Buying contraception in Japan can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be embarrassing or difficult. In terms of financial cost, condoms are the cheapest way to go in this country as the contraceptive pill and the morning after pill (“Plan B”) are not covered by the national health insurance and can, therefore, be very expensive. Condoms also greatly reduce the risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Even for those who can read Japanese, the unfamiliar brands can cause some confusion. There are many things you might worry about when it comes to buying condoms in Japan. Are they safe? Are they decent quality? Will they fit? You might be reassured to know that, like many products in Japan, the condoms here are of very high quality. With this guide, you will hopefully understand contraception in Japan more fully and know what to look out for if you need to buy some.
Okamoto Industries, Inc. was established in January 1934. This bestselling brand is said to be the “king of the condom” in Japan and is catching on abroad as well. This company has some serious commitment to the happiness of its customers. Their products come in a range of sizes, colors, and thicknesses, but the Okamoto brand is most famous for one thing – it is as thin as possible while being as strong as steel.
Although they require a little more lubrication than usual condoms you might find back home, they provide standard protection even with their minimal 0.02mm thickness. Even English review sites praise them and liken them to wearing nothing at all. You can find Okamoto brand condoms in most stores, or you can purchase them directly from their online global store.
Sagami Rubber Industries Co., Ltd. is a lesser-known brand than Okamoto but has a strong following nonetheless. In particular, they offer the thinnest condom – 0.01mm. Crazy thin, crazy strong, and fun for everyone! Sagami is said to have developed the “ultimate condom” in 1988 using polyurethane, a strong, flexible material commonly used in sportswear and medical materials.
If you choose to go with the Sagami condoms then again, go extra on the lubrication, as thinner condoms are more prone to heat stress.
I would just like to point out how manly Japanese condoms are pic.twitter.com/MnrtB2KaUJ
— まりりんぬ@家宝東7🌺R29ab (@mwaririnbobo) October 25, 2013
Not only it has a cute package, but is also easy to put on,made of latex with plenty of jelly lubricant including marine collagen and hyaluronic acid, giving moisture and tenderness to your partner. The package is in fact so beautiful that it even got design awards such as Gold Prize at the Paint Award.
There are also many types you can choose from such as Hot Type, Moisture type and you and especially your partner will definitely feel a difference
as it’s much smoother and painless!
From convenience stores to supermarkets, condoms can be found at most places that sell essentials. A sure option is, of course, your local drugstore. Stores catering to international shoppers may have larger selections, but drugstore prices tend to be rock bottom cheap compared to a 7-11 or Family Mart. Pay attention to the sizes available, which will be written on the box.
— Daily Nation (@dailynation) February 21, 2019
Prices vary on condoms. Domestic, of course, is always and forever cheaper than imported. For domestic brands such as those mentioned above, paying about 600 to 1000 yen for a pack of 12 is the norm. Imported condoms range from 1200 to 3000 yen plus shipping of up to 1000 yen depending on the seller. If you are looking for less expensive ones, go with domestic brands. They are of good quality and are reliable, too.
If you’re looking at the prices and feeling put off, keep in mind that the morning after pill, also known as the Plan B pill, costs 20,000 yen and must be prescribed by a doctor. Even if you split the cost in half, it still puts you at nearly an equivalent of around $90 USD out of pocket! The daily pill for women is also expensive as it isn’t covered by the Japanese national health insurance. Therefore, it is more affordable and, as always, much safer to get a box of condoms.
Don’t worry! Many people feel embarrassed to buy adult products, so you are not alone if you feel a little shy. Therefore, wherever you buy your essential goods, you can be sure the cashier will place them in a paper or black plastic bag for the sake of privacy. Don’t forget that in convenience stores, they also sell adult magazines, so in comparison to that, grabbing a box of condoms is no problem at all. Cashiers don’t really care what they’re selling anyway, they are just doing their job. You won’t receive any judgment from them.
If you are still too embarrassed to buy these products in public, you can always order them from Amazon Japan or the above company websites. However, be sure to send them to your home address rather than your office, because the only thing worse than strangers seeing you buy them is your boss or coworker opening your package by mistake!
Let's discuss the size of this banana pic.twitter.com/xgiFWcVpIH
— Hailey Bieber (@haileybieber) March 27, 2014
They say that size doesn’t matter, but it does when choosing condoms. Like it or not, men come in all shapes and sizes and it is important you get the size that is right for you. Many foreign men tend to choose anything in Japan with “big” or “magnum” written on them. Pride is important, but so is a good fit. You may see a guide on the box indicating how many centimeters fits what size.
The debate between western and Japanese condom sizes is a hot topic, but the fact is that western condom sizes tend to be 54-55 millimeters in girth. Japanese condoms are 52-53 millimeters, meaning there is a two-millimeter difference. The best methods are either to check yourself with a measuring tape or to buy a few singles, try them on, and see what works for you. The latter idea will probably work better so that you can practice taking them on and off and get used to how they feel.
For a quick comparison chart, check out this link. Buying contraception in Japan is really no different to buying it at home, and in the end, and it is always best to have some just in case. Hopefully, you now feel more confident about purchasing condoms in Japan.