Japanese central post offices are a real life-saver if you need to post something out of normal office hours. Central post offices are open longer than local post offices and at weekends.
Central post offices in big cities such as Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto are usually located near the main railway station.
For example Nagoya central post office at Nagoya Station is open Monday-Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-12.30pm. Outside those hours an emergency 24 window is available until the post office reopens fully the next day.
Tokyo central post office located at Tokyo Station's Marunouchi Exit is open even longer, Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-7pm and Sunday 9am-7pm. Kyoto central post office to your left as you leave the main exit at Kyoto Station has the same hours as Tokyo.
District post offices, one per ward (ku), also maintain an after hours window for emergency posting. For example, my district post office in Tenpaku ward in Nagoya is open Monday-Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-3pm. Local post offices are closed at the weekends and hours tend to be Monday-Friday 9am-5pm for post and Monday-Friday 9am-4pm for other services such as insurance, banking, postal orders and bill payments.
ATMs usually stay open later in normal post offices typically until around 7pm Monday-Saturday and 5pm on Sunday. The post office's network of ATMs take foreign issued credit and debit cards (American Express, Cirrus, Diners Club, Mastercard, PLUS and Visa) in over 20,000 post-offices around Japan.
Look out for the green "International ATM Service" sign and choose the English "Visitor's Withdrawal" menu and instructions. You need your PIN number and can withdraw between 1000-990,000 yen in cash depending on your credit limit. This service is an excellent way to stay liquid on your travels in Japan.
If you have large items to post it is also possible to phone 0120 950 333, then enter your 7-digit zip code to connect with your district post office to come to your house to pick up your parcels. This service also operates outside normal 9am-5pm hours. There is a small extra charge for this service.
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