On our latest trip to Japan, we chose a backpacking approach instead of the traditional suitcase-packed vacation. Backpacking was the ideal choice for us this time as it aligned well with our travel agenda, which was exploring various cities and popular tourist destinations across Japan.
Lugging around heavy suitcases from one city to another felt inconvenient, especially when we wanted to roam freely and not feel weighed down by our baggage.
Thankfully, Japan offers a solution: coin-operated storage lockers are conveniently located at nearly every train station, making it easy for tourists like us to store our belongings temporarily.
In this article, I'll share the experience of using these storage lockers at Japanese train stations. Read on to learn more!
The first step is finding a locker. Typically, these storage facilities are situated in high-traffic areas like train stations, making them accessible to both local commuters and tourists.
These lockers can be found near train platforms, waiting rooms, or even near the station's entrance or exit. To locate them, look for signage or symbols that usually depict a box and a lock.
For instance, when we arrived at Nara Station, all the conveniently located lockers were already taken. We referred back to the station's signboard and discovered more lockers on the B1 floor of the station, a bit farther away.
So if you find that the lockers are full, don't give up! Consult the station's signage; there's likely another set of lockers available.
To determine if a locker is empty, look for one with a key still in it. If the key is missing, that means the locker is in use.
After finding an available locker, it's time to store your belongings. Japanese lockers come in various sizes, accommodating everything from small bags to larger items like suitcases or backpacks.
Choose a locker that fits your needs and test to make sure your items can fit inside. Arrange your belongings neatly to avoid damaging the locker's interior.
Next, it's time to lock your chosen locker. These storage lockers operate using a coin payment system. You'll need to insert the required amount of coins, as indicated on the locker's instruction label.
For example, we had 40-liter backpacks and needed a large locker, which cost us 700 yen (approximately 4,79 USD). Smaller lockers usually cost between 400 and 500 yen.
If you're short on coins, don't fret. Many locker areas also have money changers. Keep in mind that once you've paid for and locked the locker, you'll need to pay again to reopen it.
So make sure you store only the items you won't need immediate access to. We learned this the hard way when we forgot our tripod and water bottles in our locker!
Once you've inserted the necessary coins, turn the lock or knob (depending on the type of locker) until it clicks securely into place. Double-check to make sure the locker is locked before walking away.
The final step is safeguarding the locker key. Losing the key could make it difficult, if not impossible, to retrieve your stored items later.
When you're ready to collect your belongings, simply find the locker that matches the number on your key, unlock it, and retrieve your items.
And there you have it—a complete guide to using coin-operated storage lockers at Japanese train stations. We hope you find this information helpful, and if you have any more questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below!