Where to store your luggage in Tokyo and the rest of Japan
Looking for places to store your heavy backpack while exploring exciting Tokyo and the rest of Japan? It isn’t so common to see backpackers around Japan, although I have to say it’s a very backpacking-friendly country.
There are a few choices for your luggage storage in Japan, you only need to know which one is best for you. The article you’re going to read will reveal my tricks about where to store your luggage in Tokyo and in many other places around Japan.
That is pretty obvious actually. If you’re moving to a different accommodation in the same town, ask in advance if you can store your luggage there before the check-in time. This is the easiest and most convenient solution, which allows you to stroll around without any unnecessary weight to carry.
Japanese people are use to storing their heavy stuff in the coin lockers during the day. They normally leave their bag in the lockers of the nearest underground station, at the railway or bus station they get off at before going to work on foot, or at the tourist center closest to their office.
I understood that lots of people put a backpack with evening clothes into the locker and take it back after work to change their outfit, before going out for the evening. But that’s not the only case! Some old women put down their heavy shopping bags, students leave their school backpacks in the lockers, lots of people who don’t want to carry uncomfortable weight use the nearest coin locker.
How do the coin lockers work?
There are three different types of coin lockers:
- key-type coin lockers
- IC cards-type coin lockers
- PIN-type coin lockers
The bigger a locker, the more expensive it is.
You can only use a locker for one day. If you leave your luggage for more than one day, you’ll have to add the additional sum before being allowed to open it. Pay attention: one day doesn’t mean 24 hours, because the coin lockers are reset during the night, so if you store your backpack during the evening and pick it up the following morning, you may have to pay for two days. Over the third day, the station employees are allowed to open your locker and to send your luggage to a dedicated storage. To pick it up from there, you’ll have to pay the three day-bill and an additional fee for every day in the storage. So, if you need a long-period storage, keep on reading.
But, before going ahead, I think this article about how to use the Japanese coin lockers might be useful.
Where to buy luggage in Tokyo
I’m not a shopaholic but I was massively surprised by the quantity of weird things sold in Tokyo. So surprised that, after four days in the Japanese capital city, I was forced to buy another luggage bag. But where can you buy a resistant but low-cost bag in Tokyo?
I was luckily staying in Ginza, one of the coolest quarters in the whole of Tokyo. My host recommended a shop called Ginza Karen, and it wasn’t hard to find it because of the long queue waiting to go in to get the bargains. It is a one-price shop. This is its address:
6 Chome-6-9-7 Ginza, 中央区 Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Giappone
I bought a bright green bag and quickly filled it with everything not strictly useful for my trekking days. But a new problem arose: where to store my luggage in Tokyo during my 10 trekking days on the Japanese Alps?
Where to store your baggage in Tokyo
I was staying in Ginza, so I went to the Ginza Tourist Information Center for advice. The very kind staff told me that they could only store my bright green bag for three days. But unfortunately that wasn’t enough for me.
But, if you need storage for a brief period, I’ll leave you the Tourist Center address:
6 Chome-11-7 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Giappone
Where to store your backpack in Tokyo for more than 3 days? The Ginza Tourist Center staff tried to find a solution for my long-period storage, while offering me some delicious yellow dog-shaped cookies.
After ten minutes, they exulted in a chorus: there was a storage which was just right for me at the main railway station in Tokyo. Rail Go Service was the name of the long-period storage.
How to get to the baggage storage in Tokyo main station
Get off the underground at M17 stop on the red line, named Tokyo. Then follow the signs to the Yaesu Passage and get to the south-east side of the station, called Yaesu South. Once there, go out of the station from the 1F Yaesu South exit. In doing so, you arrive at the bus terminal square.
Stay on your right and go straight on. Pass in front of the McDonalds, the bus service office and a waffle shop. Turn right just after the waffle shop, facing the South Tower.
Go to the elevator on your right and press the button B1 Luggage Storage. The elevator stops under the station, the lowest floor. When the doors open, finding the storage is very easy thanks to the numerous signs.
The price is 420 yen a day for dropping per luggage for the first 5 days. It then rises up to 840 yen a day a piece for the following days, for a maximum of 15 days. The whole sum must be payed in advance. Don’t lose your payment receipt and your identity number, because you will be asked for it when you come to collect.
Opening hours are from 8am to 8pm all days of the week.
If you’re looking for a longer period storage place, go to the end of the article to find information about it.
In Japan, door-to-door services are very quick, secure and on time. You can send your luggage to your hotel, to the station, the airport or to one of the many pick-up points scattered everywhere in Japanese towns and villages.
For example, the majority of convenience stores can be used as drop-off and pick-up spots, but also many shops and artisan workshops show the green and yellow symbol of a mother cat which holds her little one by the neck. It indicates the brand of the most famous luggage delivery agency in Japan, named Takkyubin or Yamato.
Its activity is a real godsend if you are planning a one-day hike or, even more, a multiday trekking, like the Nakasendo trail, the Mount Koya pilgrimage trail, mountain traverses like the one in Kamikochi national park or along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, the well-known Kumano Kodo, or some other strenuous routes. I’ll leave you this link to some more information about Japanese trekking routes.
If you don’t want to deal with heavy luggage while walking, you can have it delivered from one stage to the other, from your previous to your next accommodation, for a very reasonable price and without any reservation. Depending on the distance and your drop-off time, you can normally have your backpack delivered on the same day.
Luggage delivery along the Nakasendo trail
I took advantage of the Japanese delivery service while hiking the Nakasendo trail. I walked from Magome to Tsumago, which is one of the most popular sections of the old mountain route between Kyoto and Edo, the old name of Tokyo.
If you leave your backpack in a Magome before 11 am, you’ll have it delivered to Tsumago from 1 pm on. The drop-off point is at the samurai square, which is more or less halfway along the steep stone trail that passes through the ancient village of Magome. The pick-up point is inside the traditional building of Tsumago tourist office, which is open until 5 pm.
You’re given two cards with an identification number: you’ll have to tie one to your backpack and save the other one for the pick up. And then… simply enjoy this amazing example of Japan’s rural scenery!
I really recommend you to visit Kyso Valley along the Nakasendo trail, and not to miss Magome, Tsumago and the unique Narai, the post town where traditions, people, history, food and handmade craft were truly striking.
Up until now, I have only mentioned the solutions that I used during my trip. But there are others available.
For example, I heard about a baggage storage in Shibuya, Tokyo, which lets you leave your backpack for more than 15 days. Yes, if you have to move quickly from one town to the other, maybe the deposit at the station will be the most convenient one. But knowing about this long-period storage in the very center of the city could also be very useful. This is the link.
Dropping off your heavy luggage in Tokyo and strolling around without any extra weight is the easiest thing to do. But not only in Tokyo, there are luggage drop-off points in the majority of Japanese towns and small villages, where friendly operators will explain how everything works and answer all your questions.
So, prepare one small backpack for your one-day explorations and leave the heavy stuff in a secure place. If you’re already thinking about what to take with you, I’ll leave you the link to the article where I wrote the ultimate packing list for Japan.
If you have any doubts, write in Comments.
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Ciao! Sono Claudia, la fondatrice di getgoingirl.it, lo spazio web dove unisco le mie più grandi passioni: i viaggi e la scrittura. É sempre il momento buono per un’avventura zaino in spalla, per un trekking al ritmo che senti tuo, per una visuale insolita e alternativa da scovare in giro per il mondo. Naviga per argomento, destinazione o tipo di viaggio e lasciati ispirare!
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