Top 3 Virtual Mailbox Services for Japan

Top 3 Virtual Mailbox Services for Japan

Looking for an address in Japan to receive Japanese mail or to register your Japanese business? This article explains how virtual mail services in Japan could be the solution you need.

We explore how expats, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and executives use virtual mailbox services in Japan instead of office space and filing cabinets—and why you might want to use virtual mail over a traditional Japanese mailbox. 

We also introduce you to the top 3 virtual mailbox services for Japan!

But first, we answer some of your pressing questions!

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What’s the difference between a PO mailbox in Japan and a virtual mailbox in Japan?

While there is some overlap between PO mailboxes in Japan and virtual mailboxes in Japan, the primary differences between the two are as follows:

PO mailboxes in Japan are private mailboxes that can be rented at post offices or from mailbox services, primarily for customers concerned about privacy or requiring mail retrieval several times a day. Depending on the mailbox service, they might provide mail forwarding as an option.

Virtual mailbox services in Japan, like MailMate, provide individuals and businesses with a mailing address in Japan for a small monthly fee. This mailing address is not meant to be used for direct mail pickup by customers. Instead, mailroom staff notifies users when they receive postal mail. And, at a user’s request, they scan and upload your mail to the cloud.

Need a mailbox in Japan? 📬
Get a Japanese address and all your Japanese mail handled (we’ll even pay your bills if you want). Japanese phone numbers with bilingual receptionist service are also available. Plans start from $25/mo.
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What problems do virtual mail and a virtual address in Japan solve?

Users who choose a virtual mail service are often looking to solve the following issues:

A virtual mail service deals with these concerns with its online mail dashboard and mail forwarding service for Japan. (See even more reasons why people like you choose a virtual mail service!)

MailMate's virtual mailbox dashboard

Check out the following video, which gives a walkthrough of the MailMate dashboard.

Who uses virtual mailbox services in Japan?

The following are popular use cases among virtual mailbox users in Japan.

Case 1: The busy executive 

Stephen lives in Japan and wants all his mail digitized so he can forward mail to his lawyer, accountant, or virtual assistant. He wants to eliminate the time it takes to scan each piece of important-looking Japanese mail that comes to his home address.  

💡 A virtual mailbox like MailMate digitizes Stephen's mail for online forwarding (OCR scans) to the key members of his team, simplifying the process of getting accounting, translation, and legal assistance. 

Case 2: The entrepreneur

Hugh wants to bypass high office leases and is looking for a virtual office address that he can use on his tokibo tohon and other documents for company incorporation

💡With MailMate, Hugh gets a business address in Japan that he can use to incorporate his company, and MailMate handles all his physical corporate correspondence. 

Case 3: The digital nomad 

Cassandra lives in Japan but frequently travels for her work. Most of her bills can be paid online, which is essential for when she's traveling. However, occasionally, some ward notice or bill comes in while she's abroad that must be paid at the local convenience store

💡 With 1-click, Cassandra can request to have bills paid on her behalf, ensuring she is always on top of bill payment. Or she can ask for translated summaries of ward notices or other Japanese correspondence. 

Case 4: The expat leaving Japan 

Kate is leaving Japan. The Japan Postal Service does not provide international mail forwarding. Kate has looked at some private company options. However, she wants to immediately assess each piece of mail and offload subsequent tasks—instead of dealing with international postal lag. 

💡 MailMate gives Kate instant access to her Japanese mail, making sure she doesn't miss an important piece of correspondence ever again. 

Case 5: Akiya owners, second-property owners

Peter lives in the US and owns an akiya in Japan. He needs a service that will pay his akiya utility bills so that the water, electricity, and other utilities don't get turned off when he's not onsite.

💡 MailMate provides akiya owners and property owners with a complete mail-handling package, including tax agent service, online access to the mail that comes in to your second property, and liason services for utility companies.

What is a virtual mail service? Tell me specifically how it works.

A virtual mail service provides you with a physical mailing address in Japan, securely housed within their HQ. 

When the service receives a piece of mail on your behalf, they systematically scan your mail (outer envelope only) and upload it to our servers.

Then you request to have your mail opened, scanned, translated, summarized, or settled—all with 1-click. 

What is a virtual mail service? It's like magic. :)

Top virtual mailbox services in Japan in 2024

Currently, there are 3 well-known virtual mailbox services in Japan.

1. MailMate—best for expats and entrepreneurs

The only English virtual mailbox for Japan. MailMate allows users to access their local mail from anywhere in Japan—or the world—from MailMate’s online dashboard. Basic plan users can set up their business with a virtual address in Tokyo as well as a virtual address in Fukuoka.

Plus, there's fluently bilingual mailroom staff support mail-processing tasks.

MailMate also offers Japanese phone numbers along with bilingual receptionists who can respond to incoming calls.

This is the best mail forwarding service for expats and anyone looking for a virtual PO box.

Looking for a mailbox in Japan? 👀
Get a Japanese address + manage your mail online. Japanese phone numbers are also available. Starts from only $25 a month.
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2. Atena—good choice for enterprise companies that don't require English support

Atena users include individuals and businesses, emphasizing providing corporations accessibility to business mail so employees can WFH. The starter plan allows for up to 100 items of correspondence, after which mails are ¥240 per received item.

3. Todokeru—good choice for virtual mail software (Japanese only)

A relatively newer option on the virtual mail scene. Todokeru’s Cloud Mail Room service provides virtual mail services for companies. Mail viewing, sorting, organizing, and mail inventory reports are available through their dashboard. Pricing plans are available upon request.

What are the benefits of using a virtual mailbox service for Japan?

We’re glad you asked. With MailMate’s virtual mailbox service in Japan, you get... 

  • Your own upscale virtual address, located in Japan.

  • A business address you can use for company registration—at the most competitive price in Japan.

  • At your request, physical mail is opened and OCR-scanned.

  • Everything is stored in the cloud for easy access and forwarding to the key players in your team.

  • With 1-click, request a translated summary of any letter or bills paid on your behalf. 

  • Fully bilingual digital mailroom customer support to ease language concerns.

  • No more hiding from or dreading Japanese-language mail. 

Frequently asked questions

Can businesses use virtual mailbox services in Japan?

Absolutely. Virtual mailbox services like MailMate provide a cost-efficient way to solve high office leases while staying within Japan's business regulations. We provide you with a virtual corporate address, giving you the perks of a physical address but none of the high fees. You can use the virtual address on your tokibo tohon and other such forms.

What are the top virtual mailbox services in Japan?

The top virtual mailbox services for Japan are MailMate—best for expats and entrepreneurs; Atena—a good choice for enterprise companies that don't require English support; Todokeru—provides mailroom software for companies in Japanese.

What's the best mail-forwarding service for expats? 

If you are looking for domestic mail forwarding, then Japan Post is a good option. For international mail forwarding for expats, MailMate is the top choice because they provide bilingual service along with a virtual mail dashboard for immediate access to your postal mail.

What am I not allowed to use a virtual address in Japan for? 

Virtual addresses cannot be used on a residence card, driver's license, passport, or any instance that requires a place of residence vs. place of work. Additionally, while most company types are allowed to use virtual addresses to register their company, exceptions include businesses that must observe regulations surrounding their place of work.

Final thoughts

For anyone who wants a business address in Tokyo, Japan or a mail forwarding option because you're planning to leave Japan—try the best virtual mailbox service in Japan for the perfect no-fuss solution. Try MailMate to find out how expats in Japan make everyday living easier by using a bilingual virtual mailbox service!

About MailMate! 📬
Get a Japanese address and phone number—for business or personal use—and all your Japanese mail handled (we’ll even pay your bills if you want). Starts from only $25/mo.✨
By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Handling of Personal Information.

Spending too long figuring out your Japanese mail?

Virtual mail + translation services start at 3800 per month. 30-day money-back guarantee.

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