Osaka is the land of opportunity, with bright lights, food and plenty to explore—so don’t let your bags weigh you down.
Osaka is a popular stop on the Japan route, and it’s a great city for spontaneity—tiny bars, riverside strolls in Dotonbori and tempting food stalls all call out. It’s tricky to get suitcases down slight alleys or fit your backpack into narrow bars though, so how best to get rid of them? If you’re only staying a day or don’t have a helpful (or close) hostel or hotel, it can seem inevitable that you’ll have to lug it around all the top sightseeing spots. But fret not, there are actually plenty of Osaka luggage storage options!
1. Storing your bags at Osaka Station
Where you’ll find the bullet trains, regular JR and private railways, Osaka Station is a transport hub to say the least. Chances are you’ll end up here or in the adjoining Umeda Station, and you’ll have luggage you’re keen to stash.
There are plenty of lockers within Osaka train station, often found near ticket gates. They have the ususal three-tiered size system starting from ¥300 for a small (big enough for a normal backpack and shopping bag), ¥500 for a large rucksack and ¥700 for a mid-sized suitcase.
These lockers are a mix of 1) the old-fashioned key ones that only take cash, and 2) newfangled automatic ones that take cash or IC cards and use either an IC card or a receipt in place of a key.
Lockers can be used for up to three days, and you pay for the first day to start, then pay the extra when you collect. Note that the “new day” starts at either 12 am or 2 am depending on location, rather than after 24 hours of actual use.
Here, the lockers are on the 1st and 3rd floors—with this real-time guide to show availability.
You’ll find the biggest collection of lockers on the central concourse. Exit the central ticket gates and head down a passage next to the Ticket Office sign directly opposite you.
There are also lockers close to Hotel Granvia, the Sakurabashi Gate (both inside and outside), the South Gate, the Midosuji Gate, the Bridge Gate (on the 3rd floor) and by the JR Bus Terminal. A section of ‘secret lockers’ are also available and often a great last chance if everywhere else is full as they don’t appear on any maps. Those are found across from the JR Bus Terminal, under the walkway that leads to the Grand Front Osaka shopping center.
If the lockers are full or your luggage is massive, then you can leave it at the baggage room in the Central Concourse (1st floor). Each piece costs ¥700 regardless of size, so really only good if you have large pieces (or can’t find a space elsewhere).
Located next to the 7-Eleven convenience store and the Nippon Travel Agency, it is a small window that’s easily missed, so keep an eye out. Open between 10 am and 7 pm, the drop-off and collection times are a little more limited compared to lockers. Still better than carrying that case around the streets all day, though. If you miss the closing time, you will be charged a second day of storage, so don’t be late!
If you’re keen to have your luggage sent on without you, then you’re best either arranging this online through porting service LuggAgent (Cheapo readers get an extra bag for free), or heading straight to the Tourist Service Center on the 3rd floor of Osaka Station. Using Sagawa Delivery, your bags can be sent to hotels in Osaka or to Kansai International Airport. Prices vary depending on your hotel, but it’s usually pretty reasonable. The baggage room on the 1st floor reportedly also offers delivery. However, the 3rd floor is likely to be more helpful as it’s a tourist-info desk as well.
2. Storing your luggage at the Umeda stations
A mixture of different stations, this can be a bit of a confusing area to land in, with Hankyu and subway lines. This map is a good guide.
Umeda has two extra bands of lockers costing ¥400 and ¥600, but the different areas have different combinations.
When it comes to quantity, the Hankyu building has the most—located on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors, both inside and outside of the ticket gates (check this map).
In Hanshin Umeda Station they’re on both of the underground levels outside the ticket gates.
At Umeda Subway Station, lockers are at the northern gates.
At Higashi Umeda Subway Station, they are by Exit 2 on the east side and near the gouth Gates.
If you’re in Nishi-Umeda Station, head to the west side of the central gates. In Kitashinchi Station, there’s lockers at the east and west gates.
Luggage storage and delivery
For storage, you’re best off heading over to the connected Osaka Station as they have dedicated baggage areas and delivery services.
3. Storing your bags at the Osaka-Namba stations
With six stations all technically called Namba, this is a pretty confusing network, but due to the combination of train lines, you’re likely to end up here if you’re not hopping on the Shinkansen at Osaka Station.
Osaka Namba Station (Kintetsu and Hanshin) has around 180 lockers at the east gates and around 35 at the west gates ranging from ¥300 to ¥500—this Hanshin map shows locations.
There are more lockers available throughout the Namba City shopping mall (B1–2F), with a manned storage area at B2 level, near the tax free counter.
For subway stations, then you can attempt to decipher this incredibly confusing (but hopefully ultimately helpful) map of the full station which shows all the different locker positions—you just need a compass and possibly a magnifying glass.
Luggage storage: Two options
All offering basically the same service, these companies will store luggage as you explore, with the final option keeping it for up to 30 days if you book online.
1. Namba Hands-Free Center: Official storage
March 16, 2021 update: The Namba Hands-Free Center is permanently closed.
Part of the nationwide scheme for ‘hands-free’ travel, this is a really good option for luggage storage. Costing a flat-rate of ¥500 per item, per day, regardless of size, it’s extra good value if you have larger pieces.
Open 7 days a week between 10 am and 8 pm, it’s only closed over the year-end celebration period. Items can be stored overnight, but you’ll have to pay for the extra day, as with lockers and the maximum storage time is three days.
As the storage space is huge, it’s unlikely they’ll be full, so it’s ideal for groups or those with lots to store. The waiting area has vending machines, seats and wifi so you can have a seat and plan your day while there.
Access: The Hands-Free Center is best accessed by subway Exit 5, as it has escalators. After leaving, you cross the intersection and it’s on the 4th floor of the brown building directly ahead. You can also access it from Exit 6 of the subway station, but it involves a lot of stairs.
2. The NLSC: 14-day storage and delivery
Another storage center just a couple of minutes’ walk from Namba South Gate, the NLSC is a handy spot with longer storage options. Charging ¥500 per item (up to 250 cm, 40 kg) per day, they can store items for up to 14 days which is much longer than most. If you need it for longer, you can book for up to a month.
It’s open from 10 am to 8 pm each day and also offers delivery options via Giga Rabbit to hotels as well as between Osaka and Kyoto or Osaka and Kansai International Airport. Unlike other centers, they take your photo along with your luggage as a backup in case you lose your ticket, so maybe a good option if you have limited faith in your ability to hold onto tickets.
Access: The NLSC is less than a minute from Nankai Namba South Gate, under five minutes from the Nankai Namba Main Gate. If you’re walking from the station, it’s just along from the Lawson convenience store.
4. City-wide options for luggage storage in Osaka: The Ecbo App
Known as Ecbo Cloak, this app is pretty much the only luggage-storage app worth having on your travels in Japan. Now connected with well-known businesses like the post office as well as smaller local ones, you’ll never be short of spaces to drop off bags. From the Nippon Travel Agency shops to local ryokan and everything in between, the variety means you have a good range of access times and locations to choose from.
The app is also cheaper than other options. Bags cost ¥300 per day while suitcases and larger items like strollers cost ¥600 including tax.
The added bonus of Ecbo is that you can reserve the space ahead of time. Great if you’re a worrier and you’ll not have to waste time checking locker locations or queuing at storage facilities.
5. Storing your bags at Kansai International Airport
If you’re arriving into KIX, can you opt to leave your luggage there or send it ahead of you to your hostel or hotel. Also, just in case you need it, here’s how to get yourself to Osaka, Kobe or Kyoto from the plane.
Surprisingly, they still allow lockers in Japan’s airports and here you can find them in both terminals and the Aeroplaza. There are hourly and daily options, costing between ¥300 and ¥800 depending on size and time.
In Terminal 1, the lockers are near the 2F domestic north and south departure gates and at the north and south ends of the 3F.
In Terminal 2, they are available in the public areas of the international and domestic areas.
The Aeroplaza only has medium and large lockers which are located near the showers and in the 2F atrium.
There are two luggage storage options. One is at the north end of Terminal 1 operated by JAL ABC. The other at the south end operated by Kansai Airport Bagge Service. There are options on both the 1st and 4th floors. It’s ¥620 per day for suitcases, and ¥360 for a duffle bag.
There are a number of different parcel delivery services at the airport, but only three offer suitcase and luggage transportation. In Terminal 1, JAL ABC and Kansai Airport Baggage Service are available. In Terminal 2 the 7-Eleven convenience store offers Yamato Transport services.
6. Traveling with large bags on the Shinkansen: 2020 changes
While at the moment you can travel on the bullet train with large luggage without issue, in May 2020 there will be new rules introduced. If your luggage has a combined height, width and length of between 160cm and 250cm, you will need a luggage reservation. While this is free, it must be made in advance and can only be done with a reserved ticket. If you fail to make this reservation and try to board with ‘extra large’ luggage, you will be fined ¥1,000 and will need to upgrade to a reserved ticked (a few extra hundred yen on your unreserved ticket price). If there are no reserved seats left, you may have to wait until the next train. Bags with a combined size of over 250cm will not be allowed on board.
These changes are only being brought in on specific routes: The Tokaido Shinkansen (between Tokyo and Osaka, including Kyoto), the Sanyo Shinkansen (between Shin-Osaka and Fukuoka, including Himeiji and Hiroshima) and the Kyushu Shinkansen (between Hakata and Kagoshima). While it is not a lot of money, just ensure you are aware and book in advance to avoid the fine.
This article was last updated in October 2019 to reflect the Japanese tax increase. While we do our best to ensure accuracy, details may vary.