Every traveler carries the worry of possibly losing their precious luggage due to unforeseen circumstances. It could be happen because of a problem with the carrier service, or someone accidentally got yours. The stress adds to the tension that comes with traveling or going on vacations, which makes something that’s supposed to be fun and relaxing more of an unpleasant experience.
However, the Japanese have come up with a way to solve this problems. Instead of bringing your luggage with you, there is a system in Japan that picks up and delivers packages and luggage from door to door – and one of those services is Takkyubin.
What Exactly is Takkyubin?
Takkyubin – also known as “ta-q-bin” or “Takuhaibin”, is a famous shipping service brand that almost everyone in Japan uses to transport all kinds of parcels to and from most parts of Japan, at any time of the year. International/oversea options are also available. Not only their system incredibly efficient and handy for sending something to another part of the country quickly, it is also convenient for securely getting your items to the destination of an outing or vacation.
Transport Your Luggage from Hotel to Hotel Easily around Japan
Takkyubin is used by so many Japanese travelers that you may even notice that only those carrying bulky equipment or baggage are the ones who are not familiar with the service. It is widely available and used by both locals and tourists, and it easy to access. Virtually every hotel offers support for takkyubin services, all you must do is ask for it.
Are you worried that you may not understand the Japanese lingo while filling up a form? That’s where research and a little help from the service crew of the hotel will go a long way. There are pictures of takkyubin forms online that show you what you should fill up in the different boxes, so you can use those as a starting reference point. For any clarifications, feel free to ask the concierges in your hotel.
More About Takkyubin, and the Company that Manages its Services; Yamato
The name Takkyubin, written as “宅急便”, comes from the word “Takuhaibin”, which is a Japanese word that means “delivery service”. It just so happens that Yamato Transport Co., Ltd. (Yamato Un'yu Kabushiki Kaisha) is the biggest company when it comes to the delivery service industry in Japan. The courier company’s native name is “ヤマト運輸株式会社”.
The History of Takkyubin
Although it was founded nearly a hundred years ago (1919), the Takkyubin service itself is relatively new. It was conceptualized around 1973 when parts of Asia were experiencing an oil crisis. During that period, to save on fuel for trips, packages that weighed more than 6 kg were not accepted by the Japanese postal office. As a solution to this situation, Yamato stepped up and invented the Takkyubin service, which officially kicked off in the first quarter of 1976. Promises of swift delivery drew in a huge number of customers, leading to their incredible success rate and current 41% share in the market of door-to-door delivery services.
Yamato Transport Co., Ltd. had 169,836 employees as of 2008, and its main headquarters are in Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan. The sheer amount of deliveries made by the company just in 2007 amounted to 1.2 billion. Over 45,000 different vehicles operating from around 6,000 warehouses around Japan are dedicated solely to fulfilling the services of this company.
The Advantages of Using Takkyubin
There are other options for transporting your items from one place to the other, but using takkyubin has major benefits.
One-day delivery is one of the biggest advantages of using takkyubin. The promise of having your package sent to the delivery address in one day is also something that is steady to rely on (especially if you plan to arrive at your destination at the same time), instead of using a company that gives a range of dates for the possible delivery.
Another is that takkyubin is already so widely used and popular all-around Japan that you can find takkyubin forms and delivery/drop off spots with ease. Other courier companies have more limited options when it comes to drop off and pick up points.
The next advantage is the plain fact that you won’t have to carry your around luggage yourself. For example: if you plan to visit Okinawa to go diving, your diving gear would surely be trouble to lug around the different JR trains, cars, and buses you may take along the way. Instead, you can choose to ship these off using takkyubin, and all you’ll need is a light bag to bring on your flight/trip there.
Lastly, takkyubin is also affordable, so you don’t have to worry about spending too much just for the simple task of luggage transportation straight to your doorstep. You’d be glad to let go of some yen just to save yourself the hassle of carrying extra bulk.
Takkyubin Rates and Limits around Japan
Because takkyubin allows for you to send and pick up your parcels and/or luggage from so many drop off and pick up points scattered across Japan, the fees that you will have to pay for sending a parcel varies widely. Prices can range from 900 yen to 7,000 yen per piece, depending on the areas from where and to where you plan to send it, as well as its weight and size.
You can find out an estimate of how much you may need to pay by going to the website of the company behind takkyubin. Just search “kuronekoyamato”, and click the link that ends in “.co.jp”.
Of course, there are limits when it comes to the sizes of the luggage you plan to send. As far as rates are concerned, if your total amounts to more than 300,000 JPY, then you will have to find another logistic service that accepts this size. An individual parcel also must be smaller than a total combined measurement of length, width, and height, of 160 centimeters, with a weight of up to 25 kilograms.
Anything beyond those amounts will not be accepted, unless takkyubin has a special service that caters to larger items, such as their “Golf Ta-Q-Bin”. Otherwise, you do have the option of sending many individual 160 cm, 25kg parcels.
Takkyubin has additional services and selections that you can pick from (and combine with other additional services) that make moving your parcels even more customized and easier.
You can pick the time for when you want your delivery to happen, which is useful if you want yourself or someone else to be there to receive your package/s. The ranges for these times are called “time zones”. There are five time zones for you to choose from; before noon, from 2 to 4 P.M., from 4 to 6 P.M., from 6 to 8 P.M., and from 7 to 9 P.M.
“Express Ta-Q-Bin” is for those who want same-day deliveries (or at least as soon as possible), however, this only applies to some regions of Japan, such as those around Kanto and Kyushu.
“PC Ta-Q-Bin” lets you transport products that are easily damageable, especially when being flown with other packages. Takkyubin encases these delicate items in special boxes that assure its safety. Examples of these items include computer parts, laptops, and printers. You will be charged depending on how large the size of the product you’re having shipped is – a 14-inch notebook computer, for example, will probably cost less than a thousand yen, while a 22 inch LCD monitor will cost you nearly 1,400 yen.
Have Customized Options for Luggage, Such as Ski Equipment using Takkyubin’s Other Services
“Golf/Ski Ta-Q-Bin” takes extra care of your equipment and charges you based on the special size and weight of the bags.
The other services that takkyubin offers are discounts if you send multiple or group packages in one go to one specific address. This is called the “multiple-parcel reduction system”, and must fall under a set of specifications to be worth. If you do get to avail of this, your takkyubin service must be of the prepaid kind. The discount saves you 100 yen per package.
There’s also “Round Trip Ta-Q-Bin” which allows you to fill out one form to take care of your luggage’s trip for both going to the destination and coming back. This is used by those who want their items to stay only temporarily, and know their arrival and departure dates for a specific location – most often for vacations and business trips.
“Cool Ta-Q-Bin” is one special service which keeps items sensitive to hot temperatures fresh in a cold environment.
“Ta-Q-Bin Collect” is for those who have bought something online and would like to pay the cash up front.
Need Help To Get Your Luggage to The Airport? Use Airport Ta-Q-Bin
“Airport Ta-Q-Bin” takes all your luggage a day before your departure and sends it directly to the counters (that are in collaboration with Yamato) in the airport that you will be using. You will have to send your items by the delivery deadline, which is around 3, sometimes 2 days before your departure date. There are 23 airports in total that takkyubin delivers to, including all of Japan’s major airports. To make sure that the airport you’ll be using is a part of the list, visit the website of Yamato’s takkyubin service, which is Kuroneko Yamato.
A Guide to Using the Nifty Transport Service in Japan; Takkyubin
To begin using the takkyubin service to send your luggage, the first thing you must do is choose a way you prefer to send your parcel. There are three options.
- You have the option to go to a sales office of Yamato, also called a "Kuroneko Yamato counter" that is nearest your location. You can find out where the nearest Kuroneko Yamato counter is by going to their website, or by asking an employee of the company (they usually wear a uniform). You may bring your luggage directly there.
- The next option is to call the number of Kuroneko Yamato, or go to their website and fill out an order sheet there. They will then be prompted go to where you are picking up your luggage, whether you’re at an apartment, house, hotel, or office. If you are staying in a hotel, they will offer to take care of your takkyubin services.
- Your last option would be to bring your luggage to the nearest “Konbini”, which is a Japanese convenience store. In case you are not staying in a hotel but still, need some help with your luggage delivery.
To fill out the form, you’ll generally have to include the postcode, telephone number, and address of your destination, as well as who will receive it. The date of pickup, delivery number, and preferred delivery date and time is also indicated. A short description of what you’re sending is also asked for, as well as the volume of the object. Next, the sender will have to indicate his/her postcode, telephone number, address, and name. It’s that simple.
How Do You Tell if the Brand is Yamato? Look for the Kuroneko
With many Japanese logos using kanji or katakana to dictate their brand, those native only to the English language may be worried that they’re using the wrong company to ship their goods. Yamato does have many rivals, such as Sagawa Express, Seino Delivery, and the Registered Post.
Don’t worry, though - there’s a simple solution to that. Look for the logo. Created by the founder of the company itself, Yasuomi Ogura, the brand of Yamato Transport Co., Ltd. consists of a logo of a black cat using its mouth to carry its kitten in front of a yellow, oval-shaped background.
Enjoy Japan, Hands-Free
Now that you’re aware of the efficient courier services Japan has to offer, you can enjoy touring and traveling around the archipelago of Japan without worrying about your luggage.