Training with Luggage

Training with Luggage

One of the things that we spend a lot of time educating travelers about is luggage.   The Japanese ship their luggage - see here.   However, when traveling overnight and on short trips – they still will carry the world’s smallest rolling bags.  I say that because I’m so often asked about what to take and what size bag to take.  So this year – I took pictures!  and notes…

First, the easiest reference – you should be comfortable holding your bag on your lap for a 1 hr trip.   This covers most possibilities, including crowded local trains and portions of your trip that may be on a subway.   It also covers the occasional train with almost no overhead storage and seats that are close together.  It also helps for those times when you will have the opportunity for a little “training”, which is carrying your bags up and down the many stairs in all the train stations.    Just for grins, on my last trip I counted stairs – one small station on Shikoku island had 60 stairs to climb to get to the platform.   Traveling light is the way to go in Japan.

Here are some shots we took on the trains to give you reference points – I especially liked the standard bag that this inexperienced traveler rolled aboard (second picture).   We have no idea where he finally managed to store this thing:

Yufuin Train - 21 in bag does NOT fit in overhead

Train Luggage - what not to do

Seating Space on Reserved train to Takayama

Train Seats - First Row

One Response to “Training with Luggage”

  1. It helps to know which trains (and train stations) are luggage friendly. Practice helps, and being able to carry two cases at once up (or down) flights of stairs is a reason to keep packing efficient (I get to carry my wife’s case :) )

    We’ve not had problems on the Thunderbird to Takayama, or any shinkansen. The Sonic to Nagasaki and/or Beppu was a bit more challenging, but there was still ample space. Even the Okayama to Tottori wasn’t a problem. Subways and local trains are actually easier because they are shorter (maybe an hour) and there is space to stack and hold them. We’ve seen groups with skis and snow-boards that are more challenging than suit cases, but in general, a sensible sized case (25x50x75 cm) works fine.

    The yakubbin services might be great, especially if you are local and only going one place. However, they are next day and require you to survive with a subset of luggage – and you end up travelling with two bags rather than one – something I would prefer not to do.

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