Use "Hands-Free Travel" counters!
For travelers, moving while carrying baggage can be quite a burden, especially when they travel in Japan where they have to constantly change from a crowded transportation to another. But that may become a thing of the past. The name of the game is “Hands-Free Travel.” Eying on the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held in Japan in 2020, there has been efforts promoted nationally to have travelers feel more at ease when moving to their destinations without the heavy baggage by using Japan's developed courier service. Use the services wisely and enjoy a more relaxed trip!
Send your luggage from the airport to your accommodation, and enjoy a “Hands-Free Travel” from day one of your trip!
As soon as you arrive in Japan, you can take advantage of their“Hands-Free”service. As of September 29, 2017, they have 169 “Hands-Free”sightseeing counters all over the country, all with a common logo. Not to mention Narita and Haneda Airports, you will find their counters as far north as Hokkaido's Shin-Chitose Airport to as far south as Ishigaki Island's Ishigaki Airport, a total of 11 Airports. When you arrive at an international airport, you will be able to send all your luggage to your place of accommodation. If your hotel is close from the airport, they can arrive the same day, allowing you to travel with the smallest amount to carry around before you arrive at the hotel.
Leave your belongings at the entrance of the sightseeing area, and you can enjoy all day “hands free!”
When you plan to go sightseeing in several places, you really don't want to carry around heavy baggage with you. Coin lockers are a good idea, but you never know if you will find a large enough one for your suitcase and besides, walking around looking for a one can wear you out. Aside from the delivery service, they also have a temporary storage service in 140 places in the country (as of September 29, 2017). For example, you can take advantage of the temporary storage service at Tobu-Nikko Station, the entrance to Nikko, JR Himeji Station before you head to Himeji Castle, and Kawagoe Station where old streets called Koedo (small Edo) remain. The temporary storage service can be convenient if you plan to enjoy a day trip and then go back to your hotel.
If you buy loads of souvenirs, have them sent to the airport from your hotel!
When on a sightseeing trip, your baggages tend to increase on your way back home. If you use the “Hands-Free Travel”counters, you'll be able to travel much more lightly. Just send your baggages from your hotel to the airport you plan to use to go back home. Further, some facilities such as Ginza Mitsukoshi, Isetan Shinjuku Store, and Laox Akihabara Store have “Hands-Free Travel”counters in shopping areas, and some allow you to go through both tax exemption and shipping out procedures. Your shopping experiences should become much more convenient.
The“Hands-Free Travel”counters are also friendly to overseas travelers
"Hands-Free Travel" counters offer convenient services for foreign travelers such as:
●Temporary storage or shipping service or both services available for your suitcases and souvenirs (including fragile items). *At duty free shops, services only for your souvenirs is possible
●Same-day delivery or delivery the following day to designated areas possible
●Rate structure is clearly stated
●Help in English is possible (includes guide using support medium)
●Compensation for damage/lost items during temporary storage and shipping service is clearly stated, easy to understand
Know which facility has what kind of service, and make sure your schedule is not tight
The “Hands-Free Travel”service is supported by the high reliability and quick deliverability of the Japanese delivery service system, but there are some things you should take note of.
●Services offered are different from place to place
Depending on the facility, they have shipping or temporary storage service or both. Plan ahead on how to use the services while traveling, and check what services are offered.
List of "Hands-Free Travel" countershttp://www.jnto.go.jp/hands-free-travel/places.html
●When using their service, there is a limit to the size and weight of your luggage
For example, at Shinjuku's “Keio Nekonote Baggage Service,”if you want to use their temporary storage service, the total of height, width and length of your baggage must be within 250 cm, and the length must be within 200 cm; and the weight must be within 30 kg. They will not keep your baggage overnight, and valuables are not allowed. In other words, in terms of contents and period, there are certain conditions to store your luggage.
Further, please note that they have limitations concerning shipping to airports and hotels.
“Example of fees (Keio Nekonote Baggage Service)”
●Always leave extra time when scheduling
For example, if you arrive at Haneda Airport at noon, you can have them ship your large baggages to your hotel in Tokyo on that day, but if you plan to go to a hotel using shinkansen (bullet train) or planes, it would be impossible to have your baggages shipped there on the same day of your arrival. The same goes for when sending baggages from your hotel to the airport on the last day of your trip. It would be stressful to find out your baggages haven't arrived yet although your flight's departure time is close. It's important to send large souvenirs to the airport early, and check where to pick them up beforehand. While you travel “Hands Free,” plan ahead for your baggages to arrive early.
“Hands-Free Travel”promotion websitehttp://www.jnto.go.jp/hands-free-travel/
*The above information was last updated October 10, 2017. For further information, please contact them directly.
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