Tourist Tip #2: Coin Lockers will Free Your Hands (and Mind)
Imagine: your hands are full with bags and boxes of on-sale purchases and more. The only thing is, now you’re on your way to spend hours going temple hopping, and then finish with dinner at a recommended cozy restaurant. What are you going to do with all of those bags and boxes?
Never fear, do what many of us do on a weekly, if not daily, basis: find a coin locker!
Japan is a country and culture built on efficiency and convenience; coin lockers make it easy for the millions who rely on public transportation to get them from place to place as quickly (and hands free) as possible.
Coin lockers are ubiquitous. You can easily find them in both major and minor stations. What’s more, most lockers allow you to store your belongings for up to three calendar days (be sure to check your locker before leaving).
Sizes & Costs
Small (¥300) – approx. 35cm x 43cm x 57cm (13in x 16in x 22in)
Medium (¥400) – approx. 57cm x 43cm x 57cm (22in x 16in x 22in)
Large (¥500) – approx. 117cm x 43cm x 57cm (44in x 16in x 22in)
Small and medium lockers will hold day rucksacks or medium-sized weekend cases. Large lockers are big enough to hold decent sized suitcases and oversized backpacks.
Just look for a Coin Locker or Luggage Room sign (in English), or ask station personnel, “Sumimasen ga, koin rokkā wa doko desu ka?” (“Excuse me, where are the Coin Lockers?”)
Then choose a locker and place your bag inside. Insert your ¥100 coins and lock the door (remember that you are paying up to the end of that calendar day. If you come back after that time you will have to insert the size-appropriate fee again per extra day to unlock the door).
Finally, take your key and off you go! Remember to take care of your key, too. You’ll need it, of course, to open your locker.
*If you really want to live like a local, try using a coin locker with my Tourist Tip #1: Invest in a Suica or Pasmo IC Card!
Former Deep Japan Writer