I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question but I wasn’t sure which stackexchange site I should post this too.
I currently live in the UK and send monthly packages to my friend who lives in Tokyo, Japan. Due to a recent personal problem, I am no longer able to send packages directly to her house. Therefore she told me to send it to a post office instead and she would collect it from there. After some extensive googling, I found that this kind of service is called “kyoku dome” (局留め) but there doesn’t seem to be a guide for my situation. Also this only seems to be able to be done inside of Japan but I am unsure. I have asked my Japanese friends but they either don’t know or haven’t sent packages to a post office in Japan from outside of Japan.
Is it possible for me to send a package, addressed to a post office in Japan with her name on it, from the UK and somehow get my friend to collect it? Does anyone know the procedure?
Yes, you can use poste restante services in Japan, and it works for packages as well (although Japan Post helpfully warns that not all post offices are guaranteed to offer refrigeration services). Received goods are kept for 10 days and there’s no notification to the receiver, although if you include a phone number they may (no guarantees) give them a ring.
- Use registered mail with a tracking number. International mail delivery is slow and unpredictable and the 10 day window is short, this will let the recipient avoid many pointless trips to the post office.
- The words “Poste Restante” are unlikely to be recognized. If you can, write the address in Japanese as “○○郵便局留め” (where ○○ is the post office name); if you can’t, write ○○-PostOffice-Kyokudome (eg. AobaEkimae-PostOffice-Kyokudome) in English.
All that said, the same employee recommends using an actual address if possible. Does your friend have a friend/workplace/other that could receive packages on her behalf?