Japan Today

10 reasons why Kuroneko Yamato is probably the best delivery service in the world

By KK Miller, RocketNews24

Yamato Transport, affectionately known simply as “kuroneko” (literally “black cat”) in Japan due to its logo of a mother cat carrying her kitten in her mouth, is the largest door-to-door delivery company in Japan. The company was founded in 1919 by Yasuomi Ogura, who was also the creator of the aforementioned logo, which he felt would remind his employees to handle the parcels as if they were their own kids.

But what is it about Kuroneko that makes Japan love them so?

1. They’ll deliver to your location, no matter where you are

Do you live in a snowy place where regular tires can’t get any traction? No problem, because Kuroneko has some special vehicles in their fleet so they can reach you no matter where you live. Included in their delivery armada are boats that they use to reach some of the more isolated islands in Japan.

2. They’ll deliver to your address even when they have only a phone number and post code to go on

For all those times when the computer makes a mess of your address, Kuroneko won’t just give up and return the package to sender. They will go the extra mile and use your information, like a phone number and postal code, to figure out where the package should go.

3. They’ll give it the “soft touch in purin” care

Whether you are waiting for a box of books or sending something a little more breakable, you can be confident that your package will be handled with extreme delicacy. You could probably send custard pudding on a plate and the recipient would get the jiggly food in perfect condition. Also if you do send pudding, the drivers swear they won’t take a bite of it if they get hungry.

4. They’ll work till they lose their fingers (on their gloves)

Besides the fact that their work gloves are the most adorable hand protectors you’ve ever seen, they’ll keep at the job until the very holey end.

5. Customers can redeem Kuroneko points to snag a pair of those gloves themselves

Unfortunately, you can’t buy those cute kitty print gloves in any store, but you can get them from their catalogue with Kuroneko points. They cost about 150 points and you can choose between green, pink, blue and yellow gloves. Because who doesn’t like cute merch?

6. They’ll always look out for cats

Whether it is a cat at someone’s house or a stray cat taking a break under a car, Kuroneko employees apparently take extra care to make sure the animals that inspired their logo are having a good day.

7. They do their part for the environment

In an age where we need to seriously start taking better care of the environment, Kuroneko has responded by utilizing a bicycle driven cart. You see these things everywhere in urban hubs like Tokyo.

8. They’ll piggyback on passenger buses

Another way the company is doing its bit for the environment is by putting parcels going long distances onto buses that are already traveling on that route. Saves on gas and emissions, and saves the customers some money too!

9. They’ll help anyone out, even a rival company

In the photo below by Twitter user @kouno0521, the man second from the left is a someone who works for Kuroneko. The other four all work for Sagawa Express, a rival transportation company. Never leave a fellow delivery guy stranded.

10. They helped sponsor the Ghibli movie "Kiki’s Delivery Service"

The word “takkyubin” was a word created and trademarked by the company when they began their door-to-door service. And although permission to use the word wasn’t really necessary, Kuroneko not only approved the use, but enthusiastically sponsored the movie probably because a black cat, Jiji, plays such an important role in it.


If by now those 10 facts don’t firmly place you on “Team Kuroneko”, we don’t know what else will! If you live in Japan, next time you see a Kuroneko truck on the street, make sure you thank them for all their hard work. To those who deliver our packages, we salute you.

Source: grape

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Why is even Japan’s packaging cute? Delivery company decorates its boxes with cats -- We can’t stop watching this cute cat put together a packing box -- Never work with animals: Outtakes from Japanese delivery company’s adorable black cat ad

© Japan Today

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And black cats are good luck in Japan too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They also sometimes stop their truck right in front of an intersection, making me yell at them to get out of the way.


-17 ( +6 / -23 )

As someone who walks a lot on narrow, crowded streets, when I notice their delivery vehicles I feel safe. I've found their drivers to be the most aware of any on the road. Plus they're as fit as can be running from their vehicle to the delivery point and back.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Great service and friendly staff, just wish management would fit all vehicles with hands-free phone technology.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

name another delivery service then? Its not difficult to be #1 if there is a total of 2 delivery services.

-20 ( +5 / -25 )

In general, delivery in Japan is just terrific. Recently I ordered something online at night. I was expecting it to arrive a few days later, the next morning I woken up by the doorbell. It was my package.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

They will also collect from your home or you can post at your local conveniences store.
9 ( +9 / -0 )

I wish we had Kuroneko over here! Out of seven parcels delivered by DHL during the past twelve months, three arrived damaged (ripped open, pottery and DVD/CD covers broken etc.). And one is still missing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

After years of excellent delivery service in Japan - not only black cat - it was mindwarping to see (use) the system in Australia after many years.

I know demographics, geography, etc influence such businesses - but this service industry here - serves. Doubt anywhere is better.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Papi : Nittsuu, Yuupakku, Yamato, Sagawa, Pelican, Kangaroo to name a few.

19 ( +18 / -0 )

Kuroneko Yamato truly is one of the great Japanese companies.

In recent years they have been responsible for a lot of innovation in the logistics/delivery business, some of which was touched on in the article. One thing not mentioned in the article is that they have been investing heavily in going international. For one, they have built a number of massive warehouse facilities and improving networks for international deliveries, particularly tapping demand for quick delivery of perishables (cold chain logistics, etc.) to well-heeled customers throughout the rest of Asia.

I expect big things from them over the next two decades. Worth keeping an eye on.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

They are indeed the best. They ship my protein powders and other products from USA into Japan and even on imported items they offer "cash on delivery."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kuroneko employees apparently take extra care to make sure the animals that inspired their logo are having a good day.

I've never heard of their kindness toward cats, but even more importantly Kuroneko instructs its drivers particularly in rural areas to keep tabs on elderly residents and to do their part to be on the lookout for problems. Their drivers tend to stick with their routes over many years, which means community members are very familiar with the drivers, and they get to know the residents along their routes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Their time delivery service is god sent but I bet it's hell for the drivers trying to meet the various time slots specified by the people waiting delivery.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Could be the best company in the world in customer service.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Nice points, however every Japanese logistics company I've dealt with here is far and away superior in all aspects than overseas. Back home in Sydney, delivery is mind-blowingly shocking and unacceptable

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Different gravy, just an amazing service

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You could probably send custard pudding on a plate and the recipient would get the jiggly food in perfect condition

Been here too long to remember what a fact is?

Yes, Yamato are impressive. We got a great deal on the two truckloads we shipped to Japan, and the guy bringing the Amazon stuff is always efficient and polite. True what PTownsend says about the drivers, too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, Kuroneko are bloody awesome

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I do love Kuroneko. Add something as awesome as Amazon Prime to great delivery service like Kuroneko and life is 1000x easier.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

True story. I bought a Macbook Pro in Australia for my one-year study at Gunma University. Anyway, few months in the case was starting to warp and a few keys were playing up (4th year uni = not fun), so I called Apple Japan - Anyway, they sent Kuroneko to my student apartment in the middle of nowhere and had a specially-made protective box ready. They had it back to me three days later. Unbelievable.

I recently had a screen problem with my iMac - Kuroneko comes to pick it up in a case made to transport iMacs. Knows exactly how to handle it, I get it back - again - three days later. Truly next level stuff!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Kuroneko was great. They carted my kendo bogu around from hotel to hotel while I was on my last visit to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only time I ever tried to ship a package through Kuroneko, their driver came to my house and acted so rudely when they saw I was a foreigner that I ended up sending them away and just shipped my package through the post office.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Nittsuu, Yuupakku, Yamato, Sagawa, Pelican, Kangaroo to name a few.

Yamato = kuroneko Sagawa - true thats the only one I know, the others I have never heard of. SO apparently they are not making any effort in advertising.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

You must be kidding Yupakku or more widely known as the post office is banging CF with DownTown Matsumoto all the time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kuroneko is indeed amazing. I actually had to stop putting my phone number on Amazon orders because they even include a courtesy phone call to let you know that they put their package in your box, and they would call when I was sleeping!

And they do all this as a private company, meaning that they have no input into postal codes and addresses like Japan Post could. Kuroneko is stuck with whatever the government gives them in that regard.

I used to send books through their Mail-Bin service at their amazing thickness-based price (80 yen for up to 1 cm, 160 for 2 cm) until Japan Post used the fact that one person in several thousand would do the illegal activity of including a personal letter when sending goods (something JP has a monopoly on) and bullied them into stopping that wonderful service entirely and replacing it with an inferior service of their own. I would love to see Kuroneko get that business back somehow.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I find all Japanese takkyubin services magnificent. There are areas one can easily fault Japan, but the takkyubin system is not one of them. Kuroneko is cheap, fast and convenient. I doubt there is a better delivery service anywhere in the world.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That's maybe the only subject on which every JapanToday reader agree, kuroneko service is indeed outstanding.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

On #7, I think the increase in bicycle carts occurred not for environmental reasons but because of the launch of parking wardens and much stricter enforcement of illegal parking on public roads in the metropolitan area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have to admit Japans delivery service is world class, and something other foreign companies could takes notes on. I regularly have heavy parcels delivered 15~20kg and the prices are cheap.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There service is so excellent, but they forget people like to sleep in past 8 am on SUnday Mornings. :-( BingBong

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The best!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's cool to watch our local delivery girl in my neighborhood, because she pushes a small open cart to make her deliveries. It's safe enough to do that here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They're not perfect, but I have to say I think they're as close to perfect as a delivery service run by people, with people, and for people can be. My only complaint is that when I request "morning" they deliver, literally, at 11:59 a.m. after I've waited for nearly three hours, but I guess you can't complain much about that since it depends where you are on their route, and if they are going to be late by more than a couple of minutes when you've specified delivery they will call.

The other companies are decent, too, and by far Japanese companies are better than other countries' delivery services (that I've dealt with), but despite a few of the reasons in this article being silly I'd say otherwise it's pretty bang on.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I used Kuroneko several times to send my baggage from home to the airport leaving Japan, and from airport to home on my return to Japan. Never one problem in 20 years ! (BTW, If my memory serves me correctly, Nittsu and Pelican are one and the same.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My brother-in-law works for Kuroneko, if you cause an accident or break the rules you get taken off your regular route and given the cart and bicycle punishment. They most certainly earn their wages, long hours followed by a stack of paperwork at the end of the day.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I got caught in a typhoon, and a kind driver took us back to our pension. We sat in the van as he delivered along the way. So kind!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow, four downvotes just for relating an honest experience? I'm sorry my encounter with racism interferes with how you guys want to imagine the company.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

My brother-in-law works for Kuroneko, if you cause an accident or break the rules you get taken off your regular route and given the cart and bicycle punishment. They most certainly earn their wages, long hours followed by a stack of paperwork at the end of the day.

First- of course I can see how excellent kuroneko is for customers...BUT, for me, a few years ago I started thinking about the cost of our impatience. Personally, iI'm okay if a company tells me it will come in 3-7 or 7-10 days, and offers an option to receive it sooner at a higher rate, I feel this is reasonable. Most of the time, I do not need the item right away, so I would prefer to know that the driver is not overworked and under-rested.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@katsu78 sorry to hear you had a problem, next time get there name and van number, then call his boss and rip into him, I bet you you wont see the delivery guy again or if so he`ll be the most polite person youve met all year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


Yes, I hope you complained.

On the whole, I'm very pleased with the flexibility and level of service of these delivery companies. You hear of horror stories in other countries (eg delivery companies used by UK Amazon) where the deliverymen just dump the parcels anywhere, or throw them on the ground, or worse, steal the contents. And that's if they come to deliver.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I like the Kuroneko logo. It's very cute. I know firsthand that Japanese services are top-class. I appreciate the flexibility of delivery services here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agree, I ordered some vitamins from iherb for about $100. Yamato delivery is free....huh?.....for anything over $40. And it gets here fast. I've never seen free delivery from the US to Japan before.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great to read a 'positive' article about Japan and its people on here. Been a lot of Japan bashing today, far too many 'my country is better than Japan and would never do that' comments on other threads. People tend to forget that their home nation too has/had its flaws thats why many of us decided to look elsewhere in the first place and, in some cases, never looked back.

Japanese legendary top notch customer service at its best. Unthinkable in 99.9% of countries in 2016.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

how you guys want to imagine the company.

Not imagining anything...decades of great service, never a glitch or a rude driver. I have met some hum-dingers from Sagawa , but never Kuroneko. Never a package lost, never anything broken...I can't say the same for UPS in the US, they even managed to break a 60-pound marble pillar in half.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree that kuroneko is the best postal delivery service in Japan. I have experienced other companies but so far KN is the most satisfying. Sagawa is worse, it also reminds me the creepy Japanese killer imprisoned in France but now walking free in Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is all lies, they unreliable. I wouldn't trust them to ship anything

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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