Why Takkyubin RocksIn many countries sending something as small as an envelope by express delivery can be expensive. In Japan, large parcels can be sent for a reasonable price (e.g. suitcases and sports equipment). Takkyubin is registered and fast (often same day or next day).
Takkyubin matches the Japanese lifestyle. People take trains instead of cars. It's a terrible experience to try to carry huge suitcases on a Tokyo rush hour train.
It's popular to send bags to/from the airport. It's also possible to send bags from one hotel to the next. All major hotels offer takkyubin (usually from the lobby).
Good hotels will put your takkyubin bags in your room before you arrive.
Web StimulationAccess to cheap takkyubin has stimulated web businesses in Japan. If you order something online (even at night) it often arrives the next day. Free shipping is common with purchase.
Over 99% of Japanese people with access to the internet say they regularly make purchases online.
Cool TakkyubinOne of the great things about takkyubin is that they can handle a wide range of goods. If you want to send electronics — no problem. If you want to send a suit that can't be wrinkled — no problem.
It's also possible to ship refrigerated foods. The common term for this is cool takkyubin.
Running TakkyubinSome delivery companies in Japan have a policy that delivery persons should run when their not in their truck. They park their truck and run to your door. If they have something to deliver to your neighbors they'll run down the street. It's something to see.
Home PickupTakkyubin will pick up items from your home. It's also possible to send takkyubin from most convenience stores.
Guaranteed DeliveryIf you're not home when a delivery comes you can usually call to reschedule. No matter how many times you miss delivery — you can reschedule (some companies may have limits but it's fairly high).
In any case, there's no need to drive to a depot to pick up your items.
Kuro NekoYamato Transport is Japan's largest takkyubin company. In fact, "takkyubin" is their trademark. The generic Japanese term for delivery service is takuhaibin. The trademark has been so successful that it's replaced the real word in common usage.
Yamato Transport is commonly known as "kuro neko" (black cat) — their logo features a black cat carrying a black kitten in its mouth. This logo is one of the most recognizable logos in the country (right up their with McDonald's Golden Arches).