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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This new page should appear for you to fill in your shipping address.
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.
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%.
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.