I’ve had the deliveryman ring our doorbell for a box of tissues while a laptop was left unattended on our doorstep, leaving me utterly confused about how the system tags these things. While we can’t really control the status of each delivery that comes our way (despite having mine set to “unattended” by default), we can prepare in advance by knowing what to do in case an item was undelivered during the first attempt. 

Each courier has its own undeliverable item notice, although they work more or less the same way. Let’s focus on that red/pink redelivery slip by the country’s national postal service provider, Japan Post. It’s quite easy to understand the essential details written on the slip, such as your name on the first line, followed by the sender and a confirmation that the mailman couldn’t successfully deliver the parcel and the reasons, i.e., not at home, the item couldn’t fit in the post box, etc. 

Easiest method of redelivery: QR code/online

Of course, you can easily request redelivery at your next availability, and this could be done in multiple ways. The easiest is scanning the QR code on the accompanying receipt attached to the undeliverable item notice. You can even request same-day redelivery as long as it is done before 5 p.m. 

You can also manually request redelivery through Japan Post’s redelivery form online. All you need is your tracking number, and you can choose your availability for the next delivery. 

You can also request the same service via Line, although it can only be done in Japanese. Lastly, you can call the automated call center, albeit it will cost extra for mobile phone users and is done in Japanese. 

The other information on the slip includes your zip code, the type of parcel that was undelivered (registered mail, simplified records, special mail, cash on delivery, ID verification mail, letter pack, Yu package, mail outside of the standard size, international registered mail, international small package delivery, and so on). This gives you an idea of the type of mail that requires a face-to-face handoff, so you might need to be extra prepared if you’re expecting such deliveries. 

It is important to note that there is a time limit on how long your parcel can stay at Japan Post before getting discarded, so it is advised to process redelivery, especially for important items. Japan Post notes on its website, “Parcels that we have not delivered because no one was home are kept at the delivery post office for 15 days. Mail subject to customs duties are kept for one month. Please submit a request for redelivery or come to the post office to pick up your parcel.”

If you prefer going to the post office to ensure that you get your parcel, just bring your redelivery slip to the Japan Post branch indicated on the slip, plus an ID with your name and address for verification. Bring these to the counter, and a staff will look for your package at the back. 

If all else fails, you can also call the Japan Post hotline with English support. It might not be toll-free nor available at any time, but the staff are very helpful with any concerns regarding postage, shipping, and so on. 

Japan Post English hotline: 0570-046-111

Hours: 8:00–21:00 (Monday–Friday), 9:00–21:00 (weekends)

I’ve personally used this service for various requests and can attest to how accommodating the staff was. 

As mentioned earlier, the other courier companies in Japan, such as Yamato Transport (Kuroneko), Sagawa Express, or even Amazon Japan, follow the same process when it comes to undelivered mail. Hopefully, this guide helped in ensuring your package arrives safely in your hands.