Tokyo-based company has a clever solution to one of the most common problems visitors face when traveling in Japan.

People planning a trip to Japan often ask “Where can I keep my luggage?” “In your hotel room” might seem like the obvious answer, but the nature of traveling in Japan makes things more complex.

Many visitors to Japan purchase unlimited-use rail passes, which are a great way to zip around the country and see a new city practically every day. However, lugging your luggage through crowded stations or onto packed trains can be a major hassle. Traveling light isn’t always easy to do either, since Japan’s sightseeing attractions run the full range from trendy urban nightlife to rural mountain shrines, which of course require separate outfits. And then there’s the small size of Japanese hotel rooms, where a suitcase with everything you need for the entire trip can take up a huge percentage of your limited floor space.

The ideal situation would be to have just what you need when you need it, but not have to carry it from place to place. That’s the scenario newly launched travel service Locarry hopes to achieve, by creating a sharing network that provides travelers with clothing, cameras, and other travel necessities.

Locarry allows users to create lists of items available for other users to borrow. The owner then sets a per-day fee, or, if they’re feeling generous, can offer the items free of charge. For example, a sample kimono set could consist of a summer yukata robe and sash, traditional wooden geta sandals, and an uchiwa hand fan. Those are all things that would be great to have on the one day of your trip you’re going to a summer festival on, but unnecessary for the dates you plan to be shopping for Japanese Kit-Kats to take home as souvenirs or relaxing at a cat cafe.

Likewise, maybe you’ve got just one day of hiking on your itinerary. Rather than bringing outdoorsy stuff that’s just going to be dead weight in your suitcase for 90 percent of your trip, you could simply borrow it from another Locarry user.

▼ Fancy threads, too, are something you might only use once or twice on a whirlwind tour of the country.

No registration or membership fees are charged. Once you’re signed up, you’re free to browse items available to borrow or list things you have to loan out to others. If you do find something you want to borrow, the website allows you to send a message to the owner, so that you can coordinate when and where to receive and return the items. There’s also a user feedback system, allowing you to rate your experience with other individual members.

Locarry hopes to create a user network not just in Japan, but overseas as well. The company says its goal is to create a way not just for people to share items, but to share lifestyles, since freeing travelers from having to deal with excess baggage gives them that much more time and energy to experience the things that drew them to their destination in the first place.

Source: Locarry via IT Media
Images: Locarry

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he always tries to pack light in Japan in order to leave more room for buying regional sake.