Baggage Transfer

Yamato Logo

Yamato Logo

In Japanese it is called “宅急便”, or “takkyubin”. The literal translation of the three Japanese characters are “home”, “quick” and “mail”. There are many companies in Japan that provide this service, but Yamato (also known as “kuroneko” or black cat) is the original and the largest. You can think of these companies as the Japanese counterpart of Federal Express. However, for the price of what Federal Express will charge to ship a letter overnight, the takkyubin companies will charge to ship suitcases overnight.

Takkyubin is a door-to-door service for shipping packages all over Japan. They will pick up the package at your home, condo, apartment or place of business if you call them. Or, you can even take a package to any convenience store in Japan, and they will send it for you. Or, as in the case of our tours, all hotels and ryokans will also send either “omiyage” (souvenir) packages, golf clubs, skis, backpacks and suitcases for you allowing you to travel lighter. The only negative of the service is that it only works overnight (and two nights in some cases), which means that you will travel with an overnight bag.

Baggage Transfer Slip

Baggage Transfer Slip

The service is very easy to use. In the case of our escorted tours and our group tours, the guides will explain what to do the day before the transfer is to be done to remind everyone how long they will be without their main suitcase. The guides will also give you an idea of the weather to expect in the cities you will traveling to. On our FIT tours, we will provide the necessary paperwork (in Japanese of course). We will tell you in the itinerary when to send your suitcases, and how many days you will need to prepare for in your overnight bags.

Using the takkyubin service when traveling is very easy. On our escorted tours, the guides will take care of everything. All you have to do is to make sure you have your main suitcases at the pre-designated time and place. On our FIT tours, you should take your suitcases to the front desk with you when checking out of your hotel or ryokan. Normally, the front desk will arrange the transfer. But in some cases, you will need to take the suitcases elsewhere. The staff at the front desk will tell you where to go if they will not be responsible for the transfer. You will only need to hand the appropriate paperwork to the staff at the front desk. They will know what it is you want to do and they will also know how to do it.

Your suitcases will be delivered by plane, train and trucks.

Your suitcases will be delivered by plane, train and trucks.

The staff will sometimes measure the suitcases. The fees are not determined by the weight, but by the total length of height, width and depth, and how far the suitcases will be traveling. After making the necessary measurements, they may refer to a chart that will provide the cost of the transfer given the measurements and distance. They will ask you for the payment, note the amount of the payment on the form and give you the top sheet from the forms. You should keep this because you will need this to claim your luggage when you arrive at the designated transfer destination.

When you arrive at the designated hotel or ryokan where the luggage has been transferred to, you should give the receipts to the staff at the front desk at check-in. They will either retrieve the luggage from storage and give it to you, or the luggage will already be in your room.

However, smaller packages delivered to local neighborhoods are often delivered by bicycle.

However, smaller packages delivered to local neighborhoods are often delivered by bicycle.

Packages sent by “takkyubin” normally will take one night, allowing you to travel with only having to carry enough items for two days and one night. In some cases, the transfer may take three days and two nights. And in some special cases there may be some restrictions as to what can be placed in the suitcases to be transferred. On our escorted tours and FIT packages, your itinerary will provide the necessary instructions on what to prepare for. On our escorted tours, the guides will remind you the day before as well.