These companies will do the heavy lifting on your next trip to Japan.
As ski season approaches, many will be beginning the trek to Hokkaido's frosted mountain slopes. But if the thought of lugging your heavy equipment through crowded stations adds to your chills, there are easier ways to reach the powder.
This year, the Japan Tourism Board launched Luggage Free Travel (luggage-free-travel.com; large bags from ¥2,000), where users can book online to receive a QR code, drop bags off at the airport when they land, and begin exploring the city right away knowing their luggage is headed straight for their hotel room. With the website already available in eight languages, including the recent addition of Thai, more of the region can travel lighter in Japan.
Another big name delivery service is Yamato Transport Co. (www.global-yamato. com/en/hands-free-travel; large bags from ¥2,138), run by Japan Tourism Agency and recognizable by their black-cat logo. Celebrating their 100th anniversary next year, Yamato has counters at most Japanese airports and popular train stations, and offers options to send all sorts of luggage, from small bags and boxes to heavy golf equipment and bulky snowboards.
Both companies can also deliver your luggage from hotel to hotel, between prefectures and back to the airport, so you can enjoy your entire trip without having to lift a finger.