I fell in love with Dress Down after hearing it sampled by Yung Bae. Amazon Japan didn’t have any copies (new or used) until recently. A merchant wanted $125 dollars for a used copy in “acceptable” condition. I purchased it despite the list of problems with the CD artwork and disc itself. Fortunately, the seller exaggerated it’s condition. The artwork is in good condition and the disc is ever so slightly worn.
The seller shipped it free to my Tenso address then Tenso shipped it stateside by EMS. Usually, the mailman has me sign for EMS packages but not this time. I also created an account at my.usps.com and was able to track my package with the EMS tracking number.
This CD arrived from Amazon Japan. It’s condition was listed as “acceptable” although it was in surprisingly good shape. No tears on the artwork. This was a rental and the obi was taped to the cover. There’s a sticker on the artwork that I’m afraid to remove because it might damage the artwork. The CD itself is in excellent condition–it’s hard to believe this was a rental.
I bought this CD for “Kimi no Hitomi ni Koishiteru” (Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You). It’s Shohjo-tai’s 1986 rendition of the Frankie Valli song. There’s also a 1987 version of this song on their P-CAN album which sounds more 80s dance.
I didn’t realized my CD was a Korean import until it arrived. Not that it matters as long as it’s not bootleg. The obi strip says “PONYCANYON KOREA.” The tracks are exactly the same. Inside there’s a sticker of the front cover art. iTunes Japan also has Kiki’s OST except it’s missing the last two tracks.
If you’re serious about collecting Japanese music there’s only two things you need: an Amazon Japan account and your own Japanese address.
Amazon Japan is like any other online music store that sells Japanese music (i.e. CDJapan, YesAsia). You can create an account, order new CDs, and have them shipped to your door. Any of the other sites mentioned will do and are better for ordering in English. Amazon Japan does have an English site although parts of it are still in Japanese.
Why do I need a Japanese address?
Amazon Japan also sells discontinued (out-of-print) CDs through third parties. Sadly, they will not ship these items to the U.S. No problem. Tenso provides Japanese addresses and safely ships items to the U.S. Now you’re able to order rare CDs and save money on used items.
iTunes Japan is yet another source for new releases and out-of-print (OOP) music with the advantage of instant downloads. They may not have everything you need but I’ve seen their selection dramatically grow over the past couple years. iTunes Japan also requires a Japanese address. You’ll also need iTunes Japan cards available from JBOX or JAPAN CODES. (set up an iTunes Japan account)
Unless you understand Japanese you’ll have difficulty searching for artists and albums on the Web. Google Translate works with text and links. Google Translate is especially useful if you’re buying used CDs. Merchants list condition, imperfections, damage or missing items.