A few years ago I discovered the old Pokemon cards of my girlfriend in the attic. I took them downstairs sorted through them and loved the graphics. So much that I began to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online.
Learning Japanese with a high susceptibility to collecting I quickly got into buying some Japanese Pokemon cards here and there. It’s wintertime, the time for video games, Lego, and yes Pokemon Trading Cards.
Ordering stuff from Japan can be a pain if you have no clue about the language and don’t know where to start. In this little guide, I want to show you how to order Japanese Pokemon Cards directly from Amazon Japan for the recent stuff and show you how to get for the more difficult to find stuff.
Get the latest Japanese Pokemon Cards from Amazon.co.jp
Amazon Japan is offering its very own store by the Japanese Pokemon Center. You can get all the latest card sets (+ all the other merch as well) and when browsing around you’ll even find some older stuff for retail.
The first thing to do is: Change the interface from Japanese to English
Just click on the Japanese flag and switch the language to English.
The beauty of Amazon’s international shipping service is that it lets you pre-pay any import duties that might occur when shipping internationally. A few weeks later after ordering you’ll receive an email with a real run-down of the custom duties and probably get some money back as well (at least from my experience).
Shipping is very quick via DHL Express and takes roughly 3-days from Japan to the EU/Germany for me.
Make yourself a Japanese Amazon Account: The one you use in your home country won’t work with Amazon Japan.
Not everything can be shipped internationally though. Amazon Japan really went a long way in that regard and is now offering a pretty vast selection of things from manga to video games and Pokemon trading cards that they are now shipping internationally.
Look for amazon.co.jp as the seller. Third-party sellers won’t ship internationally. An exception: Sellers who are using Amazon.co.jp for shipping their items.
The Japanese taxes are being deducted at checkout for international orders. So instead of having to pay 5,262¥ I only paid 4,782¥ for my booster box.
To make things a little more easy for you I already searched for Pokemon Trading Cards or ポケモンカードゲーム in Japanese and selected the option to only show items that are ready to be shipped internationally. I just saved this search for you to make things a little easier for you.
If a product can’t be shipped to your designated home country it’s always clearly visible on the product page and can’t be checked out.
A classic example where a product from a third-party vendor not shipped by Amazon.co.jp can’t be shipped internationally.
The estimated delivery date: When checking out you’re presented with an estimated delivery date. When ordering from your local Amazon this date is the date you’ll receive your items. When ordering from Amazon Japan this date will always change to a far earlier date.
You’ll receive an email stating the new delivery date after ordering.
In case you would need to contact Amazon’s support after ordering: English support staff is available and very helpful in case you need them. Seriously you can say a lot of bad things when it comes to amazon but their customer service is always spot on no matter the country you’re ordering from. And don’t forget: Japan is a service nation after all. So you can expect it to be excellent.
The packaging: The packaging is practical and not to be confused with the one you know from your local Amazon’s. At least in Germany, their packaging is very minimal, especially for books it’s just a pain when you can basically expect the book corners to be smashed.
Pro tip: As a collector, you might want to pick up some of these excellent sleeves directly from the homeland for cheap.
Typically when online shopping from Japan their products are fantastically packaged. Never been disappointed so far. And the products are usually pristine. Really. I ordered a lot of stuff over the past couple of years from Japan and not matter if it were olf Super Famicom games, manga, or Pokemon cards. They were always in amazing shape.
Amazon Japan’s packaging is practical. Items are firmly put on cardboard which is attached to the bottom of the parcel, wrapped in foil.
And I really like these super cheap Pokemon Sword & Shield V Starter Decks for just 500¥. But attention: You can only buy them as an add-on when you’re ordering above 2000¥ (roughly 16€ / 19$)
But now back to Japanese Pokemon trading cards. I just listed the most current sets down below:
And here you can Pre-order the upcoming sets, January 22nd 2021:
Order exclusive goods with a proxy from the Pokemon Center Japan
The Pokemon Center Japan has its own online store. Unfortunately, they won’t ship internationally. But you can still order from them with the help of a Japanese Proxy Service. Just click on the link and read my in-depth article about ordering any goods from Japan.
Here is the short version: A proxy service is someone located in Japan who will order the goods for you from a Japanese online shop and then forward that parcel to you. I’ve been using fromjapan for this kind of service for many years now and found them to be the cheapest and highly professional.
Again, just read my in-depth guide about how to order anything from Japan.
If you want to go straight to the Pokemon Trading Card section just click here. A lot of the booster boxes are for pre-order (予約) and can usually be ordered during fixed time intervals usually ranging from a couple of days to 2/3 weeks.
Apart from pre-ordering new or sold-out sets, there are nearly always special campaigns that guarantee you a certain card or chance of a card when ordering. And of course, you’ll find special products like this amazing Pokemon Card Box which I really like.
And don’t forget to check out the official Japanese page for the Pokemon TCG. There you’ll find all Infos to cards and the announcement of new sets.
What I really enjoy is the manual on how to play the Pokemon TCG remotely via Skype in these Corona-times.
If I discover some good sites to order from I’ll include them in this post. And of course please share your own recommendations.