Post and Courier Services
Mail in Japan
The postal service in Japan (Japan Post) is fast, reliable and relatively cheap. Most post offices close mid-late afternoon, but some central post offices, including sorting centres, offer service 24/7. The basic domestic postage for a standard letter up to 25g is ¥82, while a postcard (standard size) is ¥62. Japan Post has extensive information available in English on its website.
Street names are not used in addresses in Japan. Instead, addresses are specified by area names and a set of numbers called “banchi”. Addresses are usually written as a continuous stream of text without spaces.
|Ken Tanaka 様
(Honorific used for clients)
Japan Post staff are able to understand addresses written in English in western order:
Mr. Tanaka Ken
Change of Address in Japan
When you move house, you can request to have mail forwarded to your new home for one year by completing a form at any post office. The service is free. Some official documents are not covered by forwarding services, so it is important you register changes of address with your local municipal office, bank etc.
Commercial courier companies offer fast and efficient domestic and international shipping services. Suitcases, sports equipment, furniture, and even refrigerated and frozen goods can be shipped in this way.
Collection: Order a pickup from your home or office.
Delivery centre: Take the item to a delivery centre. Japan Post, Yamato and Sagawa also offer dispatch from convenience stores. This option is usually cheaper than pickup.
Up-front: The sender pays shipping costs at the time of dispatch
On delivery: The receiver pays for shipping when the package arrives.
Track shipments through the service’s homepage with the tracking number on the shipping label. Courier companies usually offer a service allowing you to change the delivery time (registration may be required).
Undeliverable Item Notice
If you are not home for a delivery, you will receive an Undeliverable Item Notice like the ones pictured below. Other courier companies will have their own formats for these notices.
|不在連絡票||Undeliverable Item Notice|
|再配達受付連絡先||contact info for redelivery|
You can arrange to have your item redelivered by calling the number on the notice. Most services have a special English language line (numbers listed below). You will need to give the code noted on the form in addition to address information and a contact phone number. Same-day redelivery is possible if you call early enough.
|Courier Company||for redelivery|
|Japan Post||http://www.post.japanpost.jp/index_en.html||0570-046-111 (8:00～22:00 Sat, Sun, Holidays 9:00～22:00)|
|Yamato Transport||http://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/ytc/en/||0120-17-9625 (Toll free, 24hrs., automated)
|Sagawa Express||http://www.sagawa-exp.co.jp/english/service/||050-3032-9151 (8:00 ~ 19:00)|
Receiving at a post office (For Japan Past items)
You can collect Japan Post items that were unable to be delivered at the post office that mailed the Undeliverable Item Notice to you. The Undeliverable Item Notice and a form of identification will need to be presented at the post office. Please note that, if the item in question is out for delivery in the possession of a postal worker, it will not be available for pick up at that time.