Love Shopping but Can’t Face the Crowds? Go Online, Japanese Style!

  • HOW TO
  • Who doesn’t like a good bargain? Shopping in stores is fun and all, but what with the Tokyo crowds, parking fees, and communication barriers, sometimes it is more fun to sit back with a glass of sake and get your essentials online.

    Amazon Japan

    shopping-amazon

    Amazon Japan, much like Amazon USA, has everything under the sun, or rather, under the Rising Sun. The main menu is searchable in English, as are search bar terms. Of course, it may require a little digging at times to get what you want. An example of this would be T-Bone steak. Entering it in English results in cookbooks and cute notepads. Entering in translated Katakana, and you have your steak.

    Prices are reasonable, shipping is fast (especially if you have amazon prime) and they allow payment through a variety of methods – COD, Credit Card, and Convenience Store Payment. Your purchases can be shipped to your home, office, or nearest convenience store for pick up.

    Website

    Rakuten

    shopping-rakuten

    This website is more for fashion and Japan related goods. Although it is mainly in Japanese, you can search in English with fairly accurate results. Shipping is fairly speedy, but not as fast as amazon. They do offer many of the items Amazon has, food, kitchen stuff, but the fashion and accessory selection, as well as the discounts, are crazy. Also, they have a few super sales every year.

    A few years ago you could buy a Toyota Aqua for half price, and get Rakuten points to boot, during the 24-hour sale. Keep your eyes peeled, it is worth it to give it a try. You can also check out their English global site for full and easy access.

    Japanese Website

    Kakaku

    shopping-kakaku

    This shopping website is just insane. Really. Although it is only available in Japanese (find a friend to help you) you can enter search terms in English. The beauty of this site is it is basically a referral site for all online shops in Japan, comparison shopping at its best. Shipping varies depending upon individual shops.

    Enter what you are looking for into the search bar, or choose from the categories and browse, and voila! You will find a detailed list of online shops that have your desired item. It ranks the items from cheapest to most expensive, details which shops take credit cards, which are COD only, which have free shipping etc. It even compares prices and displays how much more or less you pay depending on the store for the same item. The only troublesome point is that you often have to register your information and sign up through each individual store that you choose to buy from.

    The best deals on the site are definitely electronics. Last time I used this site, I saved 40,000 Yen on a new Macbook by comparison shopping.

    Website

    Happy Shopping!

    shopping-girl

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