There are seven steps to finding foreclosed properties in Japan. You will probably need the images in order to follow this process. Just email me if you would like a copy of this 'Bit-sikkou-search-file'.
1. Go to the Bit-Sikkou website - See http://bit.sikkou.jp/
2. Select a region which interests you. I selected the Kanto region.
3. Select a prefecture within the region = I selected the Ibaraki region
4. Select a search mode. We can search by city, rail line/station or court branch. This screen shot shows the basic format, however specific details will of course vary by prefecture.
5. Narrow your search. I selected all forms of property, I selected properties between Yen 1-7million, and properties in all areas. Remember, you can use Google to translate this page, so you are not searching blind. Type the station name into Google Maps to find the location if you are unsure. i.e. www.google.com/maps or www.google.co.jp/maps (street locations & Japanese kanji).
6. Select bidding period. The continuation of the last page requires us to select the bidding period. Avoid selecting the ‘farmland’ option because these lands are assigned or restricted to farmers.
7. Foreclosed property listings. This page shows a list of the properties matching your criteria. Translate to English (right click screen, then ‘translate’). Normally, having established its house & land, I will look at the basic parameters (age, size of house, price), then go straight to the specific listing (in blue) and download the PDF to look at the house photos. The next issue is finding the location on Google Maps.