CDs from Japan held in U.S. Customs

USPS Track & Confirm
USPS Track & Confirm

My CDs from Japan should have arrived 3 days ago. Instead, they’re sitting in U.S. Customs. I haven’t had this happen before. I called Customs at (877) 227-5511 today. They said my package can be held for 45 days. She said since it was CDs there shouldn’t be a problem. I asked what happens if I haven’t received them after 45 days. She said contact the U.S. Postal Service.

I searched the Internet and one Customs person said, “shipments just sit at the cargo location without being examined or inspected, especially air shipments.” So Customs people get off your lazy asses and do your job. Get off the Internet! Get off facebook! Stop reading this blog and clear my package!

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.

Latest CDs from Japan

Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Zettai Shinka Kakumei Zenya

I purchased these CDs from Amazon Japan. I saved money by buying most of them used.

Anime OST from Japan

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.

Jpop CDs from Japan

These CDs came in my Tenso box. All purchases from Amazon Japan. Most of them were iTunes recommendations except for Perfume–I heard that one on Youtube. I love the cover on Toko Furuuchi’s Purple.

Fourteen music CDs from Japan

Last month Tenso shipped 14 CDs (including 3 double CDs) for $113. Not bad considering it would have cost $280 shipped separately. The box was heavy and stuffed with air pillow packing. Several bundles of CD were bubble wrapped inside.

Tenso box from Japan (12x8x7.5")
Tenso box from Japan (12x8x7.5″)

Tenso shipping box opened
Tenso shipping box opened

Tenso box packing
Tenso box packing

bubble wrapped CDs in box
bubble wrapped CDs in box

More CDs arrive from Japan

Tenso shipped my 9 CDs from Japan for $82.00.  That’s the most I’ve had shipped at once.  The box was bigger than before too (12x8x5.5″).  Everything was well padded.  The CDs were encased in bubble wrap and the box was stuffed with air pillows.  I purchased all of the CDs from Amazon Japan–most of them used.  The used ones were listed as “Used – Good” but most were better condition.

Contents of Tenso box

  • TV Anime Lucky Star Opening Theme Motteke! Sailor Fuku
  • Rosario to Vampire IDOL COVER BEST
  • Toradora! BEST ALBUM √HAPPYEND
  • Nankai Kio (Neoranga) Second Season
  • Nankai Kio SOUND TRACK
  • Mariya Takeuchi: Whisky Ga Osuki Desho
  • AYUSE KOZUE: U & I
  • EPO: VITAMIN E・P・O
  • EPO GOLDEN☆BEST – EMI YEARS

Rosario to Vampire IDOL COVER BEST

This has to be my favorite anime CD in the bunch.  There’s a lot of reasons why I like Rosario+Vampire and the music is one of them.  I love that the director put so much effort into giving this anime a musical theme.  He gave it an 80s theme which this otaku appreciates since he grew up listening to 80s music.  I read one of the reviews on Amazon Japan.  The reviewer thought it was okay but cheesey.  Obviously, he doesn’t know of or appreciate 80s music.

This CD is a gold mine of 80s j-pop which I’ll use for research.  Before I bought the album I was watching one of the episodes and the insert song was familiar.  It was “Desire-Jounetsu.”  Nana Mizuki sang it just like Akina Nakamori. Akina has a throaty commanding voice.  Nana was singing it as the grown-up version of Moka.  I’m not sure if that’s her natural voice.  Rie Kugimiya does a cute job of singing “Slow Motion.”  It’s another Akina Nakamori song but one when she was very young so Rei’s soft voice goes well.  All the seiyuu do a good job singing.  The director must have made it a requirement.  A few of these songs are OP/EDs to other anime too. See track information.

EPO

EPO is another singer from the 1980s.  I’m really liking her songs from her album Vitamin and I’ll probably get the rest of her CDs.  Her Golden Best album doesn’t have that 80s sound though:  I think she covered her own songs with just a acoustic guitar to give them more of a generic sound.  Some do have a Brazillian feel to them like Brazil 66.  Golden Best songs are soft and mellow–something you could sleep to.

Toradora! BEST ALBUM √HAPPYEND

Toradora! is one of my favorite anime.  I love Taiga’s character and the camaraderie between the others.  I love the addictive upbeat music too.  I could have bought the OP/EDs on iTunes but it was better to get the CD itself.  I love Yui Horie’s songs.  She has a lot on iTunes Japan.

 

More CDs from Japan via Tenso shipping

EMS package from Tenso
EMS package from Tenso

Three CDs arrived the other day in an Express Mail Service (EMS) pouch.  I have to sign for EMS mail when it arrives.  I bought all of them from Amazon Japan.  All were listed as “Good-Used” but in much better condition than expected.  NaNa Mizuki’s Trickster included a retail plastic cover.  Trickster came in a Super Jewel Box which I’ve never seen before.  It had rounded corners and opens by pressing instead of prying. The cover artwork is enclosed on all sides preventing it from falling out.

Tsuyoshi’s All ABOUT LOVE has varying styles of R&B.  “tell me” is more a club mix.  Kono Mama Zutto is a ballad which uses the Stylistics’ You Are Everything as a background melody. “Magic” is an another ballad with an older R&B sound and very pleasing on the ears.

There’s several tracks on Trigun’s OST which I like but PHILOSOPHY in a Tea Cup is my favorite.  I like its soft jazzy sound.

Tenso package contents
Tenso package contents
NaNa Mizuki: Trickster
NaNa Mizuki: Trickster
TSUYOSHI: ALL ABOUT LOVE
TSUYOSHI: ALL ABOUT LOVE
trigun the first donuts