How to buy music from Japan

While not an extensive list, this page is here to help you find some places online where to buy Japanese music. Click these links to find out more about each site.

Need a currency converter? Visit XE.com.

Buying Japanese CDs online

Japanese music for download

Looking for concert tickets?

If you want to learn about buying tickets to gigs in Japan, please have a look at Tokyo Gig Guide's very useful "Buying tickets in Japan" page.

When everything else fails

Is there something specific you want from Japan but can't find a way to order it from abroad? Services like CDJapan's Special Request Shopping Service and White Rabbit Express are there to help you.

Buying Japanese CDs online

CDJapan

The English branch of the large Neowing online CD shop, CDJapan ships CDs to the world, even via Economy Air Mail (SAL) for as cheap as 500yen (one CD to North America or Europe). See their greatly informative page about shipping.

You get to earn 3% back in points that you can use on your next order. CDJapan also has various other rewards, even giving you free points when it's your birthday.

CDJapan's ordering process is also available in French and Spanish (details here)!

YesAsia

Hong Kong-based large and established online entertainement shop YesAsia sells throughout Asia as well as the rest of the world. Notably, it offers free shipping on orders over US $39! (At the time of writing.)

Amazon Japan

Amazon Japan has a site in Japanese, but on each product page you'll find a useful "Click here to see in English" link on the right-hand side.

The great thing about Amazon is that they offer rebates on DVDs and also CD+DVD sets, sometimes over 25% off for DVDs! The best is to pre-order to get the best deal.

Shipping to North America starts at ¥1700 plus ¥300 for each item. Add ¥1000 for Europe. See the international shipping rates.

HMV Online Japan

This online branch of one of the largest CD retail shops in Japan, HMV, has an interface completely in English. Use the link in the top-right corner of any page to switch languages.

HMV often has promo goodies to go with important releases. We try to make note of these whenever possible. They offer discounted prices on DVD and CD+DVD pre-orders. Also look for their "multibuy" campaigns. Shipping fees start at ¥1200 for North America and ¥1500 for Europe.

HMV usually offers 1% back in points. Do keep your eyes open for those x5 and x10 point campaigns!

Play-Asia

Play-Asia, a service based in Hong Kong has a large selection of Japanese CDs, and ships worldwide for cheap. Shipping fees are clearly shown on each item page.

Jet Set Records

Jet Set Records is a remarkable shop from Kyoto, with a location in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo. Their selection consists mainly of vinyl, and they truly support Japan's indies club music scene.

Jet Set often have promotions where they give away various goodies, sometimes you'll even get a free 7" when pre-ordering a CD!

Their web site is bilingual and of course ships internationally. They ship via EMS or Economy Air Mail (SAL) which starts at ¥580 for a CD to North America or Europe.

Tokyo Recohan

Tokyo Recohan is an online CD shop selling selected used Japanese CDs, focusing on Shibuya-kei and indies. Cheap prices make it an opportunity to try something new, or you might find something that had been missing from your collection.

Shipping defaults to regular air mail, which starts from ¥330 (+¥60 packaging) for one CD sent to North America or Europe. The site can be viewed in English or French.

Japanese music for download

iTunes Music Store

Many Japanese labels make their music available on iTunes Japan.

In order to buy music from iTunes Japan, you must have an iTunes Japan account (which is separate from an iTunes account in another country). To create one, you need either a Japanese credit card... or an iTunes Music Card!

iTunes Music Cards can be purchased from outside of Japan at Play-Asia, Amazon Japan, White Rabbit and Japan Codes. (If you know of other good places where to buy iTunes Music Cards from overseas, please let us know, we'll post it here.)

Some Japanese labels/artists also publish their releases on iTunes in other countries. Following the iTunes links on this site should take you to your country's iTunes if the album or song is available there. (Sometimes it might be necessary to search again within iTunes, as the album ID could be different in your country.)

OTOTOY

OTOTOY is an indies-oriented DRM-free digital music service, some of which is available in high-resolution audio formats. Depending on the release, you can choose ALAC, FLAC, WAV or MP3.

OTOTOY's site is mainly in Japanese, but the registration form is in English. You may proceed here, or sign-in with your Twitter account by using the big blue Twitter button here.

Members can also enjoy free downloads that are updated regularly.


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