What Is a Virtual Mailbox Service in Japan?

What Is a Virtual Mailbox Service in 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.

In fact, did you know that virtual addresses can be used for Japanese company incorporation

Plus, with accompanying virtual mail software, you can banish Japanese-mail-dread with 1-click translation requests.  

Today, we’re looking at expats, entrepreneurs, and executives who use virtual mailbox services in Japan over office space and filing cabinets—and why you might want a virtual mail service over a traditional Japanese mailbox. 

First, we answer some of your pressing questions!


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 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, 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. This mailing address is not meant to be used for direct mail pickup by customers. Instead, mailroom staff notifies users when they receive mail. And, at a user’s request, they scan and upload your mail to the cloud.


What problems do virtual mail and a virtual address in Japan solve?

Users who choose MailMate as their virtual mail provider are often looking to solve the following issues:

MailMate 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!)


Who uses virtual mailbox services in Japan?

Based on MailMate’s user profiles, we frequently see the following user 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 likeMailMate 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. 


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

MailMate's service provides you with a physical mailing address in Japan, securely housed within MailMate HQ. When we receive a piece of mail on your behalf, we 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. :)

What are the top virtual mailbox services in Japan?

Presently, there are 3 well-known virtual mail services in Japan.

1. MailMate

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 use the virtual address to set up their business. Fluently bilingual mailroom staff support mail-processing tasks.

2. Atena

Atena is the Japanese version of MailMate. 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

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.


How do I sign up for MailMate’s virtual mail service?

Here's a step-by-step for how to get started: 

Step 1. Request a consultation, and then sign up!

MailMate accepts all major credit cards, and payments are processed with Stripe.

Step 1. Request a consultation for your Japan mailbox, and then sign up!

Step 2. Get your mail redirected to your new address, located within our HQ.

Check out our detailed mail forwarding guide that comes with many pictures!

Step 2. Get your mail redirected to your new address, located within our HQ.

Step 3. *Ping!* Get notified whenever we receive your mail.

Log into your dashboard, and with 1-click, you request for it to be opened, settled, or translated.

Step 3. *Ping!* Get notified whenever we receive your mail.

Step 4. We pay your bills at the local convenience store, provide translation summaries, and more.

You have 1 less thing to worry about.


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

MailMate's virtual mail online dashboard

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. 


More frequently asked questions about MailMate’s virtual mailbox services

You asked. We answered. Here are the frequently asked questions users ask us before signing up!

Is your online mail dashboard secure?

We only use the most advanced adaptive hashing, secure network with SSL, and VPN to protect your data.

Can businesses use virtual mailbox services in Japan?

Absolutely. MailMate provides 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.

Do you provide mail-forwarding services? 

Yes! If you want all your physical mail forwarded to your address, we do that, too. Let us know your details, and we'll give you a quote. In some cases, this will cost a separate fee.  

I don’t want to miss important mail. Can MailMate provide reliable service?

Our expert server engineers ensure the correct systems are in place, updated, and maintained, so your MailMate experience is always smooth and stable.

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.

How does MailMate keep my data secure if I upload my personal information?

We only use the most advanced adaptive hashing, secure network with SSL, and heavy-duty VPN to protect your data. Your credit card information is kept secure with Stripe—renowned as one of the world’s safest payment platforms.


Final thoughts

For anyone who wants a business address in Japan–but would rather someone else handle the Japanese mail, a virtual mailbox service in Japan is the perfect no-fuss solution. You should be able to check your physical mail from your phone. Now you can. Schedule your free consult!

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