I just ordered another 10,000 yen iTunes card and noticed the price dropped. Last year, the price for the same card was $136. Then the price went up to $141 in January. Now it’s $124. That’s better. I was slightly discouraged when they raised their price in January. Japan Codes is cheaper than JBOX for iTunes cards. That’s why I keep using them.
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.
These are the latest albums I’ve added to my iTunes. All were downloaded from iTunes USA or iTunes Japan.
Aira Mitsuki×Saori@destiny: ×~PARK OF THE SAFARI
Ikuzo Yoshi: 35 Shuunen Kinen Subete no Hito ni Arigatou
Saori@destiny: Domestic domain
capsule: Flash Best
the pillows: FLCL Original Sound Track NO.3
SCOOBIE DO: Kaze no Koibito/Akaneiro Ga Moeru Toki – EP
Various Artists: Q Bar Present: Cocktail & Lounge
SHOW-YA: SHOW-YA/Twin Best
Ryusenkei: Tokyo Sniper
Dimitri from Paris: Tsukuyomi Opening Theme Neko Mimi Mode Single
I’ve seen the cover for Kyarypamyupamyu’s album many times but I never imagined buying it. That was before I developed a appreciation for Japanese electronic music. I love the SCOOBIE DO’s ending to Gungrave. Same goes for the pillow songs from FLCL.
Tumblr has been a rewarding experience meeting people from different backgrounds. I’m lucky enough to meet people from Japan. I’m also fortunate enough to meet a young woman from Japan who models and recently released her first single on iTunes. I can honestly say I’ve never chatted online with a model or vocalist so this is a first. The other day ym blogged that she would soon release an album on iTunes. I didn’t take it too seriously and a few days later she blogged her album was on iTunes. Sure enough it was on iTunes and I purchased it. I was impressed with the album. I rated all three songs 5 stars. My favorite is the ballad Shiosai. She sings beautifully.
I was seriously considering buying a used import copy of Nisemonogatari vol. 4 so I could have the bonus CD of Platinum Disco when I checked iTunes Today. Both the full and TV size versions are available. I love this song!