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.
Yakumo Tatsu is better known as Eight Clouds Rising. I wanted this soundtrack for Saori Ishizuka’s Harukanaru Ohokoku. I love this song! The soundtrack comes with the full version. I bought it used from Amazon Japan and it was hard to find. The whole soundtrack is amazing. Most are powerful orchestral pieces. They definitely give the anime a big movie feel. One song is a beautiful opera sung in Japanese.
I scanned the artwork and added it to my iTunes and playlist.
This came in my Tenso box. Most were used purchases from Amazon Japan. All were in good shape although the City Hunter CD needs some TLC as it was a rental. Key The Metal Idol is a double CD with a beautiful cover.