Return to
Japan With Kids Home Page

Forum Main Page
Keyword Search
New Posts
Last Week

Getting Started
Register Here
Edit Profile
Contact Admin

For Admins
Forum Software

Moving and delivery companies

Japan With Kids - Forums: Consumer Reports: Moving and delivery companies
By tara on Saturday, August 19, 2000 - 1:39 pm:

I just got finished having a king-size bed shipped halfway across Tokyo and I had such a good experience with the moving company that I wanted to recommend it here. Although it was only one piece of furniture, this was not an easy move-- the mattress didn't fit up the stairs, so they had to hoist it up through the second-floor window-- but they did everything efficiently and without complaint.

I have moved 5 times since coming to Japan and this was *definitely* the best experience I've had. I wasn't moving an entire apartment or anything, so take this recommendation for what it is worth, but I would DEFINITELY use them again, no question.

The company is called "Leopard Express" and is based in Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, but they do Tokyo stuff too (I'm in eastern Tokyo, in Adachi-ku). Their ad says they do international moves as well as domestic ones. Their number is 0120-08-1737, or 045-585-1737 on weekends/evenings, fax 045-585-1738.

They speak English. Actually I don't know if the guys who came today spoke English, but at least the people on the phone did.

The reasons I liked them were:
- they were cheap
- they were on time
- they knew exactly what they were doing
- they cleaned up after themselves
- they were careful with my stuff
- they explained everything to me fully (both over the phone and when they were here at my place)
- the guys were as polite as can be

Since the mattress had to be hoisted through the 2nd-floor window, I was sure they were going to charge me extra or something, but no, I paid just what I had been quoted over the phone.

I give them 5 stars out of 5!


By Lea on Saturday, January 19, 2002 - 8:34 am:

Do you know about "Aka-bo" (nickname/slang for red-hat)...they'll move anything that the takyubin people can't. It's privately owned...2 guys with their own trucks (a bunch of them though)...Here's an article on moving in Japan that includes them.

It's a really long URL so if it gets split up you might have to paste it back together to get it to work.

I did a web search for "Akabo moving Tokyo" and found:

Akabou Fliegen Transport Agency
person in charge : Mr. Tanaka
tel & fax : 045-843-4743
movile phone : 090-3961-7834
email :

The site is short and informative, including some sample prices.

By Cornelia on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 4:43 pm:

Someone sent me the following request:

"Kuroneko charges over 11,000 for delivery of sofa within Tokyo!!! It is ridiculous. It would be cheaper to rent a van and deliver it ourselves. This would make a good topic for discussion on TWK..."

Kuroneko is the well known takyubin company where a black mother cat is carrying a black kitten on a yellow background. There are lots of other takyubin companies. Here is the limited additional info that I can pull together right now.

I have used "Sagawa kyubin" to send a big stroller and to have a child's bicycle picked up and brought to me. They were cheaper than "Kuroneko".

tel: (03) 3699-3333
They identify you by your phone number, much like the pizza delivery businesses.

Vocabulary that might be useful:
hoken = insurance
daibiki = cash on delivery (is transferred into your bank account by the chokubai)
chakubarai = other person pays delivery service

They do not transport plants, no cabinets with breakable glass but TV with glass cover OK, nor anything too big or heavy for one person to carry (sofa bed for example).
You are given a tracking number (Toyase number). Telephone number to follow up on if package gets delayed:
(03) 3699-3322

Moving companies also move single items apparently (like a large piece of furniture or appliance) though I've never personally used them for that small a job. I just got a flyer in my mail box for a moving company called "Duck!". They've got some sort of 50% off promotion right now. You might try them. Their toll free number is 0120-888-888
Their Japanese only web site is: and imode is
Besides whole house moves they also move cars (by truck and ship) and pets. They also will arrange a crane to deliver a piano through your balcony windows (since most apartment elevators are too small) for 9500 yen and un-install an air-conditioner unit for 8800 yen.
You can fax them by dialing 0120-30-8888 and they take all major credit cards (VISA, AMEX, and all the Japanese ones).
That's about all I can pick up from the brochure with my zero Japanese literacy .

By Cornelia on Sunday, February 17, 2002 - 12:38 am:

Son-go-ku Moving Company also is offering 50% off, IF you move between the 1st and the 19th of any month on a working day Monday through Friday. That's for full service. Apparently if you do all your own packing and un-packing then there is only a 10% discount. Of course my understanding of these brochures in my mail box is limited and I could easily be mistaken either slightly or a whole lot!
toll-free tel: 0120-17-5959
The logo on their green and white trucks is a little guy carrying a box on his right shoulder and a kind of marching baton in his left hand who looks like a monkey with a head band that has an "S" on it.

By Lea Watson on Sunday, March 3, 2002 - 5:57 am:

Duck ! Moving etal

I thought I'd share the following estimates I received from some moving companies. The estimates are based on:
a move from the Narita City area to Yokohama
a move done during their slow day (ie not the beginning or end of the month}
quotes are for a 3-bedroom 2-story house with American-sized furniture
a Japanese English speaker with a Native English assistant
although I asked for separate quotes based on I-pack vs they-pack they only faxed the one and I'm not sure which service it's for
don't make a house call to do an estimate
the quote is based on a list of the items to be moved
Y205,000 (they pack/unpack)
Y170,000 (I pack/unpack)
Native English speakers
grinched a bit because it was outside of the Tokyo area
wouldn't make a house call to do an estimate
the quote is based on a list of the items to be moved
Native English speaker
aren't equiped to do a large move (ie refrigerator etc)
although I was told they'd call right back the woman never bothered
I had to follow through 3 days later to find out they won't do the move
pretty good English speaker
don't do any domestic moving
no English speakers
6. DUCK ! wins hands-down !
they immediately requested an appointment to come and give an estimate
they don't have English speakers but they do have a free dial number
the agent offered a detailed break down and was thorough on exactly what's to be moved
Y290,250 all inclusive but with their 50% campaign the price is reduced to
Y165,000 - they do everything including cleaning
Y120,000 - Duck packs and unpacks
Y 90,000 if I pack and unpack

By Sandy Cox on Wednesday, April 24, 2002 - 7:06 pm:

More on moving companies:
Santa household movers; motto "We Move Your Dreams"
toll free telephone: 0120-24-2400
10:00 to 19:00
9800 yen within 30 km for their mini flatbed truck (with covering tarp). By the way, a flatbed truck is called a flatdeki I think.
1 room 15,000 yen
1 DK 23,000 yen
2 DK 27,000 yen
2 LDK 31,000
3 LDK 38,000 yen
Also move pianos, etc.
Got this off a flyer that included a 5000 yen discount coupon

Sakura is also offering up to 50% off under certain conditions. toll free tel: 0120-01-2222
they do the usual:
piano, crane, aircon removal and installation, Packing, cleaning, disinfecting, cars, bicycles, shipping, housecleaning, formalities of address change (?) and so on, no mention of animals/pets though
Here's a picture of the logo on the side of their trucks: sakura logo

International Relocation company:
"It's Not What We Say That Moves People, It's What We Do"
Hisao deOlde
Relocation Services
Global Silverhawk, Inc.
No.2 AB Building, 6th Floor
1-17 Roppongi, 3-chome
Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0032
Tel: +81 (3) 3589-6666
Fax: +81 (3) 3589-0420

By Cornelia on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 3:39 pm:

another big moving company:
Benriya Club
Toll free: 012-012-4735

Toll free for Tokyo area: 0120-81-4735
6:00 - 22:00

By Lynn Chen on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 5:41 pm:

I read the first poster's evaluation of Leopard Express and feel that I should tell you my friend's experience with them.

She used Leopard to move house in Tokyo, across the street literally, from one side of Rte. 246 to the other. They managed to lose a painting that she bought for a 9/11 charity that had just arrived at her house still in the original Fed Ex pkg. This was a big painting but since she just bought it, she didn:t realize that it was gone until a couple of days after the move. Leopard sent someone to her house to look for it and asked her for invoices etc. But in the end, they didn:t compensate her for the painting.

My friend also commented that the packers were extremely slow in packing and unpacking. She and her maid ended up doing most of the unpacking themselves.

I guess there is a big difference between moving just a bed and an entire house.

I used Sakura for our move and am extremely happy with the results. The day of packing, I had to work so left husband in charge. The packers were so thoughtful that they left out slippers and some dishes and glasses for us to use that night. I think we paid 220,000 for the move (a 4-bdrm house). Considering the amount of stuff we had, I thought it was a reasonable price for that time of the year. (beginning of April was apparently a busy moving season, with all the company transfers and graduations.)

By Cornelia on Thursday, June 19, 2003 - 3:34 pm:

Bikubin -- really fast cross city delivery of documents and even smaller packages by motorcycle

Japan post can deliver most things within Tokyo by the next day if you post them before noon, but if you have a really urgent delivery you can try the motorbike delivery companies.

I only have the details of one motorbike delivery company in front of me, which I have not personally used, but I thought it is an interesting option and should be shared:

Bike Takyubin
tel: 0120-00-9547 (03-5438-7201)
basic fee Y500
1 km Y800, 2 km Y1100, 3 km Y1400, 4 km Y1700, 5 km Y1900 (I think these quotes include the Y500 basic fee, if I'm reading this brochure correctly)

The brochure compares the company advertising with 4 other high speed delivery services, touting itself as the one with the lowest prices.

By Cornelia on Monday, February 9, 2004 - 9:38 pm:

Received this from a friend (Conor) today:

"Try Mike at XPS Tokyo. He is just about the cheapest around. He charged me half the price of everywhere else, when I was getting stuff from Tokyo port. Mike is a really useful guy to know. The website address for his company is:
They have a wide range of services and he also has port clearance, so deliveries to and from Tokyo or Yokohama port are possible."

By Paul Arenson on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 12:42 am:

I see moving TO and FROM Japan topics. But no moving WITHIN Japan. I will be moving within Tokyo.

The info on movers is a few years old. I will be moving from a single 10-mat room in Meguro to a 3LDK in Nerima. I sign the contract on Sept 4 with the realator, travel to China on Sept 9 and come back Sept 29. Planning to move Sept 30 (can move in bits and pieces between Sept 5 and 9 before trip). What I want to know, if anyone has any idea, is WHICH moving companies you have recently had good experience with and found reasonable (Need to be a bit frugal if possible.) Also, if you contract with them to come on Sept 30, do they arrive and box things the same day, or do they bring you the boxes in advance and expect you to do it? Or, some variation of the above?

By Scott Hancock on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 1:16 am:

Do you need English interface?

As for whether they pack or you do, it depends on what you want. They will do either way, but of course, you pay more if they pack. The packing is done by different people than the heavy lifting. When we moved recently, the packers were all middle aged ladies (who discussed our kitchen ware openly and packed their own shoes among ours)

Movers I've dealt with come and look at your stuff to give an estimate. That's the most accurate way.

By Cornelia on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 2:08 am:

Some of the posts might be old, but I don't think things have changed all that much. I moved in May 2005, and the name of the company I used is 0123. I don't have their card with me at the moment. They can do the packing and the moving in one day for a 6 mat room, but for bigger places, they do the packing one day and the moving the next day.

Or they can give you boxes and you do your own packing and save some money (if you have the time this is the best route in my opinion, because when they pack, not only do they pack everything, like the trash in the trashcan, but they tend to pack a lot of half full boxes which means more truck space). And with all that "care" they still manage to break stuff or fold carefully rolled posters in half, etc. They go for speed. Still it was kind of fun to watch them in action. I was definitely exhausted by the whole thing. A couple of the packers tried to write in English on the outside, but mostly I had to decipher kanjis when I started unpacking. They showed up at 10:00 on the first day and left at 17:00 sharp, worked really hard until noon, took a one hour lunch break, and then took 2-15 minutes breaks in between 13:00 and 17:00. And it was not all packed. I worked on it a bunch before going to bed. The next day a different crew showed up with 3 small trucks, and a noon deadline to get the trucks packed. They finished by 5 pm at the new house. A lot of things didn't make it to the right room even though I was standing in the door telling them #1, #2, etc. But at least the job got done.

By Kristin Newton on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 10:03 am:

I have used Yoshida-san many, many times and he is very conscientious, strong, and cheap.
He speaks some English, brings the boxes if you need them, packs them if you want him to, and will even take away unwanted items if you let him know in advance.
His company is "Happy Hikoshi". He is a one man operation but can bring an extra helper to move heavy things like refrigerators, etc.
Home phone is: 3416-3086 or mobile: 090-1768-3694

By Paul Arenson on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 10:35 am:

Thanks everyone----I do not really need an English interface. I can do it in Japanese I think. I t does sound like, whichever compnay I choose, I should contract with them BEFORE I plan to move on the 30th (as I will be away from 9-29) so they can bring the boxes and I pack myself, then they come on the 30th and take it away, since I have to be out on the 30th.

(How does one pack a bookshelf, a rerigerator, a washingmachine, s sofa, a ssofa futon, or do you just mean the things that were formerly in closets and on shelves and just unplug the appilances?)

I sent Aka-bou an inquiry yesterday. Will see what they say.

Yoshida san was cheap, Kriston? Maybe will give himn a call.

Andy also posted a 0123 note, same as Corneli. Yes, it seems if I do the boxing bfore I leave on the 9th it will be easier for them to come and just take it all away.

Some of the others look tempting.....
XPS, SANTA, for example.

Will give them a call.

Thanks all

By Yuko Kubota on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 2:16 pm:

Hi Paul,

If language is not your problem, I suggest you use one of the estimating websites on the internet, which was what we did 2 years ago when moving within Yokohama. Just search the keywords 引越し|見積もり on a seacrh engine and you'll find many.

Type in your details and the website will contact several random companies which will give you a call or email in days and come to your home for estimation upon your request.

Most moving company salesman will tell you that "if you decide now, there will be a special discount". The website system was useful, because I was able to say, "but the site was kind enough to offer me a few more companies, so I can't decide until those companies give me their prices".

When they come for the estimation, have specific questions ready.

For example, when we moved within Kanto a decade ago, I was shocked to learn at last minute that the movers couldn't get our drawers through our new bedroom door, and neither could carry our boxes of heavy records. So this time, we comfirmed about that, and every company assured us that they can detach the window or have no problem with records or what not.

Also, don't forget to ask companies' second opinions on the size and numbers of trucks. Some will say it's not possible to use large trucks on your narrow route while others say it's okay, and that makes a big difference on prices.

And be sure to bargain!

Company reputation depends on whether you're moving long distance or not, or the size or your family.

Look into keijiban's like yahoo. They usually have a topic on moving, with loads of users comments in Japanese.

When we moved 2 years ago from a 55 square meters apartment to a 2 story 3LDK, we used "ari-san mark" Hikkoshi-sha, which had the best reputation then on yahoo, and coincidentally seemed best among the several companies we talked to, AND turned out to perform a great on-time service.

About the way you're supposed to pack, ask the moving company. They often have handy items to make your packing easy, such as a cardboard box where you can hang all your hanger+clothes right before they carry out the closets.

By Anne Bergasse on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 2:56 pm:

Correct me if I'm wrong but it doesn't sound like you have a lot of stuff. You could easily rent a little open ended truck for 10-15,000 yen and gather a few friends, and move yourself in one day. I've done this for a few moves until my friends started avoiding me around moving time. And, of course, as we acquired more things and moved into bigger and bigger places we turned to the professionals. We also used 0123 (Cornelia's recommendation) for our largest (hopefully final) 9-room move and they were really great but they are a full-service moving company. For a move your size, an Akabo service is enough to do it in one day for a reasonable 30-50,000 yen. Kristin's recommendation is a good one for you.

Yamato has a terrific service for small moves. I forget what its called but they have these 2M square containers for 15,000 yen. My niece used one when she moved her belongings from Tochigi-ken to Chiba-ken. She only had small appliances but she had a sofa. You might need 2 of the containers or a small truck but Yamato will come to your house and give you an estimate.

By Paul Arenson on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 9:17 pm:

Anne, thanks. You ae right, I do not have a lot of stuff, but while I have a Japanese drivers license, have not driven in ANY country in 18 years. Do not want to start now. And do not have a friend who could drive that day. If there is anyone who could for a reasonable fee, that would be great. Another problem is I went to the UR (Urban Renewal) agency today. While I sign the contract on Sept 4, the earliest I can move in is Sept 9, but will be leaving THAT day for vacation. Come back 29th and HAVE TO move the 30th. So my idea -- whether for do-it-yourself or agency-- is to prepack and be ready on 30th. A friday.

Options so far:
(1) The move it yourself if I can find a driver
(2) Akabou was VERY reasonable--even suggested I get boxes at supermarket rather than buy theirs at 400-500 yen each. But they want me to disabble my furniture. Hmmmm. Do most of the movers disassemble and reassemble? then again, if I DO MYSELF I MAY have to disssemble anyway...

Their rates--->
"Please find our estimate as follows : From Meguro-ku to Toshima-ku (Within 30 km), for one (1) Akabou truck with one (1) driver, for two (2) hours working time.
1) Distance charge 8400 Yen
2) Handling charge (2F - 5F) - Discounted - 0 Yen (NOT SURE WHAT 2F-5F is but it is not counted anyway)
Total 8400 Yen

Remarks :
1) 3160 Yen per one(1) hour per one (1) truck will be charged additionally for the exceeding time for two(2) hours.
2) Please disassemble your furnitures and please pack your small belongings into carton boxes prior to the moving.
3) The loading platform dimension of Akabou truck is: 194cm L x 141cm W x 145cm H."

(3) Yuko--thanks for very interesting info. will start with some of the recommendations here and then try the search.....will note " ari-san mark" Hikkoshi-sha too.

(4) Someone posted about the post office, but I can't find that message now. The problem there is it is appliances too, not just boxes. But thanks. Will get to work calling some of the places.

By Tara on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 12:02 am:

Paul asked: "NOT SURE WHAT 2F-5F is but it is not counted anyway"

If you live on the 2nd floor or above there is normally a surcharge for the extra trouble they have to go to to get your stuff down the steps (or up the steps at your new place). They waived it for you.

By Paul Arenson on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 11:45 am:

Thanks all. Called a few of the suggestions and Kirsten's recommendation of Yoshida-san is my final choice. He was very nice, heard the prices I was quoted by others and beat them, laughed when I mentioned how Akabou wanted me to disassemble stuff, said he would even drop off boxes before my Sept 9-29 trip, then show up on the 30th at 3 PM and just load stuff. He said if he thought anything needed to be disassembled, he would do it on that day.

(He asked how many boxes I need. I have no idea, so will get some anyway from supermarket.) I am looking forward to this move. (if one CAN look forward to a move).

Thanks again, Kirsten, for recommending him.

P.S. He lives near me (I am near Jiyugaoka and he is somewhere in Setagaya).

By Cornelia on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 10:20 am:

Things on the "takyubin" scene have been changing a bit. (This would be somewhat equivalent to UPS or Fedex in the USA, though actually these kind of services don't seem nearly as developed back in my country of origin as they are in Japan.)

For one thing Kuroneko/Yamato for some time now is doing mail. They call it "mail bin", and you can send A4 size envelopes for as little as Y80. The charge is determined by weight and the maximum thickness is two cm (I think). They have opened a lot more processing centers to walk-in traffic and you can also use the convenience stores marked with the black cat logo for this.

Also, there is their Yamato-bin service which allows up to three boxes going to the same address for the same price as one. I just found out about this at the beginning of November when I received three boxes from Tsukuba City here in Tokyo all for Y1470. And one was a rather heavy heater! The total weight on the 3 boxes was 20kg, so it was cheaper to send these than to send a suitcase from Narita airport! Though Yamato-bin did not guarantee the day of delivery, they did estimate 2-4 days. There is a toll free number on the packing slip: 0120-01-9625

It is important to box the stuff yourself. I took a small folding table and asked them to just wrap it in a bubble wrap and they wanted to charge me Y2000 for the wrapping. Then again it matters who you are dealing with. I wrapped a stroller myself, and then the staff at Yamato wrapped it again (in bubble wrap) at no extra charge. As they say, "ymmv" (your mileage may vary), from shop to shop. Anything that is an odd and oversized shape will automatically get slapped with an extra charge. Thus the very high fees for large items of furniture. It's generally easier to get second hand furniture from recycle shops because they often will deliver for free (if you bargain a bit) whereas if you get something from the classifieds, the transport fee alone can make the savings of buying second hand disappear.

By Sandy on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 3:27 pm:

Just got another NEW company (not already listed above) flyer in my mailbox with a 50% off offer.

JRC Corporation / JRC Transport
FreeDial: 0120-039-555
take all major credit cards including American Express
appear to offer shipping (I can't read Japanese but there's a photo of a big boat...)
JAP QS Accreditation R046
Ad emphasizes "Safety, Service, Speed"

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.