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Advice needed Yamato/ Black Cat ski courier process

Discussion in 'Japan' started by ejayAD, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. ejayAD

    ejayAD First Runs

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    Hello all, looking forward to my first trip to Japan in a few weeks.

    I was hoping for some advice on using the Yamato ski transportation service. I can find a few posts referencing it on this forum but was hoping for some direct advice on how to use it.

    Two of us are travelling together. My intended plan is:

    - Arrive at Haneda International terminal, Tokyo
    - At the airport, use the courier to send our two large ski bags with skis, boots and other gear on to our hotel in Furano, Hokkaido
    - Spend one week sightseeing in Tokyo
    - Catch an internal flight up to Hokkaido to be reunited with the ski bags in resort, and ski for a week

    The questions I have are:
    1. It seems from the Yamato website and what I have read elsewhere that there is no pre-booking of this service, you just show up at the airport kiosk, fill in the waybill, pay and drop off the luggage. Is that correct?
    2. On the "Find A Counter" section of the website, the only service counters listed for Haneda are in the domestic terminals 1 and 2 - is this correct, that there is no service in the international terminal? It seems unlikely to me as there are also none listed for Narita, where surely there must be service.
    3. The two counters listed for Haneda domestic 1 and 2 also say only Japanese language is supported, is that likely to be difficult?
    4. The "How to Use" section is unclear whether you have to wrap or box a big ski bag like the ones we will be using, do you have to or can they just be sent as is?

    Any advice from people with experience of using the service would be much appreciated, thanks!
     
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  2. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    1. correct. Just turn up.
    2. Definitely a counter as you exit arrivals.
    3. There is usually someone who can speak some English. Also google translate app is your friend. Having your hotel address in Japanese helps.
    4. If the airline took it, the black cat will too. The put our boot bags in a plastic bag thing that they provided as they had straps.

    It is a really easy process. Like checking baggage.
     
  3. ejayAD

    ejayAD First Runs

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    Brilliant, thanks for clarifying! :)
     
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  4. d15812

    d15812 Guest

    Very easy process, nothing much extra to add other than let your hotel know that the bags are coming and if you are staying at a large hotel address the bags to: Hotel X, ejayAD (Guest arriving 12/02/2019), address etc.

    Sometimes the big hotels get dozens of bags for guests arriving anytime between today and 2 weeks out and then they have to try to match them up with their records (obviously using the same name as you used for the hotel booking books immensely).

    When you arrive at the counter ask for their help otherwise you will spent 10 mins figuring out and writing the docket only for them to look at it, shake their head and rewrite it in Japanese and correct your errors.

    Go the cats!
     
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  5. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A phone number for your accommodation is also very helpful
     
  6. d15812

    d15812 Guest

    Oh, and you must also give them a particular date that you want the luggage to arrive at the destination.

    I waited patiently behind a guy at Narita once who wanted his snowboard to go to Myoko.

    Sure, no problems, when do you want it to arrive?

    Oh, it doesn't matter, {insert lengthy description about his sightseeing itinerary here} so long is it arrives before the 20th then that will be fine.

    OK, 20th then.

    No, no, before the 20th, I will need it on the 20th.

    so......

    It doesn't really matter because I'm not going to be there, {insert more unnecessary details about his trip}

    At this point I interjected and told the guy behind the counter to please deliver it on the 19th.

    He smiled and wrote down 19 and everyone was happy.

    You also can't say "just the normal delivery time" because that won't work either.

    If it doubt just say tomorrow, they will then reply that tomorrow is not possible, the earliest possible day would be Thursday, is that ok. You then say Hai, and everyone is happy.
     
  7. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's just how Japan works.
     
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  8. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or do rookie donza... And write the date the Australian way. DD MM YY
     
  9. Jamesc

    Jamesc Addicted

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    We sent ours from the JAL ABC counter in the Haneda international terminal, they are acting as a agent for blackcat.
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    ABC is a different luggage transport company. The blackcat is merely the symbol of Yamato transport which is the biggest company and with that symbol the most recognisable one.
     
  11. Jamesc

    Jamesc Addicted

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    Interesting as they were defiantly using the Yamato paperwork etc...
     
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  12. d15812

    d15812 Guest

    Given that there is a Yamato depot in Kitanomine (and I'm pretty sure Jamesc is heading for Furano) then maybe they have a handoff agreement.
     
  13. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Great thread. I love the stopover in Tokyo and get a bit sick of dragging the powder skis around, like sticking a mini coffin on the subway.
     
  14. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    In the unlikely event that the luggage forwarding counter at the airport is closed (as it was for us in Osaka when we arrived after 10.30pm) your hotel or any convenience store can forward your luggage. Similarly, your hotel can taq-u-bin it back to the airport if you have a few days to spare between your last day of skiing and flying out. Edit; they are used to dealing with foreigners, particularly at Haneda and Narita.
     
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  15. ejayAD

    ejayAD First Runs

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    Thanks to everyone for their really useful help on this, I'm feeling nice and confident about getting the skis on their way safely now :)
     
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  16. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hijacking thread with a question. If one were to drop off a ski/snowboard bag at Nagano Blackcat in the afternoon, could it arrive at Narita by late afternoon? Or is it a couple of days Service.
     
  17. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    They do offer a overnight service
    However i've never used it
     
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  18. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's stretching things IMO...
     
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  19. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes I can see an issue if things don't go smoothly. The other option is a cloakroom service at Tokyo Station as, if correct , they don't have that feature at Ueno, only coin ops.
     
  20. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would say no chance. I've never done it, but I have heard for transfer to airport you need to specify date of flight, in which case they would simply refuse to take it as they couldn't guarantee delivery. I think you need to allow couple of days. In which case then use the storage at Tokyo station.
     
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  21. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Storage being a Cloak Service for such a long bag. Are there recommendations of one generic at that station? A previous post was a service just outside of the station.
     
  22. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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  23. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thank you all for your advice.
     
  24. shepski

    shepski Addicted

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    We sent our bags from our hotel in Myoko Kogen to Haneda airport a couple of weeks ago and we needed flight details for the paperwork. We didn't leave for 5 days so plenty of time, for those curious it cost a bit over 5,000 yen for a large suitcase and 165cm snowboard bag.
     
  25. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    minor hijack sorry.

    Arriving at Narita tomorrow evening then traveling to Shiga Kogen the following day on N'ex - Shinkansen - express bus. I am thinking of getting the ski bag sent on to my hotel to save me struggling with it through Tokyo station etc. Is there any appreciable difference in service between black cat and JAL luggage service? Or can I just use whichever counter I locate first?
     
  26. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    From my dim memory the 2 options are quite close together in Terminal 2 at Narita anyway. I would just use Black Cat because I always have and have never had an issue and the service is very quick.
    Have a look at the info here, figure out which terminal you are flying into and take it from there. https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/service/svc_05
     
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  27. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm not sure if you have enough time between landing in NRT and arriving in Shiga the following day. Seriously, take it with you. Everyone freaks out about having a ski bag in Tokyo. Unless there is a pressing reason NOT to carry it (e.g. physical ability, kids in tow, etc) you should just take it with you. If you had a few days between landing and hitting the hill, that would be a different matter.
     
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  28. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The black cat logo is way better, I cannot believe you thought there was a choice.;)
     
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  29. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Nah its all good. I won't arrive at Shiga until the following afternoon and can hire some alpine gear for the following day if my bag has not arrived by then. I am 5'2" and 60kg ringing wet, not struggling with a 20+ kg ski bag on and off buses etc.
     
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  30. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    have fun
     
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  31. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    It's very simple to take your ski bag with you. IMO....If you can get your ski bag on the plane it's no different to go from NEX to Shink platforms at Tokyo (just a few more people to negotiate) and onto bus at Nagano for Shiga.
     
  32. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Reverse direction worked for me recently. Dropped ski bag off at GPA Narita Terminal 2 about 6PM and it was delivered to the hotel about 2PM next day at Tsugaike in Hakuba Valley.
     
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  33. paul.marshall

    paul.marshall First Runs

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    Does anyone know how long they can hold onto the gear for?
    I am heading to japan in late December to early January, i land in Tokyo on the 18th but i am not heading to the snow until the 24th for 3 days, and wont leave until the 8th of Jan.

    When i send it back to tokyo will they be able to hold it for 11 days?
     
  34. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Japan Post
    As a general rule, any date within 10 days from two days after the deposit date can be designated as the delivery date.

    Black Cat is 7 days.
     
  35. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us

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    We are in Furano and my dad wants to use black cat on Friday 14th Feb. Would it have arrived at Haneda international by Tuesday 18th Feb? Flight is early on 19th. Thanks
     
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  36. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes.
     
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  37. Neslot

    Neslot One of Us

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    My flight arrives at Haneda at 5am. Do they have a counter that runs then? Seeing mixed things online.
     
  38. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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  39. Lonepeak

    Lonepeak Hard Yards

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    I typically use blackcat to ship skis from people not accustomed to shipping skis (ex: from Okinawa, from a business hotel, etc.). What causes problems is the ski bag length (180cm in my case). I look on the website and it refers to 160cm length, but there must be a caveat allowing longer length ski bags, I just don't know where on their website (for sure don't see it on the english page). I therefore end up having to sway the person taking the equipment with "I know it works, I've done it before..." etc. One time in Okinawa a blackcat office flat out said "no, can't ship" and even called some company rep with same results. I then went to a different store and had no issues. ???

    Anyway, does anyone know of a Japanese language black cat page that clearly states "ok to ship skis up to X length"? I would like to have that webpage link handy to show someone taking the skis.
     
  40. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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  41. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    last day in Tokyo
    spouse send me a text to contact Yamato - my bag is broken
    they called her number - she’s in Tasmania - because I have a data-only SIM
    several calls later, I’ve found out that the bag isn’t broken - the takyubin tag has fallen off
    so they know they have my bag but they don’t know which one it is
    they sent me bad photos of 8 bags



    all are unrecognisable
    mine’s black so that rules out three or four
    I told them I need it by 5pm so I can check in
    somehow think that won’t happen
    anyway, they thought it was going to Haneda so maybe I won’t get any
     
  42. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    My hotel near Haneda actually couldn’t forward my luggage. They said it was too big. Luckily there a big Black Cat office just down the road and there lovely guy from reception insisted on walking me all the way the way there :)
     
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  43. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    I get it, I’m pretty much the same height but add a few kilos :D

    If going to Shiga I’d take the bag with me. They don’t have big, Western style hire shops like Niseko and Hakuba and it might be fine but you just as easily end up with some not so great gear.
     
  44. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Oh no, not sure I’ve read a story on here before where the process goes wrong :(

    Let us know how it gets resolved.
     
  45. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That was last year actually and I ended up not using black cat at all, I man (or woman) handled all my gear both directions. This time I am doing the direct bus Narita to Shiga so will be much easier but have to do the bus/train/train dance on the way home. I really have no option than to take my own gear as I telemark and no one hires that out.

    Glad you seem to have got your boots sorted :)
     
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  46. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Yeah, just realised it was an old post. Still in a post flight haze :D Good to hear you worked the gear situation out. Japanese trans are good as they pretty much all have the floor level with the platform. Some European trains require negotiating steep, narrow steps to get on and off which isn’t easy when your bag is taller than you are :) Last Euro trip I just hired skis to save the hassle.

    Yep, boots are 95% sorted now :)
     
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  47. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Really?? Wow. I had two double ski bags and a large cumbersome duffel bag that the hotel forwarded by taq-u-bin/black cat with no problems whatsoever.
     
  48. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    This year was the first trip that has happened to us too. Our hotel brought out a tape measure and said the snowboard bag was too long for takkyubin. So we then took the bag back to the airport and they said it was too heavy! We have never had any issues in previous years.
     
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  49. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    If this happens just go to the JAL counter, they send big heavy bags
     
  50. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    This time last year staying in a small family hotel I was glad that I had printed out the hotel name and address from the hotel's Japanese language web page. The clerk at Narita was much appreciative in filling out the destination form.