Taking Your Bike on a Plane.

Forsbrook

Maximum Pace
Feb 13, 2008
399
64
48
Katsushika-ku
#1
Hi,

I'm hoping to take my bike on a trip to Hokkaido this summer.

I was wondering if anyone has ever taken their bike on the plane from Haneda before.If so,how much did it cost and what were the packaging requirements?

Is sending it by Takubin a viable option?

Thank you very much.
 

kpykc

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
804
4
38
38
Tokyo
#3
I did take my bike on a plane from Haneda to Okinawa (and back) last autumn. I used a simple rinko bag (which I use in trains) to pack my bike. However you might want to buy a bag with sturdier walls or a hard case - just to keep your steed safe from plane shaking.
You might also be asked to sign some paper saying that you won't have claims for the airway company in case if your bike is damaged. That's how it was in my case.
For a safer (insured) transportation it's probably better to go to a transportation company - I have no experience there.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#4
You should be fine

Have heard good things from various people and shall try it myself very soon. Both ANA and JAL allow bikes on plane if packed in a bag and not exceeding certain measurements (which are impossible to exceed with a Japanese bag). The bike just counts as one piece of luggage, so you need to watch out not to have too many pieces of luggage (how many depends on your mileage status and ticket) or else some extra charges apply.
 
#5
Takkyubin Everything

I've put my bike on a plane to Hokkaido before: took the front/rear wheels off, strapped them to the frame as well as the carriers and put it in a bike bag. Padded with a bit of plastic bubble-wrap and it was fine to go. Arrived fine, but I believe it does get knocked around a little (one of the skewers was rolling around in the bag).

However, what I've been doing recently is using Takkyubin -and this is definitely the way to go ! For packages of this size, Kuroneko "Yamato-bin" needs to be used. Basic steps:

1) Remove both wheels, sandwich the frame and put in a standard bike bag - the kind you use to take the bike on the train. Pack cardboard around the derailleurs, etc for protection.

2) Figure out the price. Price is determined by "weight" and destination. "Weight" is actually either the result of a formula based on dimensions, or the actual weight - whichever is the larger. The former will always be the case. The formula is this:
length (m) x width (m) x height (m) x 280 kg.
Depending on how well you pack your bike, and the personality/measuring-ability of your driver it will usually work out well below 100kg. Pricing is all here:
http://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/yamatobin/yamatobin_ryokin/tokyo.html
It's pretty reasonable - I usually also send a box with all my panniers and camping gear as well.

3) Figure out where you want it dropped off. I always pick a Kuroneko depot within walking distance from the port / airport / station. You can drill down area by area, or enter in the nearest station (in Japanese) here:
http://sneko2.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/sneko2/index.html
This will take you to a handy little map and information about the depot (tel number, opening hours, etc).

4) Pop into your local Kuroneko Takkyubin store - they are everywhere - and ask for a form. They will help fill it out for you and arrange a time to pick up (no extra charge) from your home (or you can take it there). Even better is next time you see a Kuroneko van parked near your house (you don't have to look too hard) ask the driver for his card - this has his cell-phone number and you can call to ask for your gear to be picked up. I've found the advantage of talking to the driver directly is that he is much more willing to pick up out of "standard" hours. And he'll bring the forms and fill them out for you.

5) Send it a few days beforehand - it's two or three... I can't remember which.

6) Board the plane in your lycra cycling shorts and shaven legs and try to act natural.

The bike has always arrived undamaged and on time (touch wood).

Good Luck!
Steve