Japanese hotels offer foreign guests the opportunity to unload their luggage

By TravelWiseFeb 16, 2024 16:38 PMNews
Japanese hotels offer foreign guests the opportunity to unload their luggage
East Japan Railway now provides luggage delivery services for guests staying in group hotels in Niigata and Morioka. Source: pixabay

As inbound tourism to Japan recovers from the COVID downturn, some companies are offering shipping services to foreign tourists. These services allow tourists to send suitcases and other heavy luggage to their homes or other locations in Japan.

Tobu Railway has partnered with Osaka-based logistics company Operation System Service (OSS) to provide this service at Asakusa Tobu Hotel in Tokyo. Guests must assess and weigh their luggage and then inform the hotel of their desired delivery location. This was reported by asia.nikkei.com.

The hotel inputs the information on the OSS website and instructs the local post office to pick up the luggage. After guests pay the fee, they can travel by light rail, and OSS will handle the delivery, even internationally.

The cost depends on the destination and the weight of the luggage: ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 yen ($67-270) for Asia and from 15,000 to 50,000 yen for the United States. Delivery takes approximately one week.

The service will be offered as a pilot project until the end of March. Tobu hopes to ensure smooth operation and sufficient demand before fully launching the service.

The number of tourists visiting Japan is increasing due to the economic recovery from the pandemic and the weak yen. The Japan National Tourism Organization reports that in October 2023, 2.5165 million foreign tourists visited Japan, up 0.8% from October 2019, exceeding the pre-pandemic level for the first time. In December, this figure reached 2.734 million, up 8.2% from the same month four years ago, setting a record for December.

While the number of visitors from China is slowly recovering, the number of visitors from the United States and Australia is increasing.

Meanwhile, Tobu reported that the number of commuters using its passes remains at around 80% of pre-pandemic levels as remote work becomes more entrenched. With pass usage projected to remain at lower levels than before the pandemic, Tobu aims to make its subsidiary hotels more guest-friendly to attract tourists to locations along rail routes.

East Japan Railway also offers luggage delivery for guests staying at the group's hotels in Niigata and Morioka. Baggage received after check-in is loaded onto high-speed trains and delivered to Tokyo Station the same day. The cost is 2000 yen per seat. Guests can pick up their luggage at the luggage storage facility at Tokyo Station from late afternoon until 20:00 on the day they use the service.

The train operator also provides binoculars, cameras, and headphones for rent in coin-operated luggage rooms at stations. The rental price ranges from ¥1980 to ¥2480 per 24 hours. East Japan Railways is offering this service as a pilot project at Tokyo and Sendai stations until the end of February, before a full-scale rollout is expected.

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