Japan on the Web 2010: Top 10 Japanese Online Shops
Amazon Japan ()
Books, music, local Japanese games and movies, pretty much all types of electronic goods (I bought a humidifier from Amazon.co.jp yesterday), and loads of random stuff on the side. The clincher? It’s all available in English.
Japan’s biggest and best online shopping hub – a vast network linking thousands of Japanese online stores, all of which are unified in offering Rakuten store points and are fully searchable from the Rakuten homepage. No need to go shopping in the real world ever again.
Yahoo! Auctions (auctions.yahoo.co.jp)
Japan’s answer to eBay, with noticeably less fraudulent activity balanced by noticeably higher prices. If you want to sell and/or bid on items costing ¥5,000 and up, you’ll need a "premium ID" (which costs ¥315 per month) and a Japanese bank account…
A respectable alternative to the mighty Rakuten. Kakaku’s search returns are easier to navigate and it features charts indicating recent price fluctuations, though its overall scale is not quite as impressive as that of Rakuten. Plus, there’s no such thing as "Kakaku points".
English-language games can be hard to come by in Japan, for obvious reasons, but Play-Asia has that base covered with a massive inventory of titles across all formats at decent prices, available for shipping anywhere in Japan. Purchases can be made in whatever currency suits you.
Good wine in Japan. No, seriously. And all stored in the online caves of Enoteca, reasonably priced, and not just limited to Old World options. Delivery within Japan is cheap, too. Cheers!
The Meat Guy (www.themeatguy.jp)
Hungry in Japan? Want meat that’s thicker than a sheet of washi? Fancy leg of rabbit… followed by a crocodile fillet?! Then your prayers have been answered! The venerable Meat Guy really is without equal, a true one-off that practically owns its niche.
Foreign Buyers’ Club (fbcusa.com)
If you can’t get to (or don’t have) a local branch of Meidi-ya or Jupiter but still want your fix of Jelly Belly jelly beans and Snyder’s Pretzel Pieces, the Foreign Buyers’ Club will ship your nostalgia-fuelled order as far as the most isolated spot in deep inaka.
Jet Set Records (jetsetrecords.net)
Vinyl enthusiasts’ and DJs’ one-stop shop for the greatest, latest discs from Japan and across the globe. Prices of imported records can seem a bit steep, but there’s a strong yen to blame for that. Anyway, there’s no criticizing the sheer range of titles that Jet Set has in stock.
Not everyone has ni-ten-rei vision, and especially not people who spend so much time browsing the net that they end up here, but still: if you need good contacts at great prices with cheap shipping anywhere in Japan, Web-Lens.biz should be your first port of call.
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