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Explore the beauty of Japan without having to worry about your luggage. 

Talia Avakian
October 19, 2017

Starting in January, those visiting Japan will be able to travel luggage-free thanks to a new initiative.

Having to lug your bags with you once you arrive to a destination can mean losing valuable time exploring, which is why the new service Luggage-Free Travel wants to eliminate the hassle.

JTB Corporation, Japan’s largest travel agency, is teaming up with electronic leader Panasonic Corporation and door-to-door delivery service Yamato Holdings to launch the project.

Visitors will be able to have their bags sent directly from the airport to their hotel and back, and even from one hotel to the next.

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Reservations will be made online, and users will receive a QR code to show to the reception staff at the airport or hotel. 

They'll then receive a confirmation email indicating the time of the bag's pick-up and delivery.

It will cost 2,000 yen (about $17) to have a bag delivered from one hotel to another, and 2,500 yen (about $22) to have a bag delivered between a hotel and the airport.

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Bags that are dropped off by 11 a.m. at the airport will arrive to the hotel by 6 p.m. the same day, while bags dropped off by 3 p.m. at a hotel can be expected at the next property by check-in the following day.

If you want to have your bag delivered back to the airport before departing, you’ll need to drop it off by 3 p.m. two days before your departure to ensure it arrives the morning of your trip, though some of the times will vary depending on the handling location.

Travelers can also take advantage of the service when booking a tour package from JTB's overseas branches. 

The companies are launching the service after a successful trial run last year, and plan to increase the offering to “leisure luggage” like skis and snowboards or golf bags, and “shopping luggage” so that you can get the souvenirs you purchased sent to you at the airport right before heading back home.

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In addition to making traveling through the country easier for visitors, the move could also help to improve congestion and safety on public transportation, as it may reduce the number of people carrying large luggage in these spaces. The service also plans to help with the rising tourist population that is expected for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. 

Initially, the airports in Narita, Haneda, Kansai, and Chubu will offer luggage-free travel, while additional service agents will be located throughout Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Takayama, and thousands of lodging facilities will also be participating throughout the country.

Luggage-Free Travel is set to officially launch on Jan. 5, 2018.

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