Here’s what you can do to find a lost item in Tokyo

This entry is part 13 of 15 in the series Japan Student Guide

Are you in Tokyo and you’ve lost something? Fear not. Today, while on my way to my part-time gig, I noticed that I cannot find my train pass case which contains my student ID, my PASMO without a name, and my part-time job’s key card. I sort of tore the case from the holder by accident. Since I cannot get in my school system without my ID,  I am in a state of PANIC. But NOT in the state of hopelessness. This isn’t the first time I lost something and had something returned to me. This is Japan, after all. Even if you lost a hair clip and you report it to the police, for sure it’s stored somewhere for safekeeping. I have seen even the simplest stuff being kept in storage, when I claimed my lost item before. Well, unless someone kept it for themselves (but that’s another story). So what can you do to find a lost item in Tokyo?


1. Report the loss of important items to the issuer.

If your lost items include important bank cards, mobile phones and other items that could be misused, inform your providers as soon as possible. Should be the first thing to do!


2. Remember where you’ve been and the approximate time frame

Trace your path from when you lost your item. As much as possible give the approximate time of loss. You will use this in the police report.


3. Go to the nearest Police Box (Koban, 交番).

If you’re lucky, someone would have already handed your item to the police. People go to the trouble of actually handing it over (from this point I could say, I love you kind people). The police have access to translators (within office hours), so don’t fear.  If you feel overwhelmed with the language barrier, go to step 3.


4. Go online, download the lost item form, print it out, and report to the nearest koban.

The lost property report form is available online in English. You can download and print it in A4 from here. The set of instructions on how to fill it up is available here. A sample is actually available here. After filling it up, print it out, and go to the nearest police box (koban).


5. Explore the lost item database (in Japanese) and search for your item online.

You can pass time looking for your item here but the description can be very vague depending on what you’ve lost. It kills your agitation, though. Turn your google translate add-in on and browse through the database by clicking the yellow button.

It will lead you to a page asking for the terms and conditions, so read it if you can and click the blue button as shown below.

You will be asked for the category of the lost item. If it’s a combination, you have to repeat the whole process from here.

State the approximate time frame,

and where you might have lost it.

Lastly, click on to the location.

The next part would tell you the items with the description.


6. If you can speak a bit of Japanese, give your nearest Koban a phone call.

Google map has everything these days, including your nearest Koban’s telephone number. Give it a ring and explain your situation. We actually found my items this way!


More details can be found in English here.


Best of luck!



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Paula Lapizar

Chemical Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Tree-Hugger. Bargain Hunter
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Paula Lapizar

Chemical Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Tree-Hugger. Bargain Hunter

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