Have you ever experienced the rush of Japanese public transport? Shibuya station in Tokyo handles over 2.4 million travellers each day! During peak travel times there are literally dedicated staff to help push people onto the trains to make sure the doors can close.
Imagine yourself getting out of the airport after a long flight right into the middle of Tokyo rush hour and trying to squeeze onto a train with all your luggage. Not a fun experience for you or the people around you.
One of the most amazing things about Japan travel is how the Japanese have solved the problem of travelling on public transport with luggage. What is their answer to crowded trains and travel? How do they take their bags? The answer is, they don’t. Japanese people rarely take large luggage with them on their trip, instead, they ship their bags ahead!
The Japanese have developed one of the best mail systems in the world. Shipping across the country is fast and efficient and they have expanded that service to include luggage. Shipping your luggage to and from the airport or from one hotel to the next makes travel in Japan much easier. Don’t try and lug your heavy bags around, simply ship it ahead.
How to Ship Your Gear in Japan
Shipping your luggage or ski/snowboard gear ahead is a simple process in Japan and the non-Japanese support has been improving year on year. With online booking options more readily available and simple check-in processes, language is not the barrier it once was.
Shipping Your Luggage From The Airport
The two main providers of Takyubin are Black Cat and JalABC. Both companies are located in the arrival terminals of all of Japan’s international airports. Save the hassle and book online through their booking portals. It’s simple & easy and you have peace of mind knowing that everything is set up in advance.
Black Cat: Book Online
JalABC: Book Online
Shipping your luggage From Your Hotel
When shipping from your hotel to either your next hotel or back to the airport, the easiest thing to do is have the hotel book for you. The hotel can call Black Cat or JalABC and arrange for your bags to be picked up. Hotels are often service providers and will have all the forms required for you to ship your bags.
If you are shipping back to the airport double-check how much time you need and make sure to provide the required information to the hotel (flight number, flight date, flight time and the airport and terminal).
When you ship to the airport, extra time is required for your bags to go through security (usually an additional 24hrs). Make sure you leave enough time so your bags don’t miss your flight.
Pro Tip: If you have skis or snowboards and want to travel without the big bulky bags for a couple of days, you can often arrange for the bags to be shipped ahead and they will store them without charge for a day or two. Or you can leave your bags with the hotel in the bag storage and have them schedule a pick-up a couple of days later after you have left.
Why Isn’t This Service Everywhere in The World?
Being able to ship your luggage is one of the best things about travel in Japan. Well maybe not one of the best, but definitely a nice perk. If you’re using public transport shipping your luggage is a must. Who wants to be stuck with big bulky bags, travel unencumbered while your gear is taken ahead for you by someone else. The Japanese have this one figured out for sure!