Photo copyright: ©JAPAN POST Co., Ltd.
Instead of just an email, send a postcard back home to let friends and family know about your Japanese adventure. Alternatively, send some gifts back and lighten your suitcase. Post offices in Japan are well-organized, easy to navigate, and the staff will be willing to help you.
Postcards and letters
Postcards and stamps are available from post offices, convenience stores and kiosks at train stations all over the country. Post boxes are located by street crossings, buildings and public facilities. Post boxes generally have two opening slots—one for letters and postcards, and one for bulkier items.
At the post office
If you are staying in a hotel, the front desk will assist you in posting mail or packages, but it is easy to do so yourself at the local post office. If you use a larger post office, you will find a number of different counters as post offices handle some banking services as well as post. Head towards the postal service counter and, if required, take a number. When your number is called, go up to the counter and hand them the letter or parcel that you wish to send. The staff will weigh the letter/parcel and tell you how much you need to pay.
If you wish to send parcels or use express mail delivery, a number of forms need to be filled out. Most forms are written in both Japanese and English, so you should have no difficulty. If you are unsure, ask the staff. For peace of mind, do some research into how to post a letter or parcel in Japan
International Air Mail
International mail can be classified into letter post (letters, aerogrammes and postcards), parcel post, and EMS (Express Mail Service). Foreign parcel post can be sent between Japan and most other nations. The maximum weight for a single package is usually 30 kg but it depends on the destination. The contents of the parcel you are sending, and the maximum measurements for a single parcel differ by destination. EMS is the fastest way to send documents and packages to over 120 countries and territories worldwide. A tracking system, providing prompt information on a package's delivery status, is available for 50 countries.
Other Delivery Services
Other delivery services such as DHL and Federal Express also provide fast and efficient services between Japan and other nations. Your choice of service depends on the kind of item you want to send. The maximum weight for a single package is usually 30 kg but it depends on the destination.