Updated January 10, 2019
All About Japan’s Luggage Delivery Service for Travelers.
Ever wonder how the locals in Japan travel so incredibly light on the bullet trains? It’s not because they are barely packing anything. They are making the most of the country’s luggage delivery service.
About Japan’s Ta-Q-Bin Service
Since the 1970s, Japanese have been traveling domestically with ease and convenience. The Ta-Q-Bin service from Yamato (the biggest company for luggage service) transfers your luggage from the airport to your hotel on the same day or overnight for domestic travel across the country.
The delivery is reliable, secure, convenient, and economical. You do not have to worry about struggling with your heavy luggage in the train or lugging it around the escalators and through the crowds at train stations.
The service delivers from hotel to hotel, from the airport to hotels, and from hotels to the airport.
Rates for luggage delivery varies from about 1500 yen to 3000 yen (with the average cost of $20 USD for a large suitcase) depending on destination and weight of your luggage. While you do pay a little more for this service, the value in providing convenience and hassle-free travel is more than worth it.
Hotel to Hotel Luggage Delivery Service
While bullet trains are convenient for cross-country travel, your heavy luggage through the train stations and on the train is a complete hassle.
In fact, the shinkansen train cars do not provide luggage space. If you are lucky, you can squeeze your suitcase behind the last row of the train car or store it above the overhead compartment.
Then, of course, there is the difficulty of lugging your luggage all around the train stations – with some stations having daunting staircases or tiny elevators.
The Yamato Ta-Q-Bin service sends your luggage (25 kg max per piece) straight to your next hotel with their next day delivery and arrives in time for your check-in process.
Ask your hotel concierge or front desk about luggage delivery service. You are then given a form to fill out your next hotel’s address. Payment can be done through our current hotel.
Airport to Hotel Luggage Delivery Service
You can use Japan’s luggage delivery service the moment you arrive in the country. After collecting your luggage and passing through customs, simply find the luggage service counter, fill out the forms and payment, then your luggage is on its way to your hotel.
From the airport, you can send your luggage straight to your hotel room on the same day or overnight. If you reach the counter by 11 am at the airport, your luggage can be at your hotel by 6 pm that same day. If you reach the hotel by 3 pm, it will arrive by the next day’s hotel check-in time.
Depending on the size and weight of your luggage and destination, pricing varies between 1,500 yen to 3,000 yen.
Some airlines, like ANA or JAL also offer luggage delivery services from your originating airport check-in counter when you fly to Japan.
Hotel to Airport Luggage Delivery Service
If you plan ahead, you can also send your luggage to the airport for your departing flight. Arrange for pickup at your hotel or the drop-off at certain offices/stores 2 days in advance.
Then, on the day of your departure, head to the airport to the luggage service counter to pick up your luggage. Finally, proceed to your airlines’ counter to check-in your luggage.
Where to Drop Off & Pick Up your Luggage at the Airport
For both arrivals and departures at the airport, you can find the luggage delivery service counters here:
Narita International Airport – Greenport Agency counter after customs
Haneda International Terminal – Greenport Agency counter after customs
Haneda Domestic Terminals – Ta-Q-Bin counter at the Arrival Lobby
Kansai International Airport – JAL ABC Arrival Lobby Baggage Delivery counter after customs
Traveling Tip When Using the Luggage Delivery Service
If you do plan to use the luggage delivery service, bring an overnight bag – preferably a light backpack or small 4-wheel carry-on luggage. This will hold a set of clothes for the next day and one day’s worth of toiletries.
Now when you are traveling cross-country you only have to take this small bag plus your original airplane carry-on bag/purse.
Sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar for blog updates and my travel insider tips!