

One exception to the lessee’s (tenant) responsibility for the garden outlined above is the trimming of trees. Most housing contracts make that the lessor’s (owner’s) responsibility. It is important to note that cutting the trees without the lessor’s expressed approval would be…bad. You should confirm the housing contract to confirm …continue reading