Amazon Japan Buying Guide for Overseas Buyers (Who Don't Know Japanese)

Update Feb 2015: Amazon Japan has revised their shipping charges to make it slightly cheaper for overseas buyers buying small quantities. If you have questions, ask me below.

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Here's the buying guide to help people overseas who're interested in buying stuff from Amazon Japan, especially for those who don't know Japanese.

The first thing you need to know is, not all items from Amazon Japan ships overseas. Books and discs are usually fine. Also, third party retailers usually do not ship overseas.

Amazon Japan Homepage

Amazon Japan Homepage English Link
Here's the homepage for Amazon Japan.

To translate the page to English, you just have to find that "In English" link which appears around the top right corner of the page.

They are circled in red in the images above.

After that, you'll be brought to the English translated page for Amazon Japan. Amazon help & information links are located on the left of that page.

Note that not everything is translated to Japanese, only the interface buttons. Even the drop-down categories are now in English.

Below's the second way to translate your page.

Amazon Japan Product Page English-link

Amazon Japan Product Page English
This is the product page. Again, around the top right corner, you'll be able to see a link called "Click here to see in English".

One thing I want to highlight here is the price of the item which includes a tax of 5%. For overseas buyers, you don't need to pay this tax and the amount will be deducted when you're on the checkout pages.

Sometimes Amazon Japan will issue Amazon Points. If you're lucky, you'll see them, although the amount isn't really much. One Amazon Point has the value of one Japanese yen which you can use offset your next purchase.

Even though there are third party merchants, so far I've not found any that ships outside of Japan. So it's just pretty much Amazon Japan that's shipping internationally.

Amazon Japan Shopping Cart
After you've added items to your shopping cart using the big orange "Add to Shopping Cart" button, you'll be brought to the Shopping Cart page.

At anytime if you want to look at your shopping cart, just click on the shopping cart icon that appears around the top right of the page.

If you're happy, you can click on the "Proceed to Checkout" orange button to checkout your items.

Checkout pg 1 - password
On the first page of Checkout, you can translate it to English as well using the link that appears around the top left, under the Amazon Japan logo.

There are two input boxes on the first page of Checkout. The top one is for your email. If you already have an Amazon account elsewhere, that's the same email address you'll use here. The second text box is for your password.

Check the second radio button to say you're a returning customer, or first if you want to create a new account.

Checkout page 2a - Address
On the second page of Checkout, this is where you provide your shipping address. You might need to provide a new international address if Amazon doesn't detect your old address from your other Amazon accounts.

Don't use the address form on this page because that's for Japanese addresses and you don't get to choose your country.

To add a new international address, just click on the "International (Outside of Japan)" link. I've circled in red in the image above.

Checkout page 2b - Address
This new page should appear for you to fill in your shipping address.

Checkout pg 6 - Payment
Here's the payment options page. Pretty simple to understand. They don't accept Paypal.

If you have an Amazon Japan gift voucher, you can enter the code on this page.

Checkout last page - Place Order
Here's the last page of Checkout where you review your orders. The few things that I usually check are:

  • Shipping address
  • Billing address
  • Item quantity
  • Total cost including shipping

Note that the price of the items doesn't include the tax of 5%.

Shipping rates

The shipping charge is calculated by adding one per shipment charge as well as the per item charges for the number of items you're getting.

There's only one international shipping option: International Express. Amazon Japan typically use DHL or Fedex for delivery services. So far for me, their services are fast. You can also track your packages on your account page. The account page link is near the "In English" link shown earlier.

The process is really quite similar to any other Amazon branches. Amazon's an online discount retailer so their prices are reflective of market rates or sometimes lower. The only charges to keep in mind are the shipping cost depending on where you live.

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57 Comments

I tried to use my current

I tried to use my current amazon.com account, but it is not recognized by amazon.co.jp I tried to create new account, but is not accepting my name in english letters so I can't register. What to do?

How about when purchasing

How about when purchasing used books? Is there a different process. Is shipping done by Amazon.jp or by the seller of the used book?

Because when I go through the used books list for an item. A lot of them display "Domestic shipping fee"

I try to order, but I

I try to order, but I repeatedly get messages that there's a problem with the card's expiration date.
I used the same card to buy successfully from the Japanese Amazon Marketplace. And with my previous card I also made a purchase from Amazon.jp itself.

What's can I do?

Thanks

I am located in the US and do

I am located in the US and do not own a Credit Card, I usually purchase 'Gift Cards' from local stores, I am assuming that I can not use those for Amazon.co.jp? I just want to make sure. It probably says on the card itself whether I can only use it for NA Amazon or not, I just wanted to double check.

Thank you for your guide :-)

Thank you for your guide :-) I'm running into some problems though. I currently live in Japan but my credit card is from my country, so I can't enter the billing address (which is made for Japanese address). Is there any solution to the problem ?

Hello, I'd like to ask for

Hello, I'd like to ask for your advice.
I've noticed that there is only one shipping option to my country (Vietnam), which is Express shipping or something, and is highly expensive (the one I wanted to purchase was only 675yen, but the shipping & handling fee was 3000yen). I used Vista credit card to make payment. I wonder if, in some way, I could choose another type of shipping like a standard one that takes 2-3 weeks. I can wait. Thanks very much.
Rin

Hi there,

Hi there,
I live in australia and I've tried to placed an order, a DVD, then entered my address but it said that the item cannot be shipped, can you help me? Thanks

I bought 2 books from amazon

I bought 2 books from amazon.co.jp and it has shipped from Japan to the US using the DHL shipping, do they automatically change to a different US courier and do they still update on the DHL tracking page or do they give you another tracking code?

hi

hi
I would like to send a christmas dvd gift to my friend in japan using amazon jp
so it would be delivered in time can i do this my billing address is uk

Big thanks for the guide. I

Big thanks for the guide. I have a question: One item I want has the option to buy officially from the "Distribution Center Amazon.co.jp" ...Am I right in assuming that's guaranteed to ship to the US?

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