Coin laundry in Japan: Stay fresh and clean on your journey

After coming all the way to Japan, a stay of at least a few days is needed to truly enjoy the country’s beauty. However, the longer the stay, the greater the need becomes to do a load of laundry. In this article, we look at Japan’s laundromats, a convenient way to stay fresh and clean during your trip.

Finding coin laundries

Coin laundryLocating a coin laundry in Japan is not very difficult.Japan’s urban areas contain many such facilities, whether at hotels, pools, or hot spring facilities.One easy way is just to search for “coin laundry” on Google Maps to find a laundromat near your current location.

Laundry detergent

洗剤At most coin laundromats in Japan, detergent is available onsite.That being said, if none is readily available, it can usually be purchased from a vending machine nearby.However, purchasing laundry detergent in advance at drugstores, convenience stores, or supermarkets is likely to be more economical.Among the variety of brands in Japan, some of the most popular detergents are Ariel, Bold, TOP, NANOX, and Attack.Detergent is also available in different forms, from powders and gel balls, to liquids.For laundromats, gel ball types may be best as they are easier to use.

Cost and coinage

替両Small change is necessary to use coin laundry machines so please have some ready in advance.
Change machines may also be found inside coin laundry facilities, but just in case, preparing some in advance is the safest way.
Basically, 100 yen coins are the most common denomination, but some machines also accept 500 yen coins.
Costs vary depending on the store and machine, but usually, 10 kg of laundry (2 days worth for 3 people) can be washed and dried for about 1000 yen.

Washing Machine Instructions

1: Choose the size of the washing machine to fit your amount of laundry.
2: Fill the washing machine with clothes up to about 70% to 80% of capacity.
3: If the machine automatically adds detergent and fabric softener, just close the lid
(if not, add the detergent yourself and then close the lid).
4: Insert 100 yen coins for the displayed amount.
5: Wait for the duration time displayed on the washing machine.
6: After taking out the laundry, use the dryer if necessary.

Operating instructions for the dryer
1: Choose the size of the dryer (the larger the size, the better the finish)
2: Put clothes in the dryer to about 30% of capacity.
3: First, insert a 100 yen coin for 30 minutes.
4: Check the dryness and add 100 yen coins until you get the desired finish.

Etiquette and tips for laundromats in Japan

Coin-operated laundry machines are generally used by strangers, so please give some thought for the next user.Sometimes users might leave clothes in the washer or dryer even after the cycle has finished, but please refrain from taking them out for your own convenience.If the laundromat has an attendant, ask them to help if any problem arises.
It is also advisable to bring a mesh laundry bag to the laundromat. Washing delicate clothing or items with accessories such as zippers is safer in such a mesh bag.

Sneaker Laundry

Sneaker LaundrySome laundromats have washers and dryers specifically for sneakers. During the heat of summer and also the June rainy season when shoes might easily get dirty, these machines can be particularly useful. Free from worries about dirty footwear, your travels can be more active and fun.

Overcoming language barriers

In cases where facilities provide guidance only in Japanese, directions can still be understood through various displayed symbols and marks.
Coin laundryIn most coin laundromats, displayed numbers clearly indicate the order in which to press the buttons. Refer to the numbered buttons to operate the machine properly.
However, memorizing certain Japanese words commonly seen at laundromats may help for a smoother, easier experience. Such terms include the power switch labels of “切 / kiru” meaning “OFF” and “入 / ireru” meaning “ON”, and “スタート/ sutāto” meaning “START.”

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