Tag Archives: jbox

Collecting Japanese music: The essentials

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

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

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)

Google Translate

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.

Best source for Japan iTunes cards

JBOX & Japan Codes

I’ve been ordering my Japan iTunes cards through JBOX exclusively. Recently, I found out Japan Codes sells them as well. I decided to try them for comparison. Yesterday, I ordered Japan iTunes cards from both around 10:30 am. I received my codes from both around 11:30 pm. You’re asking why it took so long? Most likely because of the time difference and neither store was open. Both stores sent my redemption codes promptly as far as I can tell.

So how are the stores different? I think JBOX has earned a better reputation for itself. Both storefronts are similar except JBOX uses a secure server. Japan Codes uses PayPal’s server for the actual transaction so that’s secure except setting up an account (i.e. name, password) on their site is done in an unsecure manner so you may have some privacy concerns with that.

Another difference is Japan Codes offers 10,000 yen iTunes Cards with an $8.00 markup while JBOX’s largest card is 3,000 yen with a $13.00 markup. You’ll save money buying from Japan Codes.

My first experience using Japan Codes didn’t go smoothly. I received my redemption codes by email. They actually sent me codes for two 5,000 yen cards. One code did not work. I emailed them and 6 hours later they emailed me back apologizing for a typo along with the correct code. I’m happy with that–they took care of my problem before closing shop.

Would I recommend either store? Yes, but I prefer the reliability of JBOX. I only wish JBOX sold 10,000 yen cards.

Obtaining and redeeming Japan iTunes cards

Japanese iTunes cardsYes, you can buy them and use them for purchases on the Japan iTunes Store.  I’ve been buying mine from JBOX since last year.  Someone on the AN forum suggested JBOX after I told them I was dying to get a song on iTunes but was presented with “This Apple ID is only valid for purchases in the US iTunes Store” notice.  The iTunes page on JBOX will show you how to set up your account to redeem an iTunes card.

I recommend purchasing the ¥3,000 yen card since it costs about 8 dollars less than buying two ¥1,500 yen cards.  JBOX also gives you the option of having your card’s redemption code e-mailed to you–a real time saver.  These cards aren’t cheap so I recommend searching for your music through U.S. iTunes or Amazon first.  I’ve found some great deals on Amazon.  I buy used CDs from Amazon all the time.