Tech Industry

Airbnb in Japan lets you check in at convenience stores

Stuff your face with onigiris as you pick up your keys from one of the many Family Marts lining Tokyo’s streets.

Beginning next month, you can pick up and return your Airbnb keys from one of several Family Marts lining the streets of Tokyo.
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

It's getting easier than ever to check into your Airbnb on your travels.

In Japan, Airbnb has partnered with Family Mart, one of Japan's biggest convenience store chains, to let hosts leave their keys in special lock boxes at stores for pickup by guests. This begins next month, Japanese media NHK reported Monday.

Guests check in to their Airbnb by verifying their information, such as passport details, using a tablet. Once their identities are confirmed, a lock box will open with the keys. At the end of their stay, guests can also return keys at the stores. Family Mart hopes the service will reach 150 stores -- mostly in Tokyo and Osaka -- by February next year.

The move comes ahead of an expected tourist surge in the country as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics nears. In addition to Family Mart, Airbnb earlier teamed up with Lawson, another chain of convenience stores, to begin providing the same service at outlets in Tokyo in January. 7-Eleven is also joining the party, offering the same services under a collaboration with travel agency JTB.

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