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Packing materials for international shipping


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Can anyone make some suggestions about good places to get packing materials for international shipping when in Japan?

 

In particular I'm thinking about somewhat bulky items like retro computers. Ideally they need to have some expanding foam packing inside. Sturdy boxes and foam peanuts etc. are also required.

 

I know Diaso has some cheap materials that are surprisingly good quality, but it's a bit limited. I see there are a lot of Yamato Transport drop off points that claim to have material available, but I've never visited one and I get the impression it's mostly just their own standard size boxes. Ideally I want to use Japan Post with surface shipping because it's the cheapest.

 

Are there shops where you can take items to be packed? I know there are some companies that specialize in overseas shipping who do re-packaging, but you have to get the item to them first. I figured it being Japan there would be someone offering this kind of service.

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Yavianice
Posted (edited)

You can buy packing materials at the Japanese post office generally (in my experience, the larger, the better). They are quite helpful, too.

Edited by Yavianice
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Ah yes, I do remember them being quite helpful the last time I was there, a many years ago. I couldn't find a list of items they sell on their website though, only stamps and letters.

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I felt like writing, sorry if it's a bit long...

 

I found this useful wiki page: https://akitajet.com/wiki/Shipping_items_home

 

Having used Japan Post before to send a box of train stuff home I was quite pleased with the service. Nothing got damaged. Box seems to have taken less abuse than my luggage did, but of course it mostly depends on where you live because no matter how gentle they are with it in Japan you can't stop your own postal service from providing their usual standard of care.

 

It wasn't too expensive either from memory.

 

Most of the long haul carriers offer two check-in bags now. You can often get cheap luggage in Japan on sale. I was thinking of getting one of those collapsible suitcases and packing it inside my other suitcase on the way out, but because they are soft they don't offer much protection. Anyway there is a limit of 23kg per bag on most airlines compared to 30kg for post. 23kg is actually quite a lot, or at least it is to a weakling like me. You can use clothes as padding material.

 

Additional check-in bags can usually be booked in advance for a slightly lower price than at the airport. The price is competitive with the post but there are two disadvantages. First you have to lug it all to the airport and then back to your home, and second when you go through customs on return if you have 3 suitcases for one person they might decide to check if any customs duty/sales tax is due. I've done it a couple of times and never been picked on but it's possible.

 

Then again they might decide to check your posted box too. If you write everything by hand on the box it seems to be less likely, they are more interested in official looking stuff sent for mail-order.

 

You can also take a lot of stuff as carry-on. There isn't really a weight limit, at least they never bother check and just seem to assume that if you aren't struggling with it like an Olympic weight lifter it's fine. A coat/jacket with big pockets is good for this. Uniqlo tends to have large pockets.

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Tony Galiani

The problem with that plan is then your wife takes the extra bag and stuffs it with her fabric purchases and you are back to square one with no room for trains ....

 

Though, while she is shopping in Nippori Fabric Town you can watch trains from that famous bridge over the tracks - something like 13 tracks maybe?  There always seems to be train in sight.

 

Cheers,

Tony

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She wants a rice cooker. You can get a Zojirushi export model in the UK but she is convinced that the ones sold in Japan are better...

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Tony Galiani

I would like a Zojirushi rice maker, to go along with my Zojirushi coffee maker, as well.  But what do they have - something like a dozen different models?  It's just rice!  Which I currently cook in a pot on the stove.  I am sure a rice maker would produce better results but some of those models seem more complicated than my car ....

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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On 8/12/2021 at 5:31 AM, Tony Galiani said:

I would like a Zojirushi rice maker, to go along with my Zojirushi coffee maker, as well.  But what do they have - something like a dozen different models?  It's just rice!  Which I currently cook in a pot on the stove.  I am sure a rice maker would produce better results but some of those models seem more complicated than my car ....

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

 

No, you do want one.   It is far superior to rice cooked in a pot.  Trust me.


We bought a (Japan domestic) Zojirushi back in 2003 and have been using it in the US since without issue, as our nominal 110-120V system is not much more than the 100V system in Japan and has the same plug to boot.

 

I am sure whatever electronic "fad" controls we have ("fuzzy logic" IIRC) on ours have long been surpassed by some new fad controls for rice cookers, but in the end, it is far easier and far superior to pot cooked rice, no matter which "fancy" model you get.

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Tony Galiani

So far so good - made my first rice in the cooker and it came out quite well.  A little surprised at how long it takes - almost an hour - but worth the wait.

Thanks,

Tony Galiani

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Zojirushi are the best. They seem to heat more evenly than others and their sensors are somehow better, the rice comes out perfect. Over a few years the amount of enjoyment you get and the amount of rice you save not getting stuck to the bottom of the pan probably pays for it.

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Sorry to add even more to the rice cooker talk but... They do have a quick cook option that still makes good quality rice for when you're in a hurry. It's not "quick" really, but faster than normal, at least. Our favorite thing about the Zojirushi rice cookers are that they keep the rice warm and ready to eat even for long periods of time (especially if you use the "extended warm" function). This is all with our specific "Neuro Fuzzy" model, though I'm sure the other models are just as good, if not better, depending on what you get.

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On 8/29/2021 at 5:10 PM, arkh said:

This is all with our specific "Neuro Fuzzy" model, though I'm sure the other models are just as good, if not better, depending on what you get.

 

Ours is similar.  We got ours in 2003.  They sometimes change the buzzwords, from what I've seen of later models, but I think they (Zojirushi) all have similar functionality in the end.

 

 

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