Are you in Japan but don't know how to wash your clothes? Today we are going to talk about the Coin Laundry or Koinrandorii [コインランドリー], a public place where you wash your clothes yourself and dry in coin-operated vending machines.
Public washing places have been around for a long time and this is not something exclusive to Japan. I have seen it in several American films and series. In other countries it is usually called coin laundry, self-service laundry, coin wash, laundromat and launderette.
Ready to visit these places? To facilitate I will leave a summary below:
Where to find a coin laundry?
It is estimated that there are about 17,000 laundromats spread across Japan. In addition, most hotels, hostels, and even onsens have these machines scattered somewhere. Finding a Coin Laundry is not a difficulty.
To find a location using the Google Maps, just search for [コインランドリー] or Coin Laundry. You can also search for sit [銭湯] or onsen [温泉] which usually always has a laundry nearby or at that location.
Laundromats in Japan usually operate from 8 am to 11 pm or even 24 hours. Some have instructions in English and Portuguese. Not all laundries are the same, some have machines that add soap and fabric softener automatically.
There is no need to worry because you find softeners, smells and others in laundries. If you have not taken coins, most laundries have a machine for changing money.
The washing and drying machine usually uses 100 yen coins, if the laundry you are in does not have machines to change, just go to any hanbaiki and buy something.
Doing laundry in Japan
Take your dirty clothes to the washing machine, being careful not to confuse them with the dryer. Drying machines are usually on top of each other and have transparent covers. Each machine has the amount of kilo supported and the waiting time.
It is recommended to use a machine for white clothes and another for colored clothes to avoid staining. As soon as you put the coins the machine will start running and the waiting time will appear.
If you want to leave, know that there is no danger. It is recommended that you put your bag of clothes on top of the machine, if you delay and the machine needs to be used, someone else will put the machines in your bag.
The machines usually wash from 4 to 7 kg and dry from 7 to 14 kg. In just 1 hour you will be able to do all your laundry. Some places offer drinks machines, TV, chairs, magazines and other things for you to spend time. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to wash and 20 to 30 minutes to dry.
Once your clothes are dry, you don't have to worry about ironing, just fold them as soon as the dryer strips. Of course, not all clothes will be perfect, and we recommend avoiding washing refined clothes in these automatic machines.
Remember to be considerate of others in a laundry room. From time to time, there may be a machine where the washing and drying has finished, but the clothes still remain inside. In that case, someone who wants to use the machine can take them out and put them in a basket.
To learn more about the interior of a Coin Laundry in Japan, let's leave a video below:
Hire a Laundry
In cases of suits and other clothes with delicate fabrics, you will find laundries that do the job or do dry cleaning. In Japan dry cleaning is so common that its cost is very cheap, around less than 1000 yen, I have seen up to 400 yen.
Unfortunately in Brazil we need to pay 50 reais to dry clean a suit, something I think is absurd, but I even understand. There are few places that dry clean in the city, in Japan all Japanese people wear suits, so it kind of became something usual.
Coin Laundry vs Laundries
As it is self-service, the coin laundry price is extremely low compared to the cleaning or laundry sector with employees. These laundromat locations are used by single people and students with little clothing.
Do hotels in Japan have a laundry service?
Most have laundry services; with varying costs, but 1,000 yen per delicate item is quite normal. Budget hotels, hostels and ryokans are more likely to have coin washing machines.
Hotel rooms usually have a clothesline in the bathroom, so you can dry your clothes if the place doesn't have drying machines. Coin-operated washing machines are often used during the day, try a different time.
How do I wash my sneakers?
You don't always need to hire a laundry for this. Some laundries have special machines for washing and drying tennis shoes. You can try searching using the term [コインラドリースニーカー] to find a location nearby.
The instructions may or may not be in English, but you usually put your sneakers in the washing machine, close the door and place the coins (about 200 yen for 20 minutes). The dryer is usually above the washing machine and you just need to hang your shoes on the installed hangers, close the door and place the coins.
Vocabulary of Laundries
The list below will help you understand some of the ideograms of washing machines and laundries in Japan.
|Connect (power source)||電源||dengen|
|to wash||洗濯 / 洗い||sentaku / arai|
|minutes||分||fun / pun|
|quantity / value||量||ryou|
|amount of clothes||衣類量||irui-ryoo|
|amount of detergent||洗剤量||senzai-ryoo|
|setting to switch between washing / drying||洗 / 乾切替||sen / kan kirikae|
|detergent / soap||洗剤||senzai|
We will update the list as much as possible. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments.