Mail Forwarding Service in Japan: Top Picks for 2023
Mail forwarding services in Japan provide a convenient solution for individuals and businesses who want to shop from Japanese online stores or receive mail from Japan without having a physical address in the country.
In this article, we cover how mail forwarding services work, the benefits, and the best mail forwarding services in Japan for each type of user.
How do mail forwarding services work?
These services allow customers to use a local Japanese address provided by the mail forwarding company, which then forwards the package parcels or mail to the customer's desired address abroad.
Once the package or mail arrives at the forwarding company's HQ or warehouse, the package or letter is then shipped to the customer's designated address—whether inside or outside of Japan.
4 main benefits of a mail forwarding service that everyone can get behind
Ever thought, "I need that unique product only sold in Japan!" but then found out it doesn't ship to your location? That's where mail forwarding services step in. They make sure those one-of-a-kind items reach you—no matter where you live.
There are more benefits, which we break down below:
1. Comforts of convenience
Using a mail forwarding service in Japan, such as MailMate, brings significant convenience to expats and travelers.
These services ensure access to physical mail even when you are away from your residence or have moved to a new location, eliminating the need to visit a post office or ask someone to collect and send the mail.
Additionally, mail forwarding service providers often offer online platforms to manage preferences and access your physical mail digitally.
2. Global accessibility
Mail forwarding services are like your global + post box office—super important for those living abroad or traveling a lot.
You get your mail sent to wherever you are in the world. No need to ask friends or family to babysit your mailbox while you jet-set around the globe. You could be vacationing in Italy while still accessing your physical Japanese mail via a cloud-based platform and making sure your electricity bill gets paid.
3. No one should be Googling your home address
If you do not want to disclose your residential address to a seller or someone who needs to send you mail, you can use mail forwarding services as an alternative.
This keeps your personal address confidential from those who do not require that information. Essentially, mail forwarding services are an efficient and secure option for ensuring your privacy is protected.
4. Shop from Japan, no matter where you are
Using a mail forwarding service to shop from Japan is a popular method for buying your favorite Japanese items from sellers that might not ship internationally. For example, sellers on Rakuma, Yahoo Japan Auctions, or people selling from their personal websites may not provide international shipping.
In such cases, you can have them ship the item to a mail forwarding service, and then the mail forwarding service will forward the item to your address—wherever you are in the world.
Best Japan mail forwarding services in 2023
So what are the best mail forwarding services for Japan? Say you want to buy something only sold in Japan, and you need it shipped to your home in Switzerland.
Or perhaps you live in Japan but you'll be away from home, and you want your mail forwarded to your new, temporary location?
We'll cover the best options for each scenario type below.
MailMate—best for travelers and business owners
Image. MailMate's dashboard
MailMate is a popular option among Japan's expat community and business owners with a business in Japan.
They handle getting your mail, scanning it into a cloud-based dashboard system that you have access to, and then sending it wherever you need—thus making sure things run super smooth when you're not home to deal with it yourself.
This service type is quite often referred to as a virtual mailbox service, and you can get a plan starting from less than $25 per month.
Dankebox—offers up to 1-year storage along with mail forwarding
Another reliable service for mail forwarding in Japan is Dankebox . They offer a simple interface for users to manage their mail and packages, including options for scanning and forwarding as needed.
Dankebox boasts an impressive range of shipping methods, catering to customers with various needs and budget constraints. They are a great option for those seeking flexibility and ease in their mail forwarding service.
Forward2me—great for shoppers in the UK, US, Germany
Forward2me provides a straightforward platform for customers in Japan to receive and forward packages. Once a customer signs up, they receive a unique address to use for online shopping.
Packages arriving at the Forward2me facility are then forwarded to the customer's international address, simplifying the process of shopping from Japanese websites.
Tenso—best for online shoppers
For those looking to use forwarding services for online shopping in Japan,Tenso is a popular choice. Tenso offers overseas forwarding services, proxy purchases, and shipping discounts, making it easy to access Japanese online shopping sites like Amazon and Rakuten.
They will provide various shipping options, including EMS, Airmail, surface mail, and SAL, and offer additional services like proxy bidding for auction sites. Use their shipping calculator to find out the cost of shipping your item.
Benlyexpress.com—best for package consolidation
If you're eyeing the Japanese e-commerce scene, then should be on your radar. They've earned a reputation for their swift deliveries and dedication to making customers happy. What's more, they give services like package forwarding, repackaging and consolidating orders—it's all about letting you save those precious shipping dollars.
The pricing is clear as day and navigating their website is a breeze. No wonder folks around the globe prefer Benlyexpress when shopping from Japan.
Japan Post—best domestic forwarding service for relocations
Japan Post website
Japan Post is a popular choice for mail forwarding services within the country. They offer two methods to set up mail forwarding, including a paper form available at post offices, and an online form, which requires Japanese language proficiency and a mobile phone. Japan Post is known for its reliable and efficient mail delivery, making it a widely used option for both temporary and long-term mail forwarding needs.
Setting up Japan Post mail forwarding services can be accomplished through a simple process at the post office. For domestic mail forwarding, individuals can visit their local post office counter and complete a "notification of relocation" form (change of address form), 転居届 = tenkyo todoke, to ensure their mail is redirected to your new address.
Simply show photo ID, driver's license, residence card, or My Number card when filling out Japan Post's mail forwarding form, and you're all set. You can submit this via paper form as well as online.
Are there any concerns with using mail forwarding services in Japan?
If you have concerns about forwarding services, you're not entirely alone. Here are some of the top concerns and tips for making sure you choose the best service for your needs.
Are mail forwarding services safe?
When using mail forwarding services in Japan, security is often a top concern for customers. One way to alleviate these concerns is to choose a reputable company like MailMate, which has a strong track record for securely handling mail. Also, be sure to check reviews, too.
Are mail forwarding services in Japan expensive?
Another common concern when using mail forwarding services in Japan is the cost and pricing structure. Different companies may have varying fees, so it's crucial to compare your options to find the best value for your needs. Some factors to consider when evaluating costs include:
Some mail forwarding services might ask for a one-off payment to get your account going, but not all do. So when you're checking out different options, keep this in mind.
Depending on the service, there might be a monthly fee for maintaining your account.
Some services may charge a fee for each package they forward on your behalf.
Consider the shipping rates and whether they are competitive compared to other services.
When comparing mail forwarding services, check their costs and what they offer.
A tip for you: To get the most bang for your buck when it comes to shipping fees, try bundling up orders/packages from various sellers. When you do this, you're basically optimizing your savings on delivery charges.
To that end:
Be mindful of the total weight and dimensions of the consolidated parcel. Shipping costs generally increase with heavier packages and larger dimensions.
Track the arrival of your packages at the mail forwarding service's warehouse to ensure timely consolidation.
Request the removal of unnecessary packaging materials to reduce the weight and size of the consolidated package.
Remember when weighing up these services: keep an eye on any hidden fees or charges too. And don't forget about shipping rates—cheaper isn't always better if it means slower delivery or less reliable service. Bottom line? Do your homework before making a choice.
What type of import restrictions should I be aware of?
If you're using mail forwarding services, especially in places like Japan, it's key to know about their import laws. Japan is strict when it comes to bringing certain things into the country—stuff like weapons, drugs that are controlled substances, fake goods or anything that might break intellectual property rights.
Make sure to check if the items you want to receive via mail forwarding services are allowed to be imported into Japan. Understanding import restrictions can save you from unexpected delays and additional costs.
Before you go...
Mail forwarding services in Japan are crucial for travelers and expats needing access to their mail while being away from home. They offer wide-ranging solutions, including shipping proxies which cater to diverse customer needs.
If you're looking for a mail delivery service, or you will be away from home for a time and need a mail forwarding service, consider one of the options we've listed here, or book a demo with us to discuss your specifications!
Spending too long figuring out your Japanese mail?
Virtual mail + translation services start at 3800 per month. 30-day money-back guarantee.