Coin lockers are a nomad’s best friend, allowing them to free up their hands and experience a new city. Japan is full of sights to see and places to experience, which is why tourists continually explore the land of the rising sun.
If you’re looking for the scoop on how you can enjoy your time in Japan to the greatest degree, consider coin lockers to help take some of the load off.
Are Coin Lockers Safe in Japan? What You Need to Know
When it comes to separating from your luggage, you need to ensure that the place you choose to leave it is safe. A lot of tourists are extra cautious, especially if they have important documents like IDs and passports or electronics and other valuables.
When traveling to Japan, you can rest assured that your belongings are under the best care. Most places in Japan that hold onto travelers’ possessions (i.e. bus stations, airports, etc.) are kept under close watch.
Japan has 24-hour surveillance, ensuring that there is no foul play or theft at these lockers.
That means that you can store your things and worry about more important things, like getting to know the city, the culture, and the cuisine.
Most places are under surveillance but, before you leave your things in a coin locker, locate the cameras and ensure that it’s a well-lit and safe area to store them.
How To Use Coin Lockers in Japan
Coin lockers are convenient and safe, which is why you should consider using them during your visit to Japan. Below, we’ll go into detail about how easy they are to use and what you can expect to pay when you leave your luggage.
Step 1: Select Your Locker
Lockers come in all different sizes, ranging from small to large. Small lockers are great for totes and backpacks while large lockers will hold all of your bigger bags filled with your personal necessities.
In most places, you’ll find that you can choose from lockers that accept IC cards and cash.
IC cards are a great way to go, especially if you plan to travel throughout Japan. These will remain valid and are much more convenient than carrying around coins. So, first thing’s first, choose your locker, reading the fine print and ensuring it’s under 24-hour surveillance.
Step 2. Add your Luggage Or Personal Items
Once you’ve chosen your locker, simply head to an empty one and open up the door. Then, start adding your baggage, making sure that it all fits and the door shuts and is locked securely.
You don’t want to add too much stuff and you want plenty of room to shut the door so that your luggage will be safe.
Step 3. Lower the Lever
Most coin machines have a lever that you pull down once your stuff is inside. All you have to do is pull it down and wait for the screen to confirm it’s securely locked.
Be sure to check the locker number on the locker and on the screen match, making sure there are no errors before beginning.
Step 4. Choose your Payment Method
Next, you’ll be prompted to choose your payment method. You can choose from an IC card or cash, which is accepted in the local currency (yen).
Depending on the method you choose, you may have to either swipe your card or manually put in the correct number of coins, or insert bills where appropriate.
Step 5. Grab your Receipt
The last thing you want to do is walk away before you have your receipt in hand. While it might look like any other common receipt, this one has a code that you will need to open up your locker. This pin is required to open the locker and could cause a lot of chaos if lost.
Step 6. Enjoy the City!
As long as you have your receipt in hand, you can take off and start exploring the city. There are a ton of sites to see in every city in Japan, so make sure that you know where to go and what you’d like to see.
How To Collect your Luggage
Remember that receipt we told you about? Well, when collecting your luggage, this is the time it comes in handy. Have it in hand and go to the locker you chose to store your stuff in.
From there, all you’ll have to do is enter the number provided, pull the lever down, open the locker, and collect your belongings.
Keep in mind that most coin lockers have hours of operation. That means that if you happen to come by too late, they will charge you for an extra day.
Keep that in mind before leaving your luggage too long. Also, don’t leave your luggage in for a long period of time, as the lockers usually only allow up to three days of usage.
If you do happen to leave your luggage for more than three days, the company will usually remove it, placing it in the management office and leaving it there until you come and pick it up.
It’s not clear how much pick-up will cost you, but just know it’s typically not cheap.
What Happens If You Lose your Receipt?
First of all, you’re not alone. Many travelers have lost their receipts during their travels, so don’t panic.
If you do lose your receipt and or key and are unable to get your locker open, you’ll need to call management. You’ll find the number listed above the hours, though it may be in Japanese.
If needed, ask someone that’s near for help or use the help of a translation app to get the correct number. Japanese people are usually very helpful to tourists, so ask them and see if they will help or even give the management company a call for you.
Keep in mind that the inability to open a locker can cost you, with fees going up to 5000 yen (About $43 USD).
That could put a damper on your budget or future travels, so be sure that you guard your receipt/key or even snap a picture of it so that you have it stored in your phone and ready when you need access to your luggage.