Leaving Japan For a Month or More? Your FAQs Answered

Leaving Japan For a Month or More? Your FAQs Answered

Leaving Japan for a month or longer? Taking an overdue vacation, or finally visiting your family back home? 

What should you be thinking about as you get ready to travel? 

We’ve gathered your FAQs about longer trips, such as what to do with your mail, plants, housekeeping, and other concerns related to leaving Japan for a couple of months. 

Here are answers to the frequently asked questions we have received! 

I need someone to pay my bills and take care of my mail while I’m gone.

Yup. Mail doesn’t stop while you’re out of town. And you don’t want to return to Japan only to find you’ve missed payments or important notices from the city office. 

Here’s a way for you to check your physical mail on your phone: Redirect your mail to TokyoMate’s Virtual Mail office, and then you’ll be able to stay on top of your Japan Post mail from anywhere! TokyoMate’s cloud-based dashboard lets us handle translation summaries, payment of bills, forwarding, and more—all on your behalf!

Price: Plans start from ¥3,800 per month

I’m looking for a pet sitter in Tokyo.

HappyWanNyan and PetBacker are sharing-based services that connect pet guardians to local pet sitters and other services. You can read past reviews on sitters and check out their profiles to find a good match. For PetBacker, pet sitters are screened and only 30% make the cut. However, HappyWanNyan has a greater number of pet sitters registered.  

Depending on where you are based in Japan, you might have more or less options in your area. Keep in mind, there’s a limit to how many pets any sitter can take at one time, particularly if you will be gone for a couple of months.  

Price: From ¥2,500 to ¥5,000 per night

I need someone to do light housekeeping chores while I’m away.

For those with properties that require some type of maintenance so your neighbors won’t give you the side eye, consider hiring a housekeeper while you’re out of town. 

Kurashinity offers professional housekeepers who will take care of the usual household chores, as well as tasks that the traveler might be interested in, such as watering your plants, window cleaning, and weeding—those small touches that will keep your home looking lived in and fresh, even while you’re out of town. (For further options, check out this article, “6 Top Picks: English-Speaking Maid and House Cleaning Services in Tokyo.”)

Price: Spot services (1 staff for 3 hours) start from ¥16,500

How can I keep my plants watered while I’m away for a couple of months?

If you plan to be away for a week, there are plenty of DIY options you can try, including the water wicking method, where you place a large jar of water next to your plant and place one end of the yarn or shoelace into the water and the other end into your plant’s soil. The larger your vessel for water, the longer your plant will stay watered. 

Alternatively, according to the Laidback Gardener, you can place your plant in a plastic bag, sealing it shut, and the plant will remain effectively self-watered through humidity for up to 6 months so long as you gave it a good watering before enclosing the plant! 

Price: The price of a plastic bag or a shoelace

How do I send my luggage straight to Narita airport?

If you’re going home for a couple of months, chances are good that you’re traveling with more luggage than usual. Yamamoto Transport has an airport TA-Q-BIN service, complete with detailed English explanations, and you can send your bags from your local convenience store and pick them up at baggage pickup at Narita airport or other airport of your choice. 

Their page lists how to send, how to pack, and other good-to-know tips about using their service. 

Price: Prices depend on where you’re sending it from. Sending a large suitcase from a Tokyo address to Narita will cost ¥2,730. Check out their price calculation table, which is in English and easy to use. 

What’s the easiest and safest way to get to Narita airport? 

If you don’t want to deal with figuring out a train or bus route to Narita airport, the easiest and safest way to travel is booking a limo service. 

TokyoMK provides English-speaking drivers and a premium car service that offers airport transfers you can book in advance. For your return trip to Japan, they also provide a service that complies with “using vehicle with infection prevention measures” as mandated by the Quarantine Office.  

Price: Go here for a price chart; from ¥42,000 for trips to/from Narita (English-speaking driver ¥3,000) and to/from 23 Tokyo wards

What’s the simplest and fastest way to ship items home from Japan?

So, let’s say you’ve maxed out the airline’s luggage allotment. Or you don’t want the hassle of travelling with bulky or heavy items and carting your belongings from your destination’s airport to your destination. What are your options here? 

Japan Post has a well-documented English language page that explains their Express Mail Service (EMS), which is “the fastest international mail service for sending up to 30 kg,” typically delivered between 2 to 4 days. Airmail is the second fastest option, which gets you your parcel within 6 to 8 days. Economy Airmail delivers within 2 to 3 weeks. (For further reading on this topic, check out, “Shipping Options for Sending Packages Home from Japan.”)

Price: Depends on country and weight of your parcel, but let’s say you’re shipping a 10 kg box from Tokyo to the UK using EMS. This will cost ¥21,600 and delivery will be within 2 days. Go here for Japan Post’s international price calculator

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