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Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/8 20:00

I'd like to bring a few bottles of sake back from Japan. When I travel overseas I normally bring back 6-12 bottles of the same wine packed in its original wine carton and put that straight on the airline luggage conveyor belt, that is, as checked in luggage.

Is sake transported in cardboard packaging and, if so, will I be able buy 6-12 bottles of sake in its original transportation packaging?

Thank you.
by Sake lover (guest)  

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/9 10:50
I usually bring 2-3 720ml and about 10-12 300ml bottles of sake, but I stuff them in my suitcases. I wrap them with my clothing to minimize banging. I have never brought sake in overt packaging.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/9 22:30
The amount depends on where you're going to, as each country has their duty free limits.

I recommend bubble wrap and packing them carefully in the middle of the suitcase.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/10 13:48
Generally if you're an individual who was buying nice, premium craft sake for home consumption you'd probably not buy that many bottles at a time, unless you were at a distant brewery and ordered some bottles that are hard for you to find locally.

If it's just sake from your local liquor shop, you'd buy a few bottles at a time, maybe different brands, and the shop would wrap the bottles individually in bubble wrap (unless you asked them not to). Unlike wine, sake tastes best when it's fresh. Also if it's nice sake, especially nama-zake you'd want to keep it refrigerated, and most people don't have unlimited refrigerator space.

If you were a restaurant or bar you'd have the liquor shop deliver, and again you'd probably buy multiple bottles of different brands rather than a case of one brand. And again, you'd probably opt for just-in-time delivery rather than take up a lot of refrigerator space.

Friends who bring back lots of sake generally wrap it well (in bubble wrap) and carry it in a suitcase, keeping in mind that the suitcase might get tossed around. I suppose a big carton of sake bottles that was marked "fragile" might be treated a bit better, but I would still bubble-wrap the individual bottles inside.

by Umami Dearest rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/10 14:09
Thanks for all your responses.

I should have been clearer in my initial question and for that I'm sorry.

I fully intend to pay duty on the sake I bring back, so my duty free allowance doesn't matter.

I am intending to bring back 6-12 bottles because I love good sake and it is impossible to get high quality, fresh sake where I am - I am quite happy to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege.

I also am only travelling for a few days so I will not be bringing a suitcase, just a carry on bag. Hence the question regarding transport packaging. I'm thinking I might just pop in to a specialist sake store and ask if they can pack the sake I buy in one of the cardboard boxes they have received a delivery in.
by Guest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/10 17:41
The reason we always put it in the suitcase is because you can't carry on liquids unless they're duty free bought at the airport. You may have to think further about that part of the plan.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/11 13:53
OP says, "as check in luggage."

Sake love,
Google 配送用酒ボックス. Pronounced haisoyo sake box. Sake box for delivery purposes. I do not have any experience with these boxes, but it cannot hurt to ask the specialty sake shops if they have them. Or where to buy them.

Good luck and let us know what bottles you end up buying.

by Taco Grande rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/11 13:58
Thanks Taco Grande, this gives me an option to investigate!
by Sake lover (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/11 15:30
i feel your distinction for sake OP :-) i also spend a huge amounts of money, cause in my country high quality sake is very rare and hard to get, so i invest a lot of time in bringing them directly from japan during my trips.

most important thing: when you buy sake at the airport (or somewhere else), even in duty free, make sure you dont have it in hand-lagguage, in case you have a in between stop on your flight home. (happened to me due to an airplane trouble, which forced us to land in an airport in between destinations. they took away my 5 bottles of very high quality sake. i could have cried oceans of tears on this airport!!! only thing i have from thsi dark time, was a free sake-cup, the sake trader on the airport gave me for me)

other than that, i usually make it this way, that i generally go into sake shops let everything packed there for transport in a huuuge box and bring this package to post offices and send it from there by snail mail to my home country. it usually costs about 150 EUR just for delivery (using the most slow mail) but by this way i can send myself way more sake than just using my suitcase (and it is still cheaper than using the other import companies that exist available). note that delivery takes about 1-2 month using this way, but i never got a spoiled sake until now. (but maybe thats cause i generally dont travel during the very hot seasons)

by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/9/12 04:34
Unlike wine, sake bottles come in different sizes and shapes. So the generic cardboard box might not work. BTW, I would never risk my booze and ship it in carboard box only.

I usually wrap the bottle inside a thick magazine then put it between clothes in my suitcase.
by reprazent rate this post as useful

Re: Bring sake back from Japan 2019/10/4 11:02
Just a quick update in case someone is interested.

I went to Takashimaya at Times Square in Shinjuku and they have 6 & 12 bottle cardboard boxes (720ml bottle size) specifically for sending via freight. I imagine other department stores such as Isetan & Seibu might have the same. The staff there were happy to individually wrap each bottle in bubble-wrap and then pack and seal the box and wrap well with twine and added a convenient carry handle. I had no issues checking the box in and it arrived safe and sound. (Just be aware that if you use this method you will have trouble keeping Namazake cold as you can't really open the box without having to go to the trouble of resealing with tape etc.)

Thanks for your help everyone.
by Sake lover (guest) rate this post as useful

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