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?


  • 3
  • 2
    I am not sure if poste restante is available for packages, though... – xuq01 May 22 '18 at 1:06
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about travel. – fkraiem May 22 '18 at 2:02
  • (BTW I disagree with the other close vote; a shopping question is "What is the best/cheapest/etc. way to do X?", not "Is it possible to do X?") – fkraiem May 22 '18 at 2:49

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.

Here are Japan Post's official instructions for using the service (in Japanese), and here is an informative post (again in Japanese) from a post office employee on how to do it. Their tips:

  • 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?

  • 4
    "not all post offices are guaranteed to offer refrigeration services" - only in Japan do they caution you that not every location offers a service that I wouldn't have possibly imagined was offered anywhere. – Zach Lipton May 22 '18 at 6:54
  • Nowhere is it specified that it works for international mail or packages, especially if the package delivery on the Japan side is not handled by JP (Wikipedia asserts it without a reference, and the JP page you link does not mention international mail). – fkraiem May 22 '18 at 6:58
  • 2
    @fkraiem Here's an (anonymous) Japan Post employee saying it works, although they strongly recommend registered mail: detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q12173155017 I'll add a few of their tips. – lambshaanxy May 22 '18 at 11:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.