Mailing packages, mails, and other stuff all the way from the United States to Japan, is no difficult or lengthy procedure. It is pretty much as easy as mailing within the United States or nearby countries. There are many shipment agencies through which you may send your packages. In this very article about postage to Japan, we’re going to discuss the best mail carriers you can rely on, as well as what postage rates apply for what types of packages.
As there are many shipment services for mailing to Japan, people often ask “What is the cheapest way to send a package to Japan?”. Here’s the answer. ‘DHL eCommerce’ is known to be the cheapest shipping service for mailing to Japan from the US. You can simply drop off your parcel at any USPS Post Office near your home and expect delivery within 11 to 22 business days without any worries.
You might be wondering how many stamps do I need for a letter to Japan? Here you go. It’s possible to use three First-Class Forever Stamps which would cost you $1.74 or you may also use one Global First-Class Forever stamp that would cost you $1.30. For every additional ounce that your envelope weighs, you will have to pay an additional $1.13 in postage.
Best Carriers for Mailing to Japan
We have shortlisted four overall best mail carriers for mailing packages to Japan.
- United States Postal Service (USPS)
- Federal Express (FedEx)
- United Parcel Service (UPS)
- DHL eCommerce
All these carriers ship to Japan with great responsibility and care. Generally, USPS is the most cost-effective carrier for envelopes and light parcels. All USPS envelopes and parcels are transported to Japan to be picked up by the Japanese postal service, Japan Post, and then delivered to their particular destinations.
Despite being a cheap option, USPS isn’t always the most efficient. FedEx, DHL, or UPS are typically better options if your package needs to arrive quickly or within a certain timeframe. The most expensive shipping service is FedEx, but it has the best guarantee of delivery days as well as several options for shipping services that ensure delivery within a specific time period.
How Long Does It Take to Send a Letter from the US to Japan?
Deliveries sent via First Class Mail International usually take between 7 and 21 days, although the US Postal Service does not guarantee delivery times or dates. However, the estimated time can be known from the Post Office. Depending on the destination, mail may be delivered by ground, air, or both.
Does USPS still ship to Japan?
Yes. Just like many other countries, USPS also ships to Japan. Other than Japan, the countries where USPS ships are Britain, Canada, Australia, and many others, making a total of 180 countries.
Postage to Send Postcards to Japan
Firstly, make sure you know the exact definition of a postcard before you go mailing it. A postcard is defined by the USPS as a rectangular card that has dimensions between 3.5×5.0x0.007 inches and 4.25×6.0x0.016 inches. If your card is not rectangular or outside of these dimensions, you will need to pay additional postage as per the policy.
International postage rates are applied to send postcards via US Postal Service from the US to Japan. You will need $1.30 in postage to mail a postcard to Japan; one Global First-Class Forever Stamp will cost you $1.3, or 3 First-Class Forever Stamps will cost you $1.74. It’s up to you to either go for One First-Class Forever Stamp or three First-Class Forever Stamps.
Postage to Send Standard Envelopes to Japan
If you want to send envelopes to Japan, the US Postal Service offers international postage rates for sending envelopes as well. According to the August 29, 2021, price increase, you will need $1.30 in postage to ship an envelope weighing less than one ounce. It is possible to use three First-Class Forever Stamps which would cost you $1.74 or one Global First-Class Forever Stamp worth costs $1.30. For every additional ounce, your envelope weighs, you will need to pay $1.13 in postage.
A standard envelope is one whose dimension ranges from 3.5×5.0x0.25 inches to 6.125×11.5×0.25 inches. In case your envelope is non-rectangular, then due to its rigidity or non-rectangular shape, a rigid envelope will not be able to be machine-sorted, so it has to be handled by hand. An additional $0.21 must be paid for non-machinable envelopes.
What is the smallest envelope you can mail?
For mailing an envelope, it can be no smaller than 3-1/2 x 5 (inches) in the United States.
How to Send a Letter from the US to Japan?
Letters are included in the standard envelopes for mailing to Japan. The procedure to send letters is the same as that for the standard envelopes as letters are also rectangular. They are sent in rectangular envelopes as well.
Postage to Send Large Envelopes to Japan
|Weight||Postage Required||Stamps Required|
|1.0 ounce||$2.60||2 Global Forever Stamps for $2.60
5 First-Class Forever Stamps for $2.90
|2.0 ounces||$3.67||3 Global Forever Stamp for $3.90
7 First-Class Forever Stamps for $4.06
|3.0 ounces||$4.73||4 Global Forever Stamp for $5.20
9 First-Class Forever Stamps for $5.22
|4.0 ounces||$5.81||5 Global Forever Stamp for $6.50
11 First-Class Forever Stamps for $6.38
|5.0 ounces||$6.87||6 Global Forever Stamp for $7.80
12 First-Class Forever Stamps for $6.96
|6.0 ounces||$7.93||7 Global Forever Stamp for $9.10
14 First-Class Forever Stamps for $8.12
|7.0 ounces||$9.00||7 Global Forever Stamp for $9.10
16 First-Class Forever Stamps for $9.28
|8.0 ounces||$10.06||8 Global Forever Stamp for $10.40
18 First-Class Forever Stamps for $10.44
|9.0 ounces||$12.20||10 Global Forever Stamp for $13
22 First-Class Forever Stamps for $12.76
|10.0 ounces||$12.20||10 Global Forever Stamp for $13
22 First-Class Forever Stamps for $12.76
What is the cost of a US stamp?
It has been announced that the U.S. Postal Service will raise its first-class Forever Stamp price to 58 cents from 55 cents. This means 60 cents will be added to the price of a book of stamps. The price of metered 1 oz. letters for first-class mail will be 53 cents.
Postage to Send Packages to Japan
Packages sent to Japan are charged postage based on their size and weight. However, using the USPS Postage Price Calculator, you can estimate the cost of postage for your parcel.
The steps are as follows:
- Click on the link below to access the calculator.
- Select “Japan” from the dropdown menu for the destination country.
- Next, indicate when you plan to ship your package.
- Then choose what type of package you desire to send.
- The price of shipping for various options in your area will appear on a new page. You can go through the shipping rates easily.
- Then it comes to the shipping method. The shipping method you choose depends on the date when you wish your order to be delivered.
- At last, using USPS Click-N-Ship, you can print a label once you have selected the shipping method.
When shipping items via USPS, you can also choose Flat Rate boxes if you’d like to skip the hassle of calculating your package’s dimensions and weight. Regardless of the weight of the contents, Flat Rate boxes are available in a variety of sizes. Flat Rate boxes are similarly shipped internationally as they are within the United States. However, the International Flat Rate box limits your weight to 20 pounds, unlike domestic shipping.
Items Prohibited for Import to Japan
Here’s a list of items that are prohibited from being imported to Japan.
- Utensils and drugs related to narcotics
- Bullets and parts for firearms
- Explosives and gunpowder
- Materials that are precursors to chemical weapons
- Bioterrorism agents
- Fake currency or goods
- Containing obscenities
- Illegal goods that may violate somebody’s intellectual property rights.
Other than these, all such types of items that may be harmful in any way or are illegal to be carried, are prohibited to be sent to Japan.
Delivery Times to Japan
Delivery times could be different for different types of packages.
- In general, USPS First Class Mail International takes 7-21 days for postcards and envelopes to arrive if you use the default shipping option.
- By using Priority Mail International, you can get your postcards or envelopes in 6-10 days instead.
- Postcards and letters sent by Priority Mail Express International will arrive in 3-5 days. However, this service is the most expensive option.
Shipping methods and carriers determine how fast your package will arrive. But, sometimes, the delays may occur due to some custom delays. If there’s no such case, Parcel shipping via USPS, FedEx, DHL, and UPS typically takes 2-7 days to reach its final destination.
Addressing Mail to Japan
Sending something to Japan can be challenging when it comes to addressing your parcel. It is very different from what we are used to in the United States both in language and in how the address is set up.
Most Japanese roads have no names. Japan uses district, division, and block names to narrow down building locations instead of numbers and road names (as the United States does). In addition, most areas number buildings according to their construction date rather than their geographical location. So, the addressing could be difficult when shipping to Japan.
The official language in Japan is Japanese. But English is also commonly spoken and understood. So, you can write addresses in either Japanese or in English. The way it would be written, however, depends on what language you choose.
When Writing Address in Japanese
- Line 1: The postal code is written in the first line, along with the symbol of the postal code.
- Line 2: Following the city, village, ward, etc., the address should contain the name of the prefecture and the block. Separated by dashes, these numbers identify the subarea, block, and building numbers of the address. There will be a dash added to the address if the address includes an apartment number.
- Line 3: The third line contains the name of the person you’re sending your mail to. The last name should be written first, then the first name, and then the title; all three things are separated by commas.
- Line 4: This last line would contain the country name which in this case would be Japan (日本).
When Writing Address in English
5 Chome-1-36 Kamiomi, Nishi Ward
- Line 1: In English format, line 1 contains the name of the addressee that is, the person you’re mailing to.
- Line 2: Line 2 is for the building and apartment number. Your destination address may or may not have an apartment number. If it has, mention it after the name of the building. If not, just mention the building name.
- Line 3: Now comes the address. Three numbers, separated by dashes, should appear at the beginning of the address, indicating the subarea, block, and building number. The following information should be included after the address number: the subdivision, ward, city, or village.
- Line 4: After the address, the postal code has to be mentioned. Here, prefecture would be mentioned along with the 7-digit postal code.
- Line 5: The last line, line 5, contains the country name. As we’re shipping to Japan here, ‘Japan’ will be mentioned in line 5.
Usually, the deliveries are not late than expected, but sometimes, due to customs delays, they might be a little late. So, if you’re shipping anything internationally, keep a fine margin of 3 to 4 days.
We hope our article would have been helpful to you. While you’re planning to ship anything to Japan, make sure it does not contain any prohibited or restricted items in any way. Also, with the shipping services mentioned in the article, you can also track your order and know the estimated delivery time.