Shopping Japanese Online Stores from Abroad

So, as you know, I make a lot of recommendations for items at Amazon.co.jp. Most of these items are books, so you can have Amazon.jp ship them for you directly. However, there are some items (like video games and dictionaries) that Amazon Japan chooses not to ship abroad. For these kinds of situations, there is a service in Japan called Danke Danke. I haven’t used them myself, but from reading the website, the idea seems to be that you order items, have them shipped to Danke Danke in Japan, and then Danke Danke can combine them and ship them to you internationally. Anyway, I don’t know if they’re any good or not, since I haven’t used them myself, but you might want to give them a try.

  5 comments for “Shopping Japanese Online Stores from Abroad

  1. Charley Garrett
    August 23, 2007 at 22:11

    Khatzumoto-san,

    My reading still stinks. I go to amazon.jp and I can just feel my blood pressure mounting at all those kanji on that page. I really sympathize with the illiterate in my country more now. Anyway, the thing that always gives me pause about buying a movie or a book, I don’t want to end up with a very expensive copy of what I could have picked up in my local department store here in Georgia. I’m still reading Harry Potter #1 (Sorcerer’s Stone), but I’d hate to order HP7 and get another copy of the english version. (This is just an example, I’ve entered my email address to be notified when HP7 gets translated and ready to order, but you get the idea…)

    Is there some secret signal or trick to recognizing that (yes!) this is the one with the japanese translation?

  2. khatzumoto
    August 23, 2007 at 23:15

    Hey Charley,

    1. Consider mining Amazon.jp for sentences. Just pick any item page, and mine that vocab. It’s going to repeat itself, so it’s worth your time.

    2. The general policy is to not put a Japanese title on the original. Also, the translation will have the name of both the original author and the translator. The translator should generally have “(訳)” or “(翻訳)” after her name; this indicates both that the book is a translation and that she was the translator. Japanese HP6 is an example.

    3. When you search books, on the left-hand side of the page is a list of categories (カテゴリ), click on “和書”, and you will only get Japanese books. Limit your searches to “和書”, and everything will be OK.

  3. beneficii
    August 24, 2007 at 01:17

    Also, you can input the text in hiragana.jp, which translates the kanji to Hiragana (fairly accurately, though sometimes it doesn’t choose the right reading for compounds).

  4. nacest
    January 30, 2008 at 22:14

    I have recently used this service, and I’m fairly satisfied with how it went.
    The shipping costs are high, but that’s the shipping companies fault (Fedex, EMS); besides, it’s better than not being able to get the goods at all 😀
    I’ve found only one odd thing: they stay closed for a long period during the Winter Holidays, so if you need something during the Christmas days you’ll have to order it earlier or wait till the second week of January, more or less.

    Anyway, they seemed dependable to me.

  5. Jess
    December 13, 2009 at 12:58

    I’ve been using a mailing service at Tenso.com – I have my very own Japanese mailing address to have Amazon or any of their marketplace people send things to, and then Tenso sends it on to me. Same as Danke, I’d think. Shipping is horrible, they don’t give me an option on how I want it shipped, so it’s max cost EMS.

    As a cautionary note – if you buy things from the Amazon marketplace people, Tenso does not repackage things, so every item you get is charged shipping separately. That can end up costing a LOT. I like using the marketplace buys for used video games. under 10yen total for a game? Even WITH the EMS shipping added on, it’s less than getting a J game on ebay. But five small 1yen books, at 16$ ems each??? Nooot a good deal.

    Looking it over, the Danke site claims to save up your packages and repack them into one box for shipping. That would help a lot. Of course, I’m still looking the site over for a catch. But looks like I may be switching to Danke soon.

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