A Guide to Buying Male Idol Goods for Overseas Fans

I think it's pretty easy these days to buy Japanese CDs if you don't live in Japan. There are lots of websites like CDJapan and HMV Japan that take their foreign customers into account by having an English version of their website, multiple different payment options, and of course international shipping. However, it might be a little more tricky to buy less common merchandise (such as concert goods and very limited items) especially if you don't speak Japanese so I've put together a kind of guide/list of resources I've used and personally had good experiences with. This guide mainly focuses on male idol merchandise as that's my main interest but most things can probably be applied to any Japanese artist.

Where to Buy
The Artist's Official Store
The most obvious place to buy goods from is the artist's own website. Of course this is the best place to buy from if you want to support the artist but it has some draw backs (such as price, older items no longer being available etc.).

Surugaya is a store where you can buy secondhand anime, idol etc. merchandise. Their selection of items isn't the biggest but it's constantly changing so if you check the website regularly you may occasionally get lucky and find some items you want. Items on Surugaya tend to be super cheap and they've been good quality in my experience. Their shipping is often free too (within Japan). My only issue with them is that they often take several weeks to ship out your items.

Mercari Japan
Mercari is an online auction site (there is also an English version of the Mercari site so make sure you're using the Japanese version). It's quite common for people to sell their unwanted idol merchandise here for good prices so be sure to search for your favourite groups regularly! Note that most sellers on Mercari don't appreciate people purchasing items outright without commenting first so if you do this they'll likely cancel your order.

Yahoo Auction Japan
Yahoo Auction Japan is the same story as Mercari, really. YAJ might be easier to purchase from though as it has its own official proxy service (Buyee). 
A list of keywords you can use when searching for items:
  • Badge - 缶バッチ 
  • Bromide - ブロマイド
  • Eco bag / bag - エコバッグ / バッグ 
  • Event edition - イベント版
  • Goods -グッズ 
  • Keychain - キーホルダー 
  • Penlight - ペンライト
  • Poster - ポスター
  • T-shirt - Tシャツ
  • Trading Card - トレカ
  • Set - セット
  • Uchiwa - うちわ

How to Buy
Now that you've chosen your items, here are a couple of ways you can purchase them.

When I first discovered Tenso it was a life-saver. Tenso is a website that gives you a Japanese address that you can use to purchase from stores that only ship within Japan. When purchasing the item, you input the address of their warehouse (as well as the unique member ID that they give you) and the item will be shipped to them. Once they receive it you pay a small free and they send it to you.

Proxy Services
The one problem I had with Tenso is that some Japanese websites don't accept foreign credit cards or have the option to pay with PayPal. It's all well and good having a Japanese address until you can't actually pay for the items to be shipped there in the first place, haha. For websites that have this issue I use a proxy service. They work the same as Tenso pretty much expect proxy services will actually make the order for you so they might be a better alternate if you don't speak Japanese. My personal favourite proxy service is From Japan but some others I've used and had no problems with include Buyee and Japonica Market. 



  1. maybe it is because im a spoiled H!P fan, (its so easy to buy their stuff lol) but i think is so annoying to even try to buy Jhonny's (Sexy Zone) goods lol

    1. I know! It can be even harder with less popular male idol groups too. But I love my babies too much so it's worth the effort haha


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