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Moving (Stuff) to Japan

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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby keatonatron » Mon 02.02.2009 10:24 am

You'd be surprised how much you can take on the plane with you. I think the rules have change a bit recently, but I've moved back and forth between the US and Japan a few times, and I always moved the bulk of my stuff by checking a large box onto the plane with me. It often consisted of my desktop computer in the middle (with clothes inside the case, to not waste any space!), surrounded by more clothes, a few books, and some small electronic items (camera, etc.). If you use your clothes as packing material, even somewhat fragile items will make it just fine, and you won't have to send your clothes separately. My box usually weighed 69.7 lbs to make it under the 70 lbs limit :lol: It was also too big for me to carry very far without wheeled assistance.

You can have them mark your box as fragile/oversize at no additional cost, and it is put in a different compartment and/or handled differently, I think. I always had them do that for me, and I've never had anything break.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby Bucky » Tue 02.17.2009 3:42 pm

One option for the kinds of things you mention would be a luggage forwarding service, i.e., break your stuff down and fit everything into a suitcase or two. Google these:

Luggage Concierge
Luggage Forward
Luggage Free
Sports Express
The Luggage Club
Virtual Bellhop

The cheapest option I ever found was a family moving their entire household over. They let me put a few things in their shipping container. It took a few months to arrive, and I had to jump through a few hoops at the port of entry, but the price was right;-)

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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby fuzzycuffs » Thu 05.14.2009 7:30 pm

This thread has a lot of useful information. I too am moving to Japan later this year (July timeframe). I'm married to a Japanese woman, and she wants to return to Japan, and my job allows me to live and work anywhere I please (telecommute), so I'll be living in Japan with her (we have someone at our company that does exactly that, American living in Japan with Japanese wife telecommuting and at times traveling to other parts of Asia to client sites).

Anyways, we're trying to figure out how to ship some of our stuff to Japan as well. We'll be getting rid of most of it, but some of the bigger things we're thinking might be more financially sound to ship than to sell and buy again. Of major concern is a mattress. From what I hear, they are very expensive (and not that great) in Japan, whereas the one we have here is pretty nice. However, it's a very large and heavy item, so I don't know if FedEx will ship it.

Also, the reason I'm considering FedEx is that I have a friend who works there and I can use their shipping discount as much as I like. It's very considerable, something like 75% off sending some overnight documents to my wife when she was there.

Anyone have any experience shipping large items such as a mattress to Japan? Or maybe some idea of how much a mattress in Japan would cost? No, we're not interested in a futon, either.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby keatonatron » Thu 05.14.2009 10:30 pm

If time isn't an issue, check out shipping by freight ship. You usually pay for a large container and can ship whatever fits in it. They have containers large enough to hold a car, so your mattress (and all your other stuff!) can fit in it no problem.

It takes a month or two to arrive, so you'd have to think of what to do in the mean time.

And if that isn't an option... I would just suggest buying a new mattress here. They do have very nice (western-style!) ones that are a bit pricey, but probably still less than shipping a mattress from overseas.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 05.14.2009 11:19 pm

keatonatron wrote:And if that isn't an option... I would just suggest buying a new mattress here. They do have very nice (western-style!) ones that are a bit pricey, but probably still less than shipping a mattress from overseas.


You can get a nice mattress here for about 300 USD. Of course more if you want a frame, or postu-pedic or whatever.
One of the companies I do business for sells nice full size beds, frame and everything for 800 usd.

Shipping a mattress is generally rather expensive, and since you have to wait a long time for it to get there, you'll probably just end up buying something in the interim, which again ups the price.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby keatonatron » Fri 05.15.2009 9:12 am

In fact, I've seen stores that advertise that they sell American brand mattresses... so I don't really see the point in shipping one over, unless you're also going to be sending a whole house-full of other stuff in a big crate.
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