For me, there is no convenience in the world like there is at Narita with regard to luggage shipment. Because I take N’Ex (Narita Express) most of the time, and because almost always I carry two huge suitcases plus two carry-ons, I opt to drop the big ones off at a shipment company, located in the Arrival Hall, usually direction leftward when you just emerge out of the Customs area.
Drop off the luggage, fill in the forms (name, address, phone number), pay the cost, and answer the question of when you would like your luggage delivered: Morning, afternoon, or evening. Amazingly, they will give you a very narrow waiting-window. For example, if you say you want it in the morning, they will give you the option of between 8-10, 10-12 and so on. Try that with UPS and FedEx in the US, where you will be given a wait-window between 8:00 to 17:00 (or later) for a shipment, and then it comes at the very end of the day anyway.
It costs money, but when you travel with N’ex, you may not want to carry too much, because not only will you have a long trek to reach the ticket counter and platform, but you also will have a long way to go once you reach your station. At the Tokyo Station, for example, you will have to walk up many escalators (about three floors up) and still have quite a walk before reaching the taxi out front.
Similarly, when you are starting from the city, heading to Narita, you can ship your luggage to the airport. Major hotels concierge knows how to do this. The only caveat is that the luggage has to be shipped the day before your day of travel. In such case, make sure to finish the major packing before then, and take last-minute shopping with your carry-on. You can always repack at the airport, between the time you retrieve your luggage at the shipment company and the time that you check in at your airline counter.
Delivery companies will also pick up luggage from homes. One has to call the company to arrange the pick-up. The company will prepare the paperwork after being informed on the date and airport destination.
ABC Baggage Delivery Services goes one step further, for pay, to check in your luggage at your airline. On the day of departure, ABC will give you the baggage claim tag, and you will pick up your luggage at the overseas luggage claim (meaning, you do not have to retrieve your luggage at the ABC counter and then drag them to the airline counter).
For more information on Narita Luggage Shipment, please click HERE.
Click HERE for ABC Baggage Delivery Service PDF.
This Blog Entry was originally published in 2004 but has been revised and updated to reflect current information (as of June 2011).