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Question about mailing packages from post offices in Japan

Question about mailing packages from post offices in Japan

Old Aug 21, 13, 6:42 pm
  #1  
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Question about mailing packages from post offices in Japan

I plan on purchasing gifts for friends and family while I am visiting Tokyo. I do not want to carry them in my luggage when I return since I will be traveling light. Any advice on finding post offices in Tokyo and on how to prepare and send a package? Thanks.
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Old Aug 22, 13, 2:34 am
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Each district has a main one and then there are neighborhood ones. Google maps usually shows them with the JP post sign. You'll probably need to buy a box from there unless you carry your own. If it's light enough you can ask for an EMS envelope and bubble wrap. They provide tape and what not.
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Old Aug 22, 13, 11:28 am
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Check out the shipping rates - particularly for larger items - before you buy them:

http://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/cha.../index_en.html

BTW - stylish chopsticks and chopstick holders are very light - and very easy to pack . Robyn
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Old Aug 22, 13, 11:38 am
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OP might want to post it from Tokyo Central Post Office.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/podkozo/8756912051/
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Old Aug 22, 13, 1:36 pm
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Seems quite expensive if you plan to mail 2 kg to the United States.
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Old Aug 22, 13, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by ray1966 View Post
Seems quite expensive if you plan to mail 2 kg to the United States.
Yup - that's why I suggested looking at shipping before you went shopping. You don't want to spend $20 on a gift - and $35 for shipping.

And I was serious about the chopsticks and chopstick holders. I was able to buy some great contemporary chopstick holders for about $1.50 each at a higher end department store.

IMO - shopping in Japan was for the most part pretty expensive. And there isn't all that much you can't get in the United States. Except perhaps electrical appliances that are 100% ok with Japanese electricity/plugs. Various food items. And certain design items. So I mostly went window shopping.

All I bought to take home were the chopstick holders - and a great backpack that was made in Japan and not available in the US (I needed the latter for our trip - and have used it on many trips since then). Things like chocolates were pretty much gone within 2 days of purchase . IIRC - I bought both the chopstick holders and the backpack at Mitsukoshi in Ginza.

Another consideration if you're shipping is duty fees. You get a pretty decent duty-free allowance coming home if you have stuff with you. But not if you ship things IIRC. And duty fees (there's like 10,000 pages of regs) can be seemingly irrational. For example - I had my eye on a nice set of European stainless flatware for a long time. Only sold in Europe. And the duty was ridiculous - like 50-70% (designed to reduce competition/dumping from non-US producers of cheap stainless flatware). OTOH - at the time - there was no import duty on gold flatware (no trade issues involved).

BTW - what were you thinking of buying? Robyn
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Old Aug 22, 13, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post

BTW - what were you thinking of buying? Robyn
Oh, was thinking of inexpensive presents for family members and friends. But after reading your post, I might as well pack it in with the rest of my luggage on my return trip. I was planning on taking a carry on luggage, but I might have to pay extra on my way back if I have to. Not worth spending $30 on shipping 2kg from Japan. We will see.
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Old Aug 22, 13, 6:12 pm
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I have shipped things back from Japan, especially during long-term stays. The easiest way is to buy a shipping kit from a stationery store, since (at least the last time I did it), the Japanese post office officials are fussy about how you wrap your packages.

As for the expense, I don't remember it being out of line. Now the UK is another matter...
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Old Aug 23, 13, 2:31 am
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http://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/ser...acking_en.html
Should be around ¥2000. Says it takes 2 weeks but in my experience it's always quicker than that.
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Old Aug 23, 13, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
I have shipped things back from Japan, especially during long-term stays. The easiest way is to buy a shipping kit from a stationery store, since (at least the last time I did it), the Japanese post office officials are fussy about how you wrap your packages.

As for the expense, I don't remember it being out of line. Now the UK is another matter...
My experience with the post office I use most for this is the opposite -- they will sell me a shipping box/envelope and then go to great lengths (despite language issues) to help me through the process, if they don't like how I did it, they re-do it for me.

The one question they always know to ask in English is, "Is there also a letter in the box?" The only right answer is "no" regardless of what is in there, apparently it significantly increases the cost. They won't check, all they want is the correct answer to the question.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by valve bouncer View Post
http://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/ser...acking_en.html
Should be around ¥2000. Says it takes 2 weeks but in my experience it's always quicker than that.
What v.b. said , using the post is painless when compared to Canada and cheaper too !
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Old Aug 24, 13, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
My experience with the post office I use most for this is the opposite -- they will sell me a shipping box/envelope and then go to great lengths (despite language issues) to help me through the process, if they don't like how I did it, they re-do it for me.
I've had the same experience. Over the years, I've used about 7 different post offices in Tokyo, and 2 or 3 in Osaka and the one at NRT T2. I've used both small local offices and the big main ones. Almost always get the same experience regardless of the staffs English level.

A couple of years ago, I was staying in Osaka, but had 12 hour stops in Tokyo on each side. After leaving Osaka, I went to Akiba and got some things to ship home and ended up at a small post office in Kanda.
Once I got my things packaged, the person who was serving me wanted a Japanese address on the send from part of the paperwork. I didn't have any of that with me as I'd been staying in Osaka and had dumped that paperwork when I left the hotel. I ended up writing down "Chuo, Tennoji, Osaka" and she looked up the hotel on her phone and addressed the packages for me.
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