Leaving That Baggage Behind: Luggage Storage in Tokyo

Lily Crossley-Baxter

Traveling is carefree, fun and exciting! You’re exploring, adventuring, without a care in the world! Er… apart from that 24kg suitcase full of your stuff that now feels like the combined weight of a dead mob cartel on the end of your arm. So you want to drop that dead-weight asap and get on with your exciting day—but how?

porter
Photo by Jason Kuffer used under CC

If you’re staying in a hotel or hostel you can usually drop it off at the desk long before check-in, but things aren’t always that easy. Airbnb doesn’t have this luxury, and nor do some hostels, and what if you’re not even staying here? Well, luckily we have all the best options for luggage storage in Tokyo, from stations to apps to the trusty locker.

Airports

If you’re only in Tokyo for a day or two and don’t need all your stuff, you can leave it at the airport or even have it delivered to your hotel for you, with some services offering same-day delivery.

Luggage
Photo by Allen Sheffield used under CC

Haneda Airport Luggage Storage

Temporary Baggage Storage (Terminal 1 – B1F | Terminal 2 – B1F) – Can be stored for up to two weeks, charges vary depending on the size of the luggage and length of storage but start at 300 yen. 6am – 10:30pm. Maximum weight is 30kg and maximum size is 300 cm (height, width and depth).


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Jal Baggage Check – Information Center: Same day delivery and transportation of luggage to hotels (but only Odaiba, Maihama and Urayasu areas) – 1,000 yen per bag. 8:30am – 8pm.

Narita Airport Luggage Storage

Delivery: Luggage can be sent to and from the airport using a variety of providers (Yamato, JAL, ABC, KTC/Sagawa). This can be useful if you are only in Tokyo for the day. Also it’s worth keeping in mind that bullet trains do not have much space for storage of large items and bringing large items is generally discouraged.

Storage: A variety of companies offer luggage storage, with a standard case costing just over 500 yen per day. You can also use the coin lockers which have a limit of 8 days. Some are charged on a daily rate (so you pay for 24-hour blocks) but some have an hourly charge rate, meaning the first block is only 6 hours, and then changes to 24 hours after that.They also have extra large lockers available for 1,000 yen per 24 hours which can be used for skis and other over-sized baggage.

Train Stations

If you’ve made it this far with that giant suitcase and want to explore the city straight away, train stations have a few options to help you out:

Lockers

Despite being banned for security reasons in many countries, Japan is in love with station lockers, and there will be some at pretty much every station you ever visit, even out in the countryside. Stations in Tokyo often have great walls of them with multiple locations (in and outside the ticket gates), so you can usually find an empty one. They come in three sizes, small, medium and large and are usually 300 yen, 500 yen and 800 yen per day respectively (give or take 100 yen in some cases). They are simple and convenient, with some operated with keys and some using an electronic ticket system. You can pay in cash and sometimes using IC cards for the electronic ones which is really handy. For the latter, English guidance is available, and often about 5 times louder than the Japanese, just so everyone knows you’re there. If you leave your items in longer than three days the station staff will have cleared it but you can retrieve and pay at the counters.

Bonus Locker Tips:



  • If in a larger station, take a photo of where your lockers are, and note the nearest exit or shop, so you can easily find it—some places are like a maze. If you get really lost, you can ask a staff member and they may be able to use your key to identify the locker location (definitely haven’t had to do that before…).
  • If you find a bank of lockers but they’re all full have a look for the poster showing locations of other locker banks, you might have better luck elsewhere.
  • If you open a locker and find someone else’s stuff inside—don’t panic, not a bomb, this happens weirdly often, just pop it over to the nearest desk or Lost and Found with a number of the locker it was in. Also, if you realize on a bus somewhere that you never quite locked your locker, don’t panic, chances are it’s been handed in safe and sound, you’ll just have to prove it’s yours with ID or a description of contents (definitely haven’t done that before either).

Service Desks

If you can’t find a free locker or can’t fit your bags in it if you do, some larger stations have service desks which will store your luggage for you. Tokyo Station has the JR East Travel Service Center Near the Maranouchi North Exit where you can store hand luggage for 600 yen per item, however, it must be collected on the same day. They also offer a porter service around the station and delivery services through Yamato to ship items around Japan. You can also visit the  Sagawa Service Center near the Nihonbashi-Guchi Exit (more below).

Alternative Services for Luggage Storage in Tokyo

If you don’t have a hotel to keep an eye on it or it’s too big for lockers, there are services to keep your luggage safe across Tokyo:

Desks: Sagawa

With three locations in Tokyo, Sagawa charge under 1,000 yen for a full day of storage per item. If you go to the Toyko Service Center at the Nihonbash-guchi exit of Tokyo Station or the Asakusa Center, luggage costs 800 yen, but if you head to the Skytree Service center it is only 500 yen. They will hold your luggage for up to 5 days and are open for regular day hours (Tokyo Station: 7am-11pm, Asakusa: 9am – 7pm, Skytree: 9am – 9pm, last orders accepted one hour before closing). They have some limits on weight and size, (200cm total dimension and 30kg weight) and allow you to access your baggage while it is being stored.

Apps: Ecbo and Tempgrab

Since there’s an app for everything these days, luggage storage in Tokyo is no different.There are two main apps for this, Tempgrab and Ecbo. Perfect for people using Airbnb (so no friendly hotel concierge to look after it for you) these services offer a more human version of lockers.



Ecbo Cloak Service was started by Shinichi Kudo who previously interned at Uber Japan, and saw a gap in the market for easy luggage storage in Tokyo. Focusing on cafes and guesthouses but also using shops and offices, they offer a smart and easy service with map-location finders and additional services like wifi and charge points. You can select your best-suited spot depending on location or price, and see how many spaces they have available. You need an account to use the service and can book in advance, payment is made via credit card when you leave. Prices are standardized at 300 yen per day for bags (under 45cm) and 600 yen per day for suitcases.

Tempgrab offers both luggage storage and bicycle rental by linking customers with concierges across the country. Since Tempgrab is only an ‘advertising market-place’ the concierges are running private businesses, and your primary contact is with them, although payments (made in advance) and information are provided through the site. Reviews are given and it is easy to pick a location based on different factors, using a Skyscanner-style system (think flashing numbers as prices are checked). Most are offices or cafes making extra cash—although few have reviews so far. The system runs in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Okinawa and Fukuoka.

Location Map:


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