-malice mizer-
-moi dix mois-
-eve of destiny-
-schwarz stein-

-shop guide-

-scape- shopping guide

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Shopping for Japanese music can often be confusing to the uninitiated. In this section, we present some of the most important information you need to know about shops and payment.
Online Shops
Shopping Services
Concert Tickets
Payment Methods

Online Shops
There are several online businesses that cater to international customers and are likely to sell releases by -scape- artists. Some of these are:

Store:CDJapan http://www.cdjapan.co.jp
Description:An online store that sells a wide variety of Japanese music, goods, and videos. Notably, you can get old Malice Mizer and Moi dix Mois tour goods, Moi-meme-Moitie clothing, and such. First press extras are often available on preorder. Shipping is generally quite fast. There is a "points" system in which you can earn small discounts with the points you earn from your previous purchases. Customer service is available in English.
Payment accepted:Most major credit cards, check cards, IPMOs, cash in USD or JPY.

Store:Amazon.co.jp http://www.amazon.co.jp
Description:The Japanese branch of Amazon.com. Most major-label items and a surprising number of indies releases are stocked here; first-press extras are not available. You can't use your existing Amazon.com account here; you have to sign up separately on Amazon.co.jp. The site is in Japanese, but limited English instructions are available.
Payment accepted:Most major credit cards.

Store:YesAsia http://us.yesasia.com
Description:An online store dealing in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean entertainment. Selection is somewhat limited, but shipping on orders over $25 (i.e. most orders of Japanese material) is free in the USA and Canada. WARNING: YesAsia has been known to carry bootlegs, so only buy the "Japan Version" if more than one version of an item is available.
Payment accepted:Most major credit cards, PayPal, check, money order.

Store:HMV http://www.hmv.co.jp
Description:The online arm of a well-known music store. You can get most in-print items here, though the selection is perhaps a notch below CDJapan's.
Payment accepted:Most major credit cards.

Store:J-xyz http://www.j-xyz.com
Description:Canada/Taiwan-based online retailer. CD selection is so-so, but they carry tour goods and pamphlets that often cannot be gotten anywhere else. They are generally reliable, though a few customers have received items damaged in shipping.
Payment accepted:Most major credit cards, PayPal, money order, IPMO, cash.

Store:PureSound http://www.puresound.co.jp/
Description:An Osaka-based visual kei shop which recently started accepting overseas orders. Their premium section includes many high-level rarities, albeit at exorbitant prices.
Payment accepted:Bank transfer only.

Store:eBay http://www.ebay.com
Description:The predominant online auction site in the USA. In this day and age, it should not be your first choice for Japanese music; we include it here for completeness. Illegal bootleg items are common, and legitimate items often sell for vastly inflated prices. Use only if a seller has an item that you simply cannot get elsewhere, or if you can only use eBay for some reason. Be sure to check our FAQ for information on how to spot bootlegs.
Payment accepted:Varies by seller; most accept PayPal and money orders.

Store:NeoTokyo http://www.neotokyo.de
Description:A German visual kei store. The authors of this page have no personal experience with it, but some European customers find it to be a convenient place to shop.
Payment accepted:

Store:Third Stage http://www.mandrakeroot.co.jp/english
Description:An indies rock/visual CD shop formerly located in Meguro, Tokyo. Went out of business in late 2008.

Shopping Services
Many of the most desirable items in Japan are only available from specialty shops that do not accept overseas orders, or from Yahoo Auctions Japan. To shop from these venues, you may use a shopping service: a company or individual located in Japan who will buy the item and ship it to you, for a fee. Here are some of the better-known shopping services:

Service:Celga http://www.celga.com
Description:Shopping service that will bid on Yahoo Japan and other major online auctions. They will also place orders at many Japanese online retailers. Regular members must e-mail in their bid and 50% prepayment in advance; "Gold" members get their own account with which they can bid at any time. Shipping is usually done with EMS.
Payment accepted:PayPal, US Postal Money Order (US only), IPMO (outside US only), cash in USD, credit card (Gold only). Gold members must have a Visa/MC card on file to pay YJ membership fee; Amex is also accepted for Celga fees.

Service:Crescent Shop http://www.crescent-shop.com
Description:Service which takes orders to shop from physical stores in Japan, as well as bidding on Yahoo Japan auctions. Full payment must be made in advance for shopping service; partial prepayment must be made for auctions. A variety of shipping options are available.
Payment accepted:PayPal, IPMO, wire transfer

Service:Rinkya http://www.rinkya.com
Description:A "proxy bidding" service for Yahoo Japan. Members may place bids in "real-time" via the site. You must have a major credit card on file to be a member. 25% handling fee is charged on all shipping.
Payment accepted:You must have a major credit card. PayPal is also accepted for deposits.

Concert Tickets
Overseas fans looking to attend a live concert in Japan will find it difficult. Most tickets are sold either at Japanese convenience stores, or ordered online and shipped to the buyer. Japanese ticket vendors will not ship internationally, so you will need to either have a Japanese friend buy your ticket for you, or use one of the shopping services listed above. When buying a ticket, you will need to know (or look up) the "code" for it; each show has a unique numerical code assigned to it, which will be different depending on the ticket seller. The major ticket vendors are:
Lawson Tickethttp://l-tike.com
Ticket Piahttp://t.pia.jp
FLIP SIDEhttp://www.flipside.co.jp

Methods of Payment
There are several ways of transferring money to merchants in exchange for their goods and/or services.

Notes:Today you will find very few occasions to deal in cash when buying Japanese goods. If you need to find yen, try checking at travel bureaus, currency exchanges, banks, or airports.

Instrument:Credit card
Notes:The most common way of paying for things online. Various companies issue credit cards; US residents can see information about rates here. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted credit cards, followed by American Express.

Instrument:Debit card
Notes:Also known as a "check card", similar in appearance to a credit card. Note that ONLY debit cards with a Visa or Mastercard logo can be used online. You should be able to get one of these at your bank.

Notes:The most convenient and popular online payment processor. In general you will need a bank account or credit card as a source of funds. Sign up for an account at http://www.paypal.com.

Instrument:Postal Money Order/International Postal Money Order
Notes:Another payment method that is no longer as popular as it used to be. IPMOs are prepaid certificates issued by the post office for a given amount. Usually when dealing internationally, you will need a pink IPMO. The green money orders generally cannot be accepted overseas. In the United States, all IPMOs are denominated in dollars, so if you are dealing in yen, you must send the equivalent amount denominated in USD instead. You must be careful not to fold or otherwise deface the money order, or some post offices will not accept them - especially overseas. Finally, do not confuse these with bank money orders; they are NOT the same.

Instrument:Wire transfer
Notes:Rarely used online, this form of payment transfers money directly from one bank account to another. It is extremely common and convenient in Europe, and extremely uncommon and inconvenient in the United States. If you find yourself needing one, try a bank or Western Union.