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I'm planning a trip to Japan end of next march. I want to take my yumi (Japanese longbow, around 2.3 meters long) with me, as I have some contacts I'd like to train with.

Now I was wondering how difficult it is to travel with such a long piece of luggage in Japan, specifically on trains (Shinkansen).

I have found this notice here:

〈持ち込める荷物〉

●携帯できる荷物で、タテ・ヨコ・高さの合計が250センチ(長さは2メートルまで)以内で、重さが30キロ以内のものを2個まで持ち込むことができます。

Which means (if I'm not mistaken): Width + height + length < 250 cm. And neither one of them larger than 2 m. And under 30 kg (not a problem here).

Which would mean, I cannot take a yumi on a Shinkansen.

What are my options? Just take it with me and explain that it is a yumi (hoping for understanding) or use a shipping service between the places where I stay (or where I want to use it, if storing for a few days is possible)?

  • Yes I'll probably ask my contacts as well. – Arsenal Sep 3 '18 at 15:01
  • Is renting a car not an option? – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Sep 3 '18 at 16:01
  • @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas I plan on going there for 3 weeks, and want to go from Tokyo to Miyakonojo and then to Sapporo (some stops between), so I don't think that renting a car is a nice approach. – Arsenal Sep 3 '18 at 17:35
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There are a lot of rules for what you're can and can't bring on trains, but in my experience enforcement is very lax if you're not being an obvious nuisance — there are no conductors with tape measures inspecting every piece of luggage that comes in. So while your mileage may vary, I suspect you'll be just fine even though your yumi is 2.3m instead of 2.0m.

Here's a random forum thread (in Japanese) discussing bringing various awkward objects including a 2m-long sword (!) on Japanese trains and buses, and nobody reported any problems.

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You should have no trouble at all with a Yumi (longbow) on the trains in Japan. I see people carrying them all the time. I wouldn't worry about it.

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