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Shopping Online in Japan

Everything—including groceries—can be purchased online, sometimes at half the regular in-store price.

By 4 min read

Japanese websites can be an excellent option for buying domestic items quickly and even for a discounted price. Due to the ongoing coronavirus and current state of emergency, shopping online is also a safe way to get what you need without dealing with crowds.

One perk of living in Japan is speedy delivery. Even in the countryside, most things will arrive on your doorstep within a couple of days—even with standard shipping. In the big cities, same-day shipping is also available.

The two most common options for payment are credit card and bank transfer (振込, furikomi). You might not have a Japanese credit card, but your bank card should work. Most websites will also let you use a credit card from your home country, mobile payments and even Japanese prepaid credit cards you can purchase from the konbini (convenience store).

Here are some of the best websites for online shopping in Japan.

Groceries and daily necessities

Groceries delivered straight to your door.

Japan is in a remote-work boom. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a company that lets you work from home, you may have started cooking more. You may have also realized that cooking takes up a lot of time. Thankfully, these days you can at least skip going to the supermarket. It’s also great for daily necessities and pet food. If you do have to go to work, it’s nice not having to go to the supermarket immediately afterward to buy cat food.

One caveat is you will probably be paying more for fresh veggies and meats, but you might also find discounts on wholesale items. There are also typically daily deals you can sift through. You will also need to know basic Japanese or use Google Translate to navigate some websites and set up a membership.

Here are some of the best websites in Japan for groceries, necessities and wholesale items:

Vegetarian and organic

Halal

Imports

Home, furniture and gardening

Now is the perfect time to spruce up your living space.

Since many of us are working remotely now, you may have also noticed your home could use a bit of sprucing up. After all, your environment can have a lot of effect on your mental attitude and work output. No one wants to sit on a cheap or uncomfortable sofa all day for work. Why not invest in some decent new furniture? A few plants and paintings or posters not only liven up the atmosphere but say a lot about your personality.

This is also an excellent opportunity to start a new hobby like gardening or finally make the most out of your balcony space. Do you want to get into tabletop gaming or board games? You’ll definitely want a good table. Are you tired of seeing four white walls all day? Hang up some of your favorite pieces of art.

Furniture

Plants and gardening

Art and decor

Fashion

All of Japan’s best brands are at your fingertips.

The biggest concern when shopping for new clothes online is finding the correct size. While it’s difficult to know until you actually try it on, most if not every store will have a return policy if you order the wrong size. Just make sure you do not remove any tags until you are absolutely sure you want to keep the item. If you do have to return something, you will likely have to pay for packaging and shipping.

These are just a few big-name brands you can find in Japan. Unless otherwise noted, the brand’s fashion doesn’t cater to any particular subculture and will typically list the current trends in Japan.

Women and men’s

Women’s fashion

Men’s fashion

What do you think about shopping online in Japan? Are there any links we missed? Let us know in the comments!

  • Eva says:

    I just started living in Japan and I’ve just done some online shopping. There was a problem with using my credit card so I opted for paying at a konbini. How does that work? Will they send me a letter in the mail and I bring it to a konbini to make my payment?

  • Diana Pinandita says:

    Can anyone suggest me where to buy. (Online) wholesale cosmetics in Japan? Thank you

  • Bogdan says:

    On amazon I just pick everytime COD and delivery to convenience store nearby my home.
    So after work I can go even at 11 PM and get my package.
    I get it delivered at Lawson, you get full instructions in the email, you just have to print a receipt at their Loppi touch machines and then print it and present it to the cash register, then you will get your package.
    I think the only disadvantage is that you pay 300 yen for the COD service.
    I already ordered lots of stuff, very happy with amazon jp!
    Also very fast usually get the package the second day, even on weekends!

    • Lynn says:

      Good call on the COD! I completely forgot about that (shame). Thanks for the details on the COD fees.

      I do love Amazon.

      I’ve found that some packages can’t be sent to the convenience store, but that option is really useful when available. Most people in Tokyo seem to get home after 7pm and delivery companies typically only deliver until 8pm or 9pm! Being able to pick up a package at 11pm is extremely convenient.

  • ookami says:

    I ordered from ASOS before, and I had to pay tax plus delivery fee(which the jap company charged me), so probably won’t order again.
    It sucks I used asos many-many times when living in Aus, it’s hard to give up on them…

    • nevaeh says:

      Did you put in a large order? I ordered some stuff a couple of months ago from asos and had no problem. I limit my imports to 15,000 yen per shipping, that has kept all tax collectors at bay… For now at least.

    • Lynn says:

      That’s really a bummer. I feel sad when browsing former-favorite online stores and seeing the high shipping price.

  • Ben says:

    What about taxes? I order a camera from the US, and got hit by import tax. Could you give us some details on this?

    • Lynn says:

      Good question (which means I don’t have a straight answer, sadly).

      The taxes are fairly confusing, but according to some Japanese websites, these three types of taxes may be applied at customs on consumer items:

      *Tariff

      *Consumption tax

      *Customs clearance fee

      These taxes are calculated by 60% of the product’s price. For example, the consumption tax and tariff would be calculated using 12000 yen for a 20000 yen camera. The customs clearance fee is 200 yen, the tariff depends on the item, and consumption tax will be 8% from April. If a product is less than 16,666 yen, then the item won’t be taxed and the customs clearance fee won’t be applied.

      If you know Japanese, this site explains the import taxes best:
      http://amazon.free-note.net/etc/tax.html

      The site is a little old, so some of this may have changed. Also, several exceptions to the above-stated general rules do exist, as well as additional taxes on some items (alcohol, etc.)

      I found the official Japanese tariff rates in English here: http://www.customs.go.jp/english/summary/tariff.htm

      http://www.customs.go.jp/english/tariff/index.htm

      The tariff outlines aren’t clear and don’t seem to list cameras specifically, but might give an idea of what to expect on future purchases.

      Unfortunately, it seems it may be hard avoid taxes for items over 16,666 yen.

      • Nad says:

        Hi! I bought some clothing from US and a pair of leather shoes I bought for $50 I got a customs charge of 4300JPY. Now I want to return the shoes because they are too small, but not sure how/if I can claim back the customs charge. Has anyone had this issue before???

      • nevaeh says:

        I regularly buy organic beauty products, groceries and supplements from the US (it’s much cheaper and shipping is 4 days :D) the website clearly states that from 16500JPY there will be customs charges… So sounds about right!

        • Lynn says:

          Thanks for corroborating that! Whew, customs fees aren’t very kind on the wallet. That’s some fast shipping, though!

          • nevaeh says:

            Try it! http://www.iherb.com/?rcode=CAG402
            I buy over 500gr of gluten free oatbran for 350yen from here, can’t live without it and beats the sugary stuff at the supermarket. That and 100% peanut butter, vitamins, collagen, protein shakes, coconut oil, etc. **DISCLAIMER: CAG402 is my referral code, so you get 10$ off if you’re a first timer, but I also get a bonus for referring you 🙂 The website is also in Japanese, because they have soooooo many japanese customers.

          • Hannah Park says:

            can you order flour and nuts to japan too? thanks

    • Anthony Joh says:

      I think it depends on who you ship it with. If you use UPS/FedEX they will charge you an import tax. I usually use USPS and don’t have to pay any tax.

  • Sheila says:

    If you find it hard or bothersome to do a bank transfer, you can go for COD or cash-on-delivery (if that option is available). It will have additional fees but I find it convenient as I don’t have a credit card. Next time, I wanna try the prepaid credit card.

    • Lynn says:

      Good call! I shouldn’t have missed the COD — much more convenient than a bank transfer (ugh). Let us know how the prepaid credit card goes!

    • Anthony Joh says:

      That’s a great suggestion. I’ve used the COD method before and it’s super convenient if you don’t have a Japanese credit card.

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