Traveling & Shipping Your Bike Box/Bike Case in and Around Japan

Traveling & Shipping Your Bike Box/Bike Case in and Around Japan

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Traveling & Shipping Your Bike Box/Bike Case in and Around Japan

TLDR: Once in Japan if your bike box is greater than 200cm LxWxH (almost every bike case is that is not for folding/coupler bikes) you will not be able to us Yamato’s default service that is in English. It is often best to take it with you once in Japan, or leave it at a hotel while you travel and pick it up again before leaving. Alternatively, you can use the Japanese heavy/large shipping service or let us help you do it for you.

So you already shipped, flew with, or rode your bike across the ocean to Japan with some clever floatation device. Kudos, you are nearly there!

But, the next piece of the puzzle is navigating Japan with a giant bicycle case or cardboard box for the next few weeks?

Luckily there are lots of options to help get you and your trusty steed around the land of the rising sun, let’s get stuck in!

And if you would just prefer to have us handle this for you on your upcoming trip with us, scroll to the bottom to see our Business Class Bike Bike Porterage Service.

Just Carry It With You Everywhere

This is the easiest and hardest option. Let me elaborate.


By bringing your case with you you avoid having to deal with shipping, which is great!

No waiting, you can use your bike at any time.


But on the flip side, if you have never been on a Tokyo Subway at rush hour you will probably not understand just how impossible it will be for you to navigate Shibuya Station at 5pm. Well for sure an experience, it will be anything but fast and smooth.

Further, many transit options will require advanced reservation for luggage space for large luggage like the Shinkansen Bullet Trains.

Also, hotels in major cities can be very very small, especially on budget stays. So the case might take up the total floor space of the room.

Ship Your Bike Case with Yamato Transport / Kuroneko (Black Cat)

Yamato Transport, AKA Black Cat for their adorable logo, is the main shipping service in Japan.

Their primary English service page can be found here.

How Do I Use Yamato Transport to Send My Bike?

Great question, there is a simple test to determine which of their services you can use.

“Is your bicycle case below 30kg and less than 200cm in total dimensions?”, most cases are not unfortunately…

IF YES, then you can use the classic “hands free luggage” service known as Ta-Q-Bin. It is in English, and very easy to use via the link below.

IF NO, then you have a bit of a journey at hand. I’ll explain below.

Yamato Raku Raku Home

First, keep in mind this service is aimed at Japanese residents, so you are not their target audience. That being said, it is quite straightforward to do if you take your time and fill out the forms correctly.

Thanks to the magic of Google Translate on websites, you can navigate most of this with some ease as the whole process must be done in Japanese.

Here is the link to the page with explanation on sizing and price estimates. For reference, almost all bicycle cases are between 220-300cm in total dimensions.

So for example, the current price to ship from Tokyo to Gunma is 7,740yen for under 250cm or 11,270yen for under 300cm one way.

If this form is already intimidating to you, it might be best to travel with your bike and skip this option, as from here you will be filling out multiple forms where answers like addresses will need to be in Japanese.

Again, Google is your friend, you can often copy paste these from hotel websites etc.

Next you will proceed with the orange button at the bottom of the page and begin filling out forms.

Don’t worry Google is here to help!

Which will look something like this if you use Google Translate…

Not nearly as intimidating.

If you are lost for a word, hop into Google Translate and grab the translation. Copy, paste, and trust Google got it right.

How Does It Work?

You are basically booking a pickup service. You will pick a window of time (usually 2-4 hours, like 9am-11am) where you and the luggage MUST BE PRESENT THE WHOLE TIME. They will only come once during that window, so don’t miss your window. Wait for them the whole time until they pickup the luggage.

If you are staying at a hotel, it is best to be near the lobby/front entrance and let the staff know you they should be expecting the service to be coming so they can alert you if you are not present.

Once you hand off the package the second part of the agreement begins.

You will choose a time window and date that you are agreeing that there is going to be a person on the other end to receive the package. The same principle is true here.

Should there not be someone present they WILL NOT just leave the package.

Hotel staff MIGHT be willing to accept the package, be sure to ask them in advance and always notify hotels when you plan to ship any luggage to them in advance so they can correctly keep track of it and accept it.

Further, not every hotel has a front desk at all hours or even guarantee they will have staff at the front at all hours. This is why it is best to check with them on this in advance.

Tips on Using This Service

  • Use Japanese phone numbers only. They WILL NOT call international numbers, only Japanese numbers. You probably don’t have a Japanese phone number, so it is best to fill out the forms with the hotel that is receiving the package’s number.
  • If no one is present to receive the package they will call the number, maybe twice, then leave. If they leave you will have a chance to ask for another delivery, but this could be multiple days later and they will not allow you to change the address from the one listed.

Can You Book This Service For Me on My Upcoming Trip to Japan?

If you are already signed up to be a guest with us on one of our Guided, Self-Guided, or Bespoke Cycling Trip, we can handle this service for you for a onetime fee of $310 USD for each shipment.

Further, if you are shipping your bike to us before a trip, ask about options for us to assemble your bike for you, and storage of your bike before/after your trip at our headquarters in Kiryu, Gunma for no additional fee.

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