Tourists and business travelers to Japan will soon be able to show up with little more than the clothes they’re wearing, thanks to an initiative by Japan Airlines Co. and Sumitomo Corp. to offer rental clothing during visits to the island nation.

Describing the initiative as a bid to promote sustainable tourism while offering convenience, the airline said visitors will be able to select apparel based on size and seasonal needs via a website prior to boarding a Japan Airlines-operated flight. The service will run on a trial basis through August 2024.

Japanese airlines, hotels and restaurants are gearing up to receive more travellers now that entry restrictions have been fully lifted and the summer holiday season is beginning. The number of visitors to the country reached 1.9 million in May, almost 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels compared with the same month in 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

One set of clothing will cost ¥4,000 to ¥7,000 ($28-$49), and people will be able to rent up to eight outfits for as long as two weeks, in three sizes: small, medium and large. Chosen styles — smart, smart casual and mixed — will be delivered to a traveller’s designated hotel.

The rentable apparel will be sourced from clothing product overstock, helping to minimise waste. Japan Airlines will calculate the reduction in carbon emissions based on saved aircraft weight, and inform customers. 

Trading house Sumitomo developed the online reservation system, as well as the procurement, laundry and delivery of clothes.