How to Travel in Train Hands-Free in Japan

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With an extensive, efficient, and punctual railway network, trains in Japan are your best friend. Especially when you have to juggle multiple cities to cover your solo travel itinerary in Japan

However, isn’t hopping on and off a train dragging your luggage cumbersome? Although lifting heavy luggage isn’t my problem, navigating the crowded station and trains is. Given how the locals in Japan love their boundaries, travelling with luggage feels like stepping into their space.

That’s when I got to know about hands-free travel practices in Japan. And it’s a big-time saviour. Being hands-free in Japan makes your journey a lot smoother. Just carry the essentials, and the rest are taken care of by either luggage delivery or storing services as per your requirement. 

So, if you are eager to travel light, here’s my detailed guide on how to travel by train hands-free in Japan. 

What is Hands-Free Travel in Japan?

Hands-free travel in Japan is the norm. It takes away the hassle of carrying your luggage through services that take care of transporting and storing your luggage securely. 

These services are available nationwide – airports, train stations, department stores like 7/11 and of course, hotels. 

In fact, Japanese tourism promotes hands-free travel to ensure tourists a relaxed vacation. They even designed a logo in red to notify travellers about the hands-free travel option.

How to Travel in Train Hands-Free in Japan

Top 2 Ways to Travel Hands-Free in Japan

1. Use Luggage Delivery Service in Japan to Travel Hands-Free

If you are planning to travel by train without a reservation, the most convenient way to travel hands-free on Japan’s train is via Takkyubin, aka a courier service that delivers luggage.

Whether you are travelling from Tokyo to Osaka, Osaka to Kyoto or Kyoto to Tokyo, drop off your bags at the service counters or arrange a pick-up from your hotel to transport your luggage to the next destination.

If making the arrangements on your own seems complicated (which is not), ask the front desk of your hotel (if they offer hands-free travel services) for help. They will organise everything on your behalf. Just fill up the form (it’s in simple English) and pay! Don’t forget to keep a copy of the receipt with you.

That said, do take notes of the timing of your luggage drop-off to ensure timely delivery. If the distance is shorter, you’ll be able to have same-day delivery. Or else it might take two days to deliver. So, time the service according to your solo travel schedule. 

What are the Best Luggage Delivery Services in Japan?

When it comes to the best luggage delivery services in Japan, the Black Cat – Yamato Transport and Sagawa Transport are the top two competitors. 

2. Use Luggage Storage Services for Hands-Free Sightseeing in Japan

If you need a temporary solution to safeguard your luggage, then store it for the time being. Such services help you travel hands-free. Plus, no burden of luggage is equal to free hands for shopping. 

Besides storing your luggage at your hotel, there are two options you can avail to travel hands-free by train:

Coin Lockers 

Coin lockers are extremely handy when travelling on a train in Japan. They are available on every station in Japan. You can store your luggage and pack for the day to travel hands-free. And, the coin lockers at the train station charge you by day. 

Storage Sites

In Japan, you will spot hands-free travel service counters at train stations, commercial areas, cafes, hotels, and airports.You can store your big bags up to 200 cm easily here. They offer a more flexible solution for long-term storage on a daily basis. 

Pro-Tip: Make sure your bag is within the limits of 200 cm in size to utilise the hands-free travel services. 

Bonus Tip for Tech-Savvy Solo Travellers in Japan

If you are app-oriented, use Ecbo Cloak to store anything anywhere. They are reliable and offer great service across Japan. The app connects you with storage space that is available in real-time.

How Much Does Hands-Free Travel Cost in Japan?

Hands-free travel by train in Japan costs around ¥300 to ¥3000. Generally, the price varies based on the size of your luggage. Here’s a table based on travel duration to give you an overall idea of hands-free travel costs in Japan:

Duration

Luggage Delivery (¥)

Coin Locker (¥)

Luggage Storage Sites (¥)

1-3 days 

1500 – 3000

300 – 1000

600 – 1200

1 Week

3000 – 7000

300 – 2100

4200 – 8000

Which is Better for Hands-Free Travel in Japan: Luggage Delivery VS Luggage Storage

With hands-free travel in Japan, it is assured that there will be no more hassle to walk around the train station. But which option is best? While luggage storage is of great help for day trips and sightseeing, luggage delivery takes away the burden of carrying luggage between the cities.

Therefore, to make the best use of Japan’s hands-free travel, I highly recommend using both the delivery and storage services in combination as per your itinerary.

Moreover, the delivery and storage services are not only limited to train travel, you can avail it anytime for any destination in Japan. 

So, are you ready to travel to Japan hands-free? Here’s a glimpse of what your solo travel to Japan in 2024 looks like.    

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Swagachi

An introverted solo female traveller on an adventure around the world.

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