International Shipping from Japan: Options & FAQs [Updated 2024]

International Shipping from Japan: Options & FAQs [Updated 2024]

Returning to your home country? Sending a package to a loved one? Wondering what the cheapest options are for sending something from Japan? 

Finding the best way to ship something from Japan depends on your budget and the type of goods you wish to send. 

This article covers the 3 most used and trusted options for international shipping from Japan to your home country. Plus, we cover several of your most-asked questions!

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The Japan Post Office—the cheapest international shipping from Japan

 The Japan Post Office

If you're looking for cheap international parcel delivery, the Japan Post Office’s international parcel post service allows you to send up to 30 kg per box with a 10 percent discount for 10 to 49 parcels.

When sending your parcel via the post office, you can choose between the following types of international parcel delivery:

  • Express Mail Service (EMS). Most costly, delivery in 2 to 4 days

  • Airmail. Higher-end price, delivery in 3 to 6 days

  • Surface Mail. Cheap international shipping by sea. Low-cost option, delivery in 1 to 3 months

Use their online calculating system (English) to find the price you will pay per box. 

One factor to keep in mind is the size of your parcel. There are two standard sizes that countries will accept via post. The following image shows the two acceptable sizes:

Image. Dimensions for International Parcel Post, Japan Post Office. 
Image. Dimensions for International Parcel Post, Japan Post Office. 

To find the applicable dimensions for a country, check out the downloadable PDFs here (Japanese). Or keep your box under the B dimensions listed above. That is, with a total size not exceeding 200 cm, the longest side under 105 cm, and total weight not exceeding 30 kg.  

Sending items through the Japan Post Office is a safe bet for those who are shipping souvenirs to loved ones or are shipping small-scale personal belongings home. The benefits include a discount for multiple boxes and thorough English documentation on how to send your items. Also, you get the option to insure the goods you send and free pickup service, too. This article gives you a step-by-step guide in English.

If you want to ship an item home that exceeds the permissible dimensions or weight (such as golfing equipment, furniture, or an appliance), choose Yamato Transport's International Moving Service

👉 Learn about luggage delivery services in Japan!

Yamato Transport’s International Moving service—the best choice for furniture and household goods

Yamato Transport’s International Moving service

Japan’s leading delivery service company, Yamato Transport, handles furniture and appliance shipping. Here are the various door-to-door moving plans that they offer. 

  • Standard Plus Plan. All-inclusive relocation services. Will ship furniture. Will help pack and unpack. Shipment by air or sea. Must request an estimate.

  • Standard Plan. Their most popular plan includes everything in the Standard Plus except unpacking small items and only provides shipment by sea. Must request an estimate.

  • Basic Plan. A cost-effective plan for those who can manage the packing of their goods by themselves. Yamato will pick up your goods to be shipped by sea and then deliver them to your destination. Must request an estimate.

  • Tanshin Plan. A plan in which you get a specified number of boxes, depending on the course you choose within the Tanshin Plan. Shipped by sea. An online calculator on the Tanshin page (scroll down) allows you to look at the prices for their various courses. In one simulation, shipping to Washington DC from Japan will cost ¥160,000 for 9 boxes using their Minimum Course. 

  • Ryugaku TAQBIN. This plan is for those who want to ship boxes starting from 1 parcel. The Ryugaku TAQBIN page has an online calculator (scroll down) to get a quote for the box you wish to send.  

Yamato Transport provides pickup services and communications handled in English. Their services are great if you don’t mind the higher price tag and are mainly interested in convenience.

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Yamato Transport’s International TA-Q-Bin service—a top choice for speedy deliveries and sending perishables

Yamato Delivery man

Yamato Transport’s International TA-Q-Bin service allows you to ship up to 160 cm and 25 kg parcels. Rates are divided by region.

Here’s a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay for delivery to countries in Zone 1 and Zone 2. 

Yamato’s Zone 1

Zone 1 includes South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Size

Document Pack

Size 60

Size 80

Size 100

Size 120

Size 140

Size 160

Cost

950 JPY

2,050 JPY

3,450 JPY

6,450 JPY

10,950 JPY

14,950 JPY

18,950 JPY

International TA-Q-Bin rates for Zone 1, Global Yamato.

Yamato’s Zone 2

Zone 2 includes Australia, New Zealand, the United States of American, Canada, Mexico, and India.

Size

Document Pack

Size 60

Size 80

Size 100

Size 120

Size 140

Size 160

Cost

1,200 JPY

2,750 JPY

4,650 JPY

8,850 JPY

15,050 JPY

20,550 JPY

26,050 JPY

International TA-Q-Bin rates for Zone 2, Global Yamato.

For other zone rates, go to this page and scroll down. Please note that Yamato Transport will not ship suitcases. You must pack all items in a box that conforms to size guidelines. This service is separate from Yamato Transport’s International Moving service, but they have an English language contact/pickup request form

Yamato’s International Ta-Q-Bin service is a good option if you need next-day delivery to an Asian region where TA-Q-BIN operates. Or speedy delivery to other locations that Yamato services. For example, if you send a box on Monday, the minimum delivery time for it to arrive in a major US city is Friday or Saturday.

Use Yamato Transport’s calculator to get international shipping times and your parcel's approximate fee and time frame.

For more specific requests, contact their English customer service via their inquiry form or telephone during business hours 9:00 - 18:00.

  • Toll-free from Japan: 0120-17-9625

  • From overseas: +81-3-6757-1061

Other shipping options from Japan for you to consider

  • DHL provides services shipping from Japan to 200 countries worldwide, an option to consider if you have a pallet’s worth of items to ship home. (Pallet dimensions 120 x 120 x 160; maximum pallet weight 300 kg.)  

  • USPS is another option, with an online calculator here. However, as of March 26, 2020, they have suspended their USPS Service Guarantee for all shipments. Pay excess baggage fees on your return flight. Doing so will allow you to stay in step with your belongings and might prove less costly than the other options listed in this article. (See JAL’s excess baggage fee chart or ANA’s excess baggage fee chart.) If you choose this option, Yamato Transport provides an airport delivery service, allowing seamless pickup and drop-off when checking in for your outgoing flight.

  • Go here for more English-speaking moving services in Japan!

  • Learn about mail forwarding services in Japan.

There are 3 popular destinations that people ship to from Japan: America, Australia, and the UK. For these locations, you’ll need to fill out Electronic Advance Data (EAD) if you are using Japan Post.

If you are having trouble, I’d recommend going to a larger Japan Post Office where they have more experience handling international shipping from Japan. 

Shipping from Japan to the USA

The shipping cost to America doesn't vary much between states.

For example, shipping a 10-gram parcel to California from Tokyo will take about 11-12 days and cost about 3,900 JPY. However, shipping the same parcel to New York from Tokyo will take 12-13 days for the same amount.

The cheapest shipping from Japan to the USA is 2,600 JPY for up to a 1kg parcel via Japan Post’s SurfaceMail, even though delivery takes 1-3 months.

Plus, no matter which shipping method you choose, you’ll receive a tracker to ensure your package is delivered to its destination.

Shipping from Japan to Australia

Because of the distance, shipping to Australia from Japan is relatively less stressful. 

Shipping options include air and sea freight options with varying prices depending on the delivery time.

If you were to ship from Japan to Australia for a 10-gram package, it’d take about 8 days and cost 3,150 JPY with Japan Post’s EMS.

Shipping from Japan to the UK 

The cheapest shipping option from Japan to the UK will be Surface Mail from Japan Post, which costs around 2,500 JPY for a 10-gram parcel. It will take about 1-3 months for it to be delivered.

However, the fastest method, Japan Post’s EMS, costs about 3,150 JPY and has an estimated delivery time of about 5 days.


Leaving Japan permanently or leaving Japan temporarily? Check out our 2 guides on the topic:


More frequently asked questions about international shipping from Japan

Is Japan Post still shipping internationally?

Japan Post continues to ship internationally. But, due to reduced transportation capacity in certain countries, you may experience delivery delays. Refer to Japan Post's “Service delivery by country” for timeframes, precautions, and other matters to remember when sending your parcel. 

What is the cheapest international shipping from Japan?

Japan Post cheapest and most expensive shipping costs

Japan Post's International Parcel Delivery is the cheapest international shipping from Japan via surface mail. Japan Post's International Parcel Delivery via SAL (Economy Air) is the second cheapest option.

To see comparison charts for your parcel, input your details in Japan Post's online calculator

Japan Post’s International Parcels Rates via Surface

Weight

Zone 1: China, South Korea, Taiwan

Zone 2: Rest of Asia

Zone 3: Oceania, Canada, Mexico, Middle East, Europe

Zone 4: US (including Guam and other US territories)

Zone 5: Central and South America

Up to 1kg

1,800 JPY

2,100 JPY

2,500 JPY

2,600 JPY

2,700 JPY

Up to 2kg

2,200 JPY

2,600 JPY

3,100 JPY

3,300 JPY

3,400 JPY

Up to 3kg

2,600 JPY

3,100 JPY

3,700 JPY

4,000 JPY

4,100 JPY

Up to 4kg

3,000 JPY

3,600 JPY

4,300 JPY

4,700 JPY

4,800 JPY

Up to 5kg

3,400 JPY

4,100 JPY

3,900 JPY

5,400 JPY

5,500 JPY

Up to 6kg

3,800 JPY

4,600 JPY

5,500 JPY

6,100 JPY

6,200 JPY

Up to 7kg

4,200 JPY

5,100 JPY

6,100 JPY

6,800 JPY

6,900 JPY

Up to 8kg

4,600 JPY

5,600 JPY

6,700 JPY

7,500 JPY

7,600 JPY

Up to 9kg

5,000 JPY

6,100 JPY

7,300 JPY

8,200 JPY

8,300 JPY

Up to 10kg

5,400 JPY

6,600 JPY

7,900 JPY

8,900 JPY

9,000 JPY

Price chart of International Parcels via Surface from Japan Post

Japan Post’s International Parcels Rates via SAL

Note: All SAL shipments have been temporarily suspended as of Spring 2024.

Weight

Zone 1:

China, South Korea, Taiwan

Zone 2:

Rest of Asia

Zone 3:

Oceania, Canada, Mexico, Middle East, Europe

Zone 4: US (including Guam and other US territories)

Zone 5:

Central and South America

Up to 1kg

1,900 JPY

2,300 JPY

2,800 JPY

2,900 JPY

3,500 JPY

Up to 2kg

2,500 JPY

3,000 JPY

4,000 JPY

4,100 JPY

5,400 JPY

Up to 3kg

3,100 JPY

3,700 JPY

5,200 JPY

5,300 JPY

7,300 JPY

Up to 4kg

3,700 JPY

4,400 JPY

6,400 JPY

6,500 JPY

9,200 JPY

Up to 5kg

4,300 JPY

5,100 JPY

7,600 JPY

7,700 JPY

11,100 JPY

Up to 6kg

4,800 JPY

5,700 JPY

8,600 JPY

8,700 JPY

12,300 JPY

Up to 7kg

5,300 JPY

6,300 JPY

9,600 JPY

9,700 JPY

13,500 JPY

Up to 8kg

5,800 JPY

6,900 JPY

10,600 JPY

10,700 JPY

14,700 JPY

Up to 9kg

6,300 JPY

7,500 JPY

11,600 JPY

11,700 JPY

15,900 JPY

Up to 10kg

6,800 JPY

8,100 JPY

12,600 JPY

12,700 JPY

17,100 JPY

Price chart of International Parcels via SAL from Japan Post

What is the fastest international shipping from Japan?

If you are shipping to a major city in Asia, the fastest shipping from Japan is Yamato’s International TA-Q-BIN service. The service provides next-day delivery to countries in Asia with TA-Q-BIN offices. If you are shipping to the rest of the world, Japan Post’s Express Mail Service (EMS) provides delivery within 2-4 business days on average.

What is Electronic Advance Data (EAD)?

Japan Post no longer accepts handwritten labels for international packages to the US and other countries. Customers must input shipping destination details online, using Japan Post’s International My Page Service. These details are converted to Electronic Advance Data (EAD), and you get a shipping label to print.

Image. Flow chart of how to use Japan Post’s International Mail My Page Service to print a shipping label and transmit Electronic Advance Data.
Image. Flow chart of how to use Japan Post’s International Mail My Page Service to print a shipping label and transmit Electronic Advance Data.

Check out "How to Register for Japan Post" by Jevon Allen, which walks you through registering and printing a shipping label.


Final thoughts

Your options around international shipping from Japan come down to how much you’re willing to pay and your Japanese level.

If you can speak Japanese, Japan Post provides reasonable options along with discounted shipping rates.

If you want service in English, go with Yamato Transport.


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Tomoko Matsuoka is a contributing editor and writer for MailMate, Shoeboxed, and a number of online resource libraries. She writes guides on life in Japan and covers Japanese business news, digitalization, and productivity tools and software.

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