You will find “coin lockers” at train stations all over Japan.
These lockers are highly convenient if you want to explore a few hours before you head to your next destination by train…
Or if you want to explore for a few hours before you check into your hotel when you arrive to a new city by train!
At coin lockers, you can store your luggage like suitcase or backpack.
You can expect them at major train stations in Japan, and you may find them at smaller train stations too.
And you will find TONS of coin lockers at Tokyo Station.
While there are different types of coin lockers that operate in slightly different ways, these types of luggage storage lockers are generally pretty easy to use.
There will be pretty clear instructions.
They started as “coin-operated” lockers, so that’s why they are called coin lockers.
Nowadays though, you can also pay for them without coins using a suica card (a recharge cash card aka IC card).
You can still use cash if you want, though!
Here’s a bit of what it may look like to use a coin locker at Tokyo Station!
I checked out of my Tokyo hostel in the morning, and then headed to Tokyo Station to drop off my luggage in a coin locker.
Tokyo Station is a pretty big train station, and you can find coin lockers throughout different parts of the station.
Since I was going to be taking a shinkansen train next, I opted to look for a coin locker kind of near the shinkansen ticket gate.
There aren’t any coin lockers directly near the ticket gate, but I basically just followed the signs for the coin lockers from the shinkansen area.
These particular coin lockers are in a ticketed area of the train station. I also arrived to Tokyo Station by train, so I dropped off my luggage before I left the gated area.
The biggest “challenge” in using a coin locker at Tokyo Station might be to find an open one for the size you’re looking for.
There are a number of different sizes of lockers depending on what size luggage you’re looking to store.
How much does a coin locker cost at Tokyo Station?
The price of the coin locker will depend on how big of a locker you get.
So in the case of these Tokyo Station coin lockers, to store a carry-on suitcase or big backpack it was 500 yen (US$5), and to store a larger suitcase was 700 yen (US$7).
If you just want to store some some shopping bags to allow you to go and explore Tokyo hands-free, there are also smaller lockers that are 400 yen (US$4).
How to store your luggage in a coin locker
So once you find an open locker…
Put your luggage that you want to leave behind into the locker!
I had a carry-on suitcase and this fit into the 500 yen locker.
Again, coin lockers may operate differently across Japan, but this is how it was at these Tokyo Station coin lockers.
So for these, I went over to the screen, and followed the prompts.
There’s an English option.
Luggage locked, and off to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo I went!
So at these Tokyo Station coin lockers, you can pay for your luggage storage using cash or an IC card.
If you’re paying in cash, you’ll want to make sure not to lose your receipt, as there’s a pin code listed that you’ll need to pick up your luggage. It could be a good idea to take a picture of the receipt.
There’s also a coin machine nearby so you can change your 1,000 yen bills into coins.
How to get your luggage back
Similarly, the process to open up the coin locker is pretty easy.
In this case at Tokyo Station, once again I went over to the screen and followed the prompts.
Since I paid in cash, I needed the pin code from the receipt.
And then the locker door with my luggage popped open!
And then I got my luggage back, and off to take the shinkansen bullet train I went!
HAPPY STORING LUGGAGE AT TOKYO STATION!
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
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My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
Best travel guides for JapanIf you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.
For "books" that won't take up space in your suitcase, see the best PDF guides.
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Sometimes it makes sense to book direct - my preferred way!
But this booking site will search a combination of airlines, including those who aren't partner airlines, which means that they can help you find cheaper flights by booking individual flights for you as part of one flight itinerary. This can be especially helpful if you're not flying out of a major hub with direct flights to Japan.
I've missed a flight booked through them and it was taken care of with hotel and new flight.
See more tips for finding cheap flights to Japan.