マルエン (marwin) wrote in japan,
マルエン
marwin
japan

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japanese postal service?!

okay. im gonna have to mail a package home, to america. it's not that much stuff and i figure it will fit in a bubble wrap envelope or a small box. im a bit scared about going to the post office though! does anyone know much about the japanese postal system? do they prohibit sending certain items in the mail (besides the obvious like...um...weapons, food, etc) any special words that might come in handy while i'm up there making an ass out of myself with my jouzu ja nai nihongo skillz? or anything else that any post office going gaijin should know? thanks for any help :P
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My pen pal has sent me various Japanese items like: a picture book/history book on Japan, origami for beginners, some postcards, Christmas cards, so you shouldn't have a problem.

I've sent him various (stickers, pencils, postcards, etc.) items from here (Canada) and they all got through to him.
my roommate just shipped home fabric softner and green tea cookies, so i wouldn't worry.
make sure the name on the forms matches that on your gaijin card though. my roomie left off her middle initial and had to go back two weeks later to fill out another form when she thought the package would be halfway home
Funabin=sea mail. Way cheap. Best way to send something if it isn't vital.
I wouldn't really worry about anything; they should be pretty helpful even with your japanese skills. You can even send food unless it's perishable. Although the Japanese probably have the world's most efficient postal service, it's not cheap.

As suggested, Funabin means "surface mail" and they say it'll take about 2 months to the US; in reality, it's a bit faster -- when I used it a couple of times, it took about 4-6 weeks. Kookuubin (or just "Ea-meeru"=Air mail) would take about a week (sometimes less -- have gotten things in 4 days!), but is rather pricy. They'll make you fill out a little green slip of paper that is affixed to the box that you send (customs declaration or something). The directions will be in Japanese and (inexplicably) in French. You can fill it out in English. I've always been amused at this form and would fill it out in French.

French is the official language of many international organizations...that really needs to be updated though.

From Wikipedia:
"French is also an official or administrative language in several communities and international organisations (such as the European Union, International Olympic Committee, World Trade Organization, FINA, FIA, World Anti-Doping Agency, United Nations, African Union, International Court of Justice, Internation Secretariat for Water, International Association of Political Science, International Bureau of Weights and Measures, European Broadcasting Union, Universal Postal Union, Interpol and so on) and one of the two working languages of the United Nations."
Yes, I actually know this... But, it is inexplicable that it is STILL used.