Japan's Postal Services
Most post offices are equipped with International Automatic Teller Machines "ATMs". You can withdraw between 1,000 and 990,000 yen in cash depending on your credit limit.
Mailboxes are red in Japan and usually they have two openings: one for domestic and the other for international mails. The pickup times are marked on the mailbox. On Japan Post Group Website you can search for the available post offices and ATMs.
Door-to-door delivery services, known as Takuhaibin, are also provided by various companies other than the post office.
Japanese Address Order
In Japanese, the address is written in order from largest unit to smallest; it starts with the postal code, followed by the prefecture, city and subarea(s), and ends with the recipient's name.
If address is written in English, it starts with the recipient's name and end with the prefecture and postal code.
Prefectures are generally called ken (県), but there are also three other special prefecture types: to (都) for Tokyo, dō (道) for Hokkaidō and fu (府) for the two urban prefectures of Osaka and Kyoto.
Following the prefecture is the municipality. For a large municipality this is the city (shi, 市). Cities with a large enough population can be further broken down into wards (ku, 区).
For smaller municipalities, the address includes the district (gun, 郡) followed by the town (chō or machi, 町) or village (mura or son, 村).
Letters & Postcards "Tegami & Hagaki" – you can see the current charges chart for postage of standard size and nonstandard size postal items on Japan Post Website.
Express Mail "Sokutatsu" – Express mails are usually delivered the next day. Express letter-post items which are not registered can be dropped in a mailbox.
Ordinary Registered Mail "Ippan kakidome" – Ordinary registered mail is insured and can be traced. In the event that registered mail is lost or damaged while being handled by the post office, you may claim indemnity for the amount of actual damage "within the claimable amount indicated at the time of postage".
Currency Registered Mail "Genkinkakitome" – This is ordinary registered mail that is exclusively used for sending cash.
Simplified Registered Mail "Kan-i kakitome" - Simplified registered mail is a cheaper version of registered mail. In the event that this type of registered mail is lost or damaged while being handled by the post office, you may claim indemnity for the certain amount set by post office.
Letter Pack "Yu-Mail" – Letter Pack is a service with which packages of A4 size up to 4kg can be sent throughout Japan at a flat rate. This service can be used for sending printed materials including catalogues, brochures and samples for commercial use, invoices and contracts. The postal rate of a Letter Pack is cheaper than the rate of an ordinary parcel.
Postal Parcels "Yu-Pack" – This allows the sender to send registered, trackable parcels throughout Japan. The weight limit for normal Yu-Pack is 30kg and the length limit is 170cm. Yu-Pack services include refrigerated goods, skis’ and golf clubs and goods sent to airports.
A full listing of postal services and charges are provided on Japan Post Website.
Mail Forwarding "Tenso - 転送" - Japan Post provides a mail forwarding service when you move house – meaning the mails sent to your old address will be forwarded to your new address.
This can be arranged at the post office or online. To apply for the service, you should fill out a mail forwarding application form "Tenkyo Todoke - 転居届", at any post office, indicating the date of the move. An identification card is needed to confirm your identity.
Alternatively the service can be requested online, although the service is only available in Japanese.
International Mail Services - Japan post office also offers a wide range of goods and services for international mails including; Sending documents, letters, postcards, magazines and packages. You can choose one of the methods from the variety of services suggested that meets your needs.
International Letters - There are two types of letters: Standard-sized Mail and Nonstandard-sized Mail. With this service, letters and documents weighing up to 2kg can be sent.
International Postcards – A flat rate is set for surface mail and airmail. Exclusive international postcards for airmail are available at post offices.
Express Mail Service "EMS" - The express mail service is a fast and easy way to send tracked mail quickly to a number of different countries. The package can be up to 30kg in weight and no more than 150cm in length. Top priority among international mails is placed on EMS service.
Deliveries can be insured and traced online using a 13-digit tracking code. EMS mail must be sent from a post office.
Japan Post Banking has all the advantages of a bank plus slightly better interest rates, branches all over the country and slightly longer working hours.
An ordinary saving account "Tsujo Chokin - 通常貯金" is the most commonly used account. Depositors can withdraw money "yen" at about 500 Family Mart Stores in the Tokyo metropolitan and Kansai regions, in addition to all ATMs located in Japan Post Bank or post offices.
Anyone can open a postal deposit account. Take the money to be deposited and your hanko "Seal", and an identification card to a post office during business hours, and you can open an account immediately. A card and bankbook will be sent to you within a week by registered mail.
If your bankbook or the card is lost or stolen, you should inform the post office and your local police station. A bankbook or cash card will be reissued if you make a request in writing.