Key Points:

  • On average, economic shipping to Japan takes between 7-15 business days
  • USPS economy rates take between one and two weeks to arrive in Japan from the US
  • Easyship offers up to 91% off discounted shipping rates for shipping to Japan

Japan is an established eCommerce market and an excellent opportunity for ambitious online store owners. The market is forecast a strong annual growth rate of 9.75% between 2023-27, resulting in $225 Billion worth of sales.

However, finding the cheapest shipping to Japan can be tricky. This is because the cheapest shipping rates to Japan often come from local and regional couriers. If you are based in the US, you could potentially completely overlook these savings.

Easyship created a free tool to help you find the cheapest shipping to Japan. Our free shipping rate calculator gives you real-time, accurate rates from every global courier service that serves Japan. In other words, this tool automatically compares the cheapest rates to Japan from all the top couriers.

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In general, the cheapest shipping rates can take the longest to be delivered. If saving money is your priority, look for economic rates from shipping companies like USPS, Asendia, and regional shippers in Japan.

On average, economy shipping to Japan takes between 6-15 business days. You can pay for expedited delivery and get your package there in 2 days, but for a higher price.

Say we're sending a 2-pound package to Los Angeles, CA to Kyoto. We'll use the Free Shipping Rate Calculator from Easyship to get a quick estimate on delivery times.

As we can see above, Flat Export takes at least 14 working days to arrive in Japan from the US. For about 30% more, we can expedite our package with UPS Worldwide Expedited, a speedy and reliable global express specialist with the best tracking available.

The Cheapest Way to Ship to Japan

Shipping costs are determined by a handful of factors. The distance to delivery is most important, and your speed of delivery can sway the price a lot as well. However, aside from delivery distance, the factors that most decide what you pay for shipping are package weight and size.

  • Package weight: It costs more to ship heavy items. You can remove excess packaging from your shipments to get the best rate.
  • Package size: Couriers like USPS charge more for shipping large and irregularly-shaped boxes. Using standard boxes of the smallest size possible will save you money on shipping.

Let's use our shipping calculator to compare rates by weight. Above, we saw the prices for sending our 2-pound package from LA to Kyoto. Our calculator compares all available rates from courier websites, then presents the cheapest rates. At $26.88, Easyship Flat Export is the cheapest way to ship to Japan.

You might prefer to use USPS First Class International for just $2.14 more, since the delivery timeline is 50% shorter. Plus, this service also offers door-to-door tracking.

Below are the cheapest rates for a 15-pound package on its way from LA to Kyoto.

Shipping a heavier package obviously raises the price of our shipment to Japan. Now UPS Worldwide Expedited is still the fastest and best value option, with a 2 working day lead for $86.37.

When determining your shipping costs, be sure you have the most accurate weight on your shipment, including the box and any packaging materials. This way, you'll get a cheap and accurate rate quote.

Using a rate calculator makes finding and comparing the cheapest rates a breeze. No more nit-picking over which courier service to use. No more back and forth from site to site. No more note-taking. Plus, you also see the rates from smaller couriers who often sometimes offer better rates than bigger couriers like DHL, UPS or FedEx.

International Shipping To Japan

International shipping is more complex and costly than domestic shipping, and Japan is no exception. There are two reasons for this: customs duties and taxes, and customs paperwork. Here's a quick overview of these processes.

Customs Duties and Taxes in Japan

Japan, like all countries, assesses import duties and taxes on every cross-border shipment.

These import fees vary by package weight, category, valuation, and other factors. All told, it can be hard to calculate these amounts for every order. Meanwhile, shipments under a certain value threshold aren’t subject to any fees.

Easyship created a Free Tax and Duty Calculator for Japan to simplify all things duties and taxes. Now you can just enter your shipment details and get immediate amounts for duties and taxes.

Below are the duties and taxes required on a $200 hoodie imported from the US to Japan.

Be sure to add all import fees to your total shipping costs. This way, you can ensure all Japan-bound shipments are helping your store grow and boosting profits.

Customs Paperwork

To import goods to Japan, you'll need to include several customs documents. This includes a commercial invoice, a packing slip, and more. These documents help customs officers determine if you owe duty and tax. If you use Easyship, all these documents are automatically generated for every international shipment.

Read our eCommerce guide to shipping to Japan for a full rundown of shipping to Japan.

8 Tips for Cheap Shipping to Japan

For eCommerce merchants, finding the cheapest rates is just the first step in the shipping process. Making sure your package arrives on time and in good condition is also vital to success. Here's how to rock at cheap shipping to Japan:

  1. Check the address: An inaccurate delivery address will cause your package to be delayed at customs. Double-check that you have the right address to avoid slowdowns. Address validation software can be added to your store checkout to avoid this common issue.
  2. Avoid restrictions: Like all countries, Japan restricts and prohibits the import of certain goods. Read the list of prohibited goods for Japan before hitting send.
  3. Label fragile items: Make it obvious when you're shipping fragile goods. Attach a sticker on the packaging, and notify the courier of what's inside. It’s better to pay extra handling fees that have your items arrive damaged on the doorstep.
  4. Offer insurance: Package loss, theft, and damage happen more than you might think. Most international couriers insure packages up to $100. Easyship can also help you insure precious cargo up to $5,000.
  5. Factor in duties and taxes: Either you or your customers have to pay for duties and taxes on your Japanese imports. Before you make this decision, calculate these fees for your average shipment. Next, decide whether you'll pass these costs on to customers or absorb them yourself.
  6. Declare your return policy: Shoppers like to know how to initiate returns if they're disappointed with an order. Announce your returns policy on your website and in your post-purchase emails.
  7. Offer options: People like having a few options for shipping and delivery. This way they have some control over the delivery price and timeline. For merchants, providing options at checkout helps to curb cart abandonment with choosy, price-conscious shoppers.
  8. Share tracking details: Modern shoppers like to monitor their shipments in transit. By sharing tracking information with buyers, you reduce anxieties and minimize your time spent doing follow-up and customer services.

Cheap Shipping to Japan With Easyship

With a market-leading network of 250 couriers worldwide, Easyship offers ambitious eCommerce entrepreneurs exclusive discounted shipping rates to over 220+ countries and territories. Whether your customers are located in Tokyo or Osaka, we can help reduce your shipping costs by up to 91%.

Some key discounts for shipping to Japan include:

  • Save up to 31% on Asendia - e-PAQ Standard
  • Save up to 34% on APC - ePMI
  • Save up to 41% on Asendia - e-PAQ Plus
  • Save up to 63% on DHL – Express Worldwide
  • Save up to 91% on DHL eCommerce

Explore Easyship's user-friendly shipping tools designed to boost profits and create a delivery experience customers love when shipping to Japan:

  • Shipping Rate Calculator: Find the best deal for every order, compare rates from over 550+ courier services worldwide for shipping to Japan
  • Insurance: Easyship offers insurance coverage of up to $10,000, ensuring your shipments to Japan are protected and secure throughout their journey
  • Tracking: Seamless Tracking for Enhanced Customer Satisfaction. Keep your customers informed at every step of the delivery journey to Japan, providing them with complete package visibility