Created for expats living in Japan

Laundry Symbols and Dry Cleaning Services in Japan

Most apartments (especially higher-end luxury condos) in Japan feature a washing machine however, dryers are not quite common in Japan. Many dry cleaners, fortunately, offer a comprehensive range of services, including residential pick-up and drop-off, professional dry cleaning, laundry, ironing, and alterations. In this article, you can learn about Japanese dry cleaners and the meanings of Japanese laundry symbols.

If you are looking for an English-Friendly Dry Cleaners in Tokyo, please read this article.

What Services do Japanese Dry Cleaners Provide?

Because many Japanese office workers are still required to wear a complete suit and tie, the Japanese dry cleaner is most commonly used for "Y-shirts," or your regular white dress shirt.

These include a clean, iron, and starch (though newer locations often go much lighter on the starch than the old guard). Depending on the treatment, shop location, and fabric, these typically cost between 180 and 750 yen per shirt.

Other garments can, of course, be dry cleaned, however big-ticket clothes like fur coats and expensive designer clothes may necessitate a little more caution.

They also provide a blanket and futon service for those who are unable to use laundromats. One service that is unique to Japan (and may surprise you) is that some dry cleaners will even take your seasonal clothing, clean it, and store it until it is time to use it again! This saves people from having to keep bulky coats or quilts crammed in their valuable closet space throughout the summer, and it usually comes at a very low cost.

Laundry Symbols

Japanese laundry symbols are nearly identical to the ISO (International Standard) symbol that is widely used around the world. Some examples of previous Japanese laundry symbols (written in Japanese) and ISO laundry symbols are shown below.

Old Japanese Laundry Symbols

Hand washing :
Hand-washing with 30℃ water | Do not Wash.


High temperature(高)| Medium temperature(中)| Low temperature(低)| Do not Iron


With chlorine allowed | Not Allowed


Dry cleaning

Dry cleaning | Dry cleaning with hydrocarbon solvents | Do not Dry Clean



Wring gently | Do not Wring

New Japanese Laundry Symbols (International Laundry Symbols - ISO)

Click the image to enlarge

Please refer to this page to understand each meanings.

If You Prefer to Do Your Own Laundry

You can use special detergent for delicate fabrics, as well as some washing nets. You can also refer to How to find the right laundry detergent in Japan.