Life in Japan

Why Japanese postal delivery is made of win

21 January 2014

I do ALOT of shopping online. It’s no exaggeration when I say 90% of my purchases are done online. I hardly even shop at physical shops anymore!

Let’s see… from the usual clothes and make up, to things like groceries (yes, eggs, fresh milk, tofu and all) and contact lenses, I buy them all online.

For such an avid online shopper, what is the most important thing? (apart from affordable, trustworthy sellers lah)


How many times have you received a Registered Article delivery attempt sheet by SingPost?



I super hate it when I receive it. Because it means I have to either:

1. Go down to the post office to pick the package up

Now, as if it’s not lecheh enough having to travel all the way to the PO, most POs operate from 8.30am to 5pm on weekdays.

HOW, I ask you, is a hardworking person of the society supposed to make it there in time before or after work???

Sure, they are open on Saturdays till 1pm. Yay, finally can go collect cause no work!



How many times I’ve walked in on a Saturday, saw the ginormous queue, sighed and dragged myself to the end of the queue. The longest I’ve queued was close to an hour! What an utter waste of a precious day off!

2. I can request for a redelivery instead

But what time will the postman arrive? 10am? 6pm? As a tradeoff of not having to go to the PO, I have to freakin’ stay home the entire day (or cajole someone into staying home in my place).

However, it’s an entirely different ballgame in Japan. It is an understatement to say that I am absolutely IN LOVE with the delivery here. Too awesome.

Let me tell you why:


In the first place, many online shops use a service that allows you to specify delivery time and/or date when you check out. Perfectly planned and no more surprises!


I don’t usually choose to specify date/time because it does take a few more days for delivery, and I don’t like having to plan so far ahead. So I let them deliver as and when it’s ready.

In the event I’m not home, I can easily schedule a redelivery stating the date AND time period.


The super nice thing is that rescheduling can be done very easily, with many choices. My favorite is, of course, via the internet.

Type in the package number, select date and time, submit, DONE.


One of my favorite parts of this amazing delivery system is that if you put in your request before 6pm, you can select for redelivery… wait for it…


Awesome or what???

It’s not just the major players like Yamato Kuroneko or Sagawa doing these things. Japan Post is the same! This is really the norm here.

Every time I think/hear of SingPost I wanna vomit blood. Gave me so much grief with a few packages I posted to Singapore. Ugh. Hate them!

Oh, did you know Yamato Transport (which is really big in Japan) is operating in Singapore? This is the link!

Yamato Transport (known as Kuroneko in Japan. Kuroneko means "black cat", thus the logo)

Yamato Transport (known as Kuroneko in Japan.
Kuroneko means “black cat”, thus the logo)

Ooh, seems that they allow you to drop off packages at 7-11s! This is on top of the option of collecting it from your home.

They also offer “Cool” delivery which lets you mail perishable food.

There’s also the “Collect” option which lets paranoid customers pay only when they receive the goods. 一手交钱 一手交货 indeed. Haha.

Take that, SingPost! :I

By the way, Yamato didn’t pay me to write about them. Although I wouldn’t mind if they did lol. I just really love what they do! ;D


  • Reply Yi Hui 7 August 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Chanced upon your blog while researching on some Korean-related stuff and then upon this post.

    While I heard Yamato is terrific in Japan, in Singapore it’s a totally different experience, especially from an online business perspective.
    For a small parcel it costs $7 to deliver, drop off at 7-11 is not as convenient as one would think because not all 7-11 staff are trained adequately. They might not even know what to do with it, given that the staff may change frequently and are part-timers. From experience, during peak periods, they can’t handle and deliveries will get delayed, and you won’t be able to get them to accept your parcels if you have any to send, which leaves you in quite a bind if you solely rely on them to send parcels to customers.

    We do send out a lot parcels on a frequent basis, and SingPost has been much more reliable than we expected. Hundreds of normal mail packages sent, none missing so far, two returned and resent successfully. With all the myth out there that normal mail tends to get lost, our own experience suggests that perhaps cases of “lost mail” are not what it seems, and could be more a case of “forgotten-to-send-out mail”. They also have a pre-purchased registered to-door-mail option called SmartPac, and their size allows them such that if no one is around to receive it, it can be left in the letter box. If the letterbox is full, then you get the delivery advice to pick it up at the post office. For $3.8-4.7 a piece, its quite value for money, at least if you compare to other options available. Downside? You’ll have to pre-purchase the envelope/box and drop it off at the post office yourself.

    And then there’s RocketUncle (a courier service like , a courier service that offers same/next-day delivery at $5 a piece. They collect from your doorstep and send it to the recipient’s doorstep. Super efficient so far and immediate updates to your email/app once the parcel has been sent.

    My main gripe with the Singapore courier scene is that none seems to deliver on weekends, not sure if that’s the case in Japan. I suspect once there is a critical volume, delivery options and services will become better. I wonder what’s the standard rate to send a parcel in Japan, from and within the same city, say 15cm by 15cm by 15cm, 1kg?

    • Reply Rin 8 August 2015 at 1:47 am


      Yeah, that sounds like an entirely different situation for Yamato in Singapore! It’s unfortunate that they don’t seem to be able to carry the same standard from Japan over to Singapore.

      Yes, delivery is carried out on weekends, holidays (apart from New Year holidays), as well as late at night. There was once I received a package at 9+pm.

      Delivery within Japan can be expensive within Japan. The cost varies across deliery companies, but for what you described, I would guess it ranges from 600-700 yen.

      • Reply Yi Hui 8 August 2015 at 2:22 am

        It does seem pretty hefty if based on SGD/JPY rates 3 years ago, but with exchange rates now, that’s around the S$7 that Yamato Singapore charges. Though that’s not a fair statement to make because cost of living differs here and there. Thanks!

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