Want Japanese Import Games? 5 Ways to get them Cheaper & Easier!

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Chris Kohler of Kotaku shares his tips & tricks for getting Japanese import games quickly, safely & on the cheap!
Chris: twitter.com/kobunheat
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Mar 19, 2019




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Comments 726
lewelly2 7 days ago
This guy knows his stuff, very informative. Great video
brianv3ntura 15 days ago
Ordered some things from japan. It's true how they package their things. I was truly impressed when when I got my first package from japan.
Khari Taylor
Khari Taylor 16 days ago
@kobunheat I might also pass through Nipponbashi Den Den town (in Osaka). Thanks again in advance!
Khari Taylor
Khari Taylor 16 days ago
THANKS for this awesomely helpful video! Turns out though I'm going to Tokyo next month and I was hoping to pick up a (preferably used) 64GB Vita Memory Card directly while there! Would @kobunheat have any suggestions on where to look in Akihabara?
Remko Spruyt
Remko Spruyt 18 days ago
very nice item, and a lot of info i did not know, very nice!!!
What about falling love with a woman that speaks Japanese and marry her.
saishowaguu2 20 days ago
The best way to get Japanese imports is to ask me. I'll go to the stores and get you the best price. I'll even do a live video chat while purchasing. No extra costs. (Zenmarket 7 really good too though) If you just want translations, that's also fine. :-)
Geoffrey Freeman
Geoffrey Freeman 22 days ago
Well this kinda goes along with my tweet, however I deal with much auto parts and stuff from there and asia which is as the same quality or (believe it or not) actuall oem! And packaged and shipped very timely even from the UK. However not something that might be region locked that might be a waste of money if it will not work. And I'm told tha Ps4 games are still region locked. When you go to JP find out about the ((Very good anime games that's not talked about!!)) and if we can just hook up and bypass the watered down games coming to the US a year later!! You know be our ambassador so we can get the goo stuff!! We'll find a way to translate that which we can't understand!!
Dennis Kairit
Dennis Kairit 24 days ago
554 usd for super metroid????
SufamiDan 26 days ago
Remember when import games were not mainstream and could be found for dirt cheap? I miss those days ...
Kojima Yoshiyuki
Kojima Yoshiyuki 27 days ago
I love beep. That's where I got the famicom basic. I always find great deals there.
Kristopher Mann
Kristopher Mann 27 days ago
Search J4U on eBay - you’re welcome.
Boxer Blake
Boxer Blake 27 days ago
Go to Japan. That's the best way haha
yelsew82 28 days ago
People still go to Kotaku? >_O Its still a thing?
Jason Arigoni
Jason Arigoni 28 days ago
eBay is my favorite. I cannot tell you how much I’ve saved getting gently used Japanese media through eBay auctions. My friends think I’m crazy but it’s the real deal. Just make sure to search everyday!
Second Lease Gamer
Second Lease Gamer 28 days ago
Fuck Kotaku. That site constantly frames gamers as alt-right slime.
Isaias Cabron
Isaias Cabron 28 days ago
Testing the basement waters
James Callahan
James Callahan 29 days ago
These two talk exactly the same hahahaha, i'ts kind of hilarious how similar they speak
Nepu-Tech USA
Nepu-Tech USA 29 days ago
The only way I can get them is pirating them mostly on consoles. Japanese developers purposely remove the Japanese language Interface in most Steam games and Importing modern games costs hundreds of dollars. They can keep removing the language to censor PC, I'll continue to pirate them :(
TwoTailedCaperer 29 days ago
The only time I used a Proxy service was to get my copy of Bayonetta Climax Edition on the Switch. I used CD Japan (my go-to website for importing) and the entire process was smooth. CD Japan always packages their items really well too; when I bought something heavy from them they securely taped it down to the inside of the box so it wouldn't slip around during shipping. If you're in the market for newer releases, or figures, anime Blu-rays, etc, I can't recommend them enough.
Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson 29 days ago
Like the new intro MetalJesusRocks
CoffeeMan 29 days ago
Just a word of caution when using one of these "proxy" sites. Buying stuff directly from Japan is already very expensive as it is (with shipping and import taxes), so make sure that what you're buying is only stuff you REALLY want and can't find anywhere else, and make sure you're getting a fantastic deal on the actual item. Be patient and conservative with your bids. Remember that you are going to get hit with fees on top of fees on top of fees...
Sal X
Sal X Month ago
I love actraiser. I recently found out about msu-1 enhanced games and I'm playing it with an orchestra soundtrack.
Mission Failed
Mission Failed Month ago
Metal jesus blowing up yahoo japan. go f yourself.
Nicolas Gamio
Nicolas Gamio Month ago
love your videos jesus haha I really enjoy your style :)
And now the prices go up....
Nicolas Rolke
Nicolas Rolke Month ago
Lol ebay 😂 literally the worst place to get Japanese Video Games. Still 3x the price in a lot of cases.
TheLostBoy1974 Month ago
Having lived in Japan for 19 years, I now want import games from America. The grass is always greener...
James Roviezzo
James Roviezzo Month ago
i get my japanese games from amazon because they sell a lot of it
Maggie Mae
Maggie Mae Month ago
its not even the game cover, some of my favorite games had the actual in-game style changed for the English version.
Fellipe Anselmo Gemio
Kotaku is the enemy
Andrew Poe
Andrew Poe Month ago
Take a shower you gross old man!
dbntrailsrider Month ago
I recently bought a ps4 exclusive that was released digital only in the US but has an english released physical copy in South Korea, Japan and china. I ordered from south korea and was surprised how quick it came and packaged very nicely, arrived mint condition.
Caleb J. Ross
Caleb J. Ross Month ago
Chris Kohler! Your Boss Fight Books book is next on my to-read. What a pleasant surprise to see you here!
Aelinnis Month ago
I go to nin-nin games for my imports. Decent prices and selections of games. Of course tho if you take the cheapest shipping option you will be waiting a long time to get it but its worth the wait since i buy my games in bulk. And on the side note of how lovingly they package your order i have to say the games and boxes are all complete and in really fantastic conditions for being used games. Definitely a hige difference when it comes to used games in the US.
Tim Walden
Tim Walden Month ago
I’ve had great luck with Japanese eBay sellers. Always well packed, and often with little cute “thank you” notes. One even packed in a few Japanese Black Panther movie posters that were 8.5”x11”!
David Month ago
Haha, he said duty.
Kimimaru98 Month ago
x68000 is an amazing machine, i'm lucky to own one of that beast
Jeremy Hopkins
Jeremy Hopkins Month ago
Yeah, I totally agree. I own a Redzone and XVI with mercury unit and Xellent30. Makes such a huge difference to have the compatibility of a 68000 in the XVI with the speed and added sound options of the 68030 at boot up. Yahoo Japan is way cheaper than ebay for grabbing X68k games and parts too though recently, XVI and above units are going for insane prices.
Aunchient Pistol
Most of the stuff I've gotten from Japan used Newspaper, not bubble wrap.
dave baker
dave baker Month ago
I bought the Japanese versions of N64 games after I modded my console to play them and they were way cheaper than the same US version game.
John Simon
John Simon Month ago
I wish I had someone like Chris Kohler in my back pocket while I was wandering around Super Potato a few months back.
Patrick Rummler
Patrick Rummler Month ago
Great video, but you need to add mercari, since this is the number one site to buy on nowadays www.mercari.com/jp/. Not sure if you can buy with a proxy yet, but you should be soon if not yet.
Tobi Esto
Tobi Esto Month ago
VERY nice video wow thats so helpful. thank you so much man !!!
TI123 Month ago
I went to Tokyo last week. The prices of software have increased to the point it's almost not worth it. At least not if you are looking for PC Engine and Saturn stuff. I did found a cheap white Saturn and 2 pads at Hard Off in Ueno and a handful of games in Shinjuku (Surugaya at 0101) and various shops in Akiba, mainly Trader 1 and another store.
CorbininJapan Month ago
Or develop relationships with people who live in Japan ;) Like me or Brian Ashcraft.
CorbininJapan Month ago
It’s also about whether you want to support local people over big companies. Just saying.
CorbininJapan Month ago
Also, he’s definitely right. Buying in bulk is the best option to save money.
David James
David James Month ago
Neo Geo.com are not happy about this video 😂
asobi neko
asobi neko Month ago
i like chris, very knowledgeable and all round good guy.
YAMBAG84 Month ago
ZenMarket is great, that's how I got my Bayonetta 1 & 2 Climax Edition for the Switch. They'll also open your package to make sure everything is in there and take a picture of the items too for a few more dollars. I can't ever get a game shipped to me from Amazon Japan though...annoying.
majorgify Month ago
A great, informative video.
Tío Megaman X
Tío Megaman X Month ago
Kotaku, sorry nope, have a nice day.
FaQuiTou Month ago
I Have a Real Clean instruction Booklet for Tetris 2 for Game boy willing to mail wherever anyone needs one or its the trash can in a I week or 2 my ID here is the same as my PSN ID pro pic is a Joaquin Phoenix Joker pic give my an address please that's it I'd send a pic but cant find that option
Brian Loher
Brian Loher Month ago
Metal Jesus I wanted to let you know I dig your videos not to be too personal but I am officially 7 months clean off of 12-year pain pill addiction and I started collecting for the GameCube I got my life in order I'm trying to collect and I watch your videos and you help me keep my mind on other things.. I like to sit down and relax and drink a beer and watch your videos it helps me not think about other things thank you sir . I mean this as a high compliment
Snookers McFly
Snookers McFly Month ago
Welp, the cat's out of the bag, boys. Time to get all the Saturn stuff I've put off buying before buyee becomes just as inflated as Ebay!
Nonso Month ago
i live in japan since 2009 and retromarket is soo exp now in many stores. even book off has high prices in many games
D'onte Graves
D'onte Graves Month ago
I don't even use amazon for second hand items, but last time I checked, especially for newer video games, you can't just hop on amazon Japan and buy whatever you want. It's definitely far from cheap and easy. Amazon Japan won't allow shipping worldwide on video games, especially from Nintendo, that is, from third-party sellers. All the true bargains that are at the 100-yen level or less are from third party sellers and you can't get those shipped to you outside of the Kanto region unless you use some sort of in-between buyer program like Buyee...which isn't risky but IS expensive. You may be able to buy certain video games shipped by Amazon themselves, but even then, the price is most likely cheaper elsewhere. Then, there's the fact that systems do have region-locks, you'd need a power converter to even play any Japanese console outside of North American and Japan and shipping overall is off-putting in the long run. Import gaming is not something that should be bandwagoned and everyone should attempt to jump onto. It isn't for everyone. Some of you out there who might think that it is easy to do this are either gonna end up wasting time and money or end up getting scammed.
I'd Rather Watch Paint Dry
Great info. Am sure this video will help out a lot of people.
DavidJ SkateTV
DavidJ SkateTV Month ago
*_F R I D A Y V I D E O S_*
Stan Palmerzan
Stan Palmerzan Month ago
I haven't bought many from Japan but it all depends whether you get done with import tax. Had bought a game based on the anime/manga called Planet Cat Cuties & was for the ps2 & that game I did get done with import tax so once it turned up to my door I ad to pay about £30. But I did buy the game Clannad & I didn't get done by import tax. Sometimes they're nice & put in a extra item, had bought the Japanese version of Tell Tale's The Walking Dead season 1 for the ps3 & the seller put in a little origami item with the game for me writing on it that it was a little gift for me along with the word Arigato. With me living in England though if I do bu anything from Japan or anywhere else in Asia I have to wait about 2 weeks for it to arrive to me
Anika Acharya
Anika Acharya Month ago
Gotta pump that Japan market eh?
Matthew Miller
Matthew Miller Month ago
Thank you so much! Just ordered a 3DO off of zenmarket and I will keep you all updated on it all
Matthew Miller
Matthew Miller 23 days ago
Received it today and it works perfectly!!
Mr Mobbs
Mr Mobbs Month ago
I really want to import a virtual boy from Japan or US to the UK but concerned about the customs fees / taxes etc. I know there are calculators available but no idea the dimensions of the box & can't even find the harmonized / commodity code
TheFade Month ago
To me the most annoying thing about ordering from Japan, is how USPS makes you sign for the package. I work during the day, and can not be there when they try to deliver. It's the most infuriating thing coming home to a damn sign on the door saying that it has to be signed for.
Retro Zen
Retro Zen Month ago
When are you going to Japan? I'm also going very soon!
Katalin Horvath
Katalin Horvath Month ago
Omg when do you travel to Japan??? I will travel too (I am going to be in Japan from mid-September to mid-October). Would be such a nice thing to meet and spend some hours hunting for video games together! I can speak/read Japanese so I could help with the hunting. :D (Btw if anybody is interested, feel free to PM me, I would love to "video game hunt" with others!:D)
Katalin Horvath
Katalin Horvath Month ago
+DavidJ SkateTV Haha, really. Then any message mail to m.jigokuu@gmail.com could work. :D
DavidJ SkateTV
DavidJ SkateTV Month ago
no pm on youtube anymore..
Mr Eurovision Australia
You don't need an Amazon Japan account. Log in with your USA, UK, German, whatever is your home one, because all Amazon stores are linked. I've been buying from Amazon Japan for 15 years to Australia and never had a problem. It's fast too, usually the same week. The quickest was 2 days. If looking for something when in Japan, print or show (on your phone) a photo of the box as most Japanese have poor English and the sales person can check on their computer rather than you search through thousands of games on shelves. For smaller side stores without games cataloged on computer, show the photo to someone in store (even the ever so helpful Japanese public) and they will search for you. Games on shelves, even in small stores, are typically sorted into categories so it's an easy find.
HK 183
HK 183 Month ago
Thanks for ruinning the Retrogaming Community. Goodluck with prices nowadays. I bet after this video vintage games from Japan will be X 10.
Alfredo Gomez Jr.
Finally, the answers to the questions I have. Thank you!
Matthew Tuffin
Matthew Tuffin Month ago
Why doesn't Ebay implement the time extending feature so that items actually sell for the highest amount, you know like a "normal" live auction in real life!
Christopher Walken
Started the video without looking at the screen. Thought he was talking to himself
Paul von Hindenburg
Oh Kokucku. how nice.
Andrew McL
Andrew McL Month ago
I'm living a little south of Tokyo right now. I'd be happy to show you around Akihabara if you want to connect 😎
Nemesis Month ago
What is the hardest game you have ever played and no matter how much you tried you just couldn't beat? For me (maybe because i was younger at the time) was Sub Terrania on SEGA GENESIS
Super Nes
Super Nes Month ago
Fly to Japan, go to denden town in osaka or hard/book off anywhere else, profit.
knuxtaben Month ago
I'd have to strongly disagree with ebay prices being the same as in Japan. The prices in a Book Off or Hard Off store can be significantly less, just requires a bit of digging through piles of games.
C Mos
C Mos Month ago
Whoa, Retronauts / MJR crossover is blowing my mind.
John Simon
John Simon Month ago
Come to the Portland retro game expo. It has all of these guys under one roof. Honestly I liked attending it better than PAX
Eric Maala
Eric Maala Month ago
Didn't catch it: what was the store mentioned where he bought Final Fight??
Johnnie Nguyen
Johnnie Nguyen Month ago
Kotaku is a trash site now.
Argniest S
Argniest S Month ago
Hey Chris. Have you ever been to the Beep store? I looked at the Beep store online (its in japanese) and I saw they had some x68000 keyboards for sale. Just wondered if you have ever been there before. It looks like a totally awesome retro store.
DoubleAAmazin3 Month ago
lol Americans are no good thieves
Roberto Perez Jr.
Roberto Perez Jr.
And I like getting the origami from the Japanese sellers on Ebay.
Neil Lupton
Neil Lupton Month ago
Ps vita in every colour before they get expensive?
Andrew Aguirre
Andrew Aguirre Month ago
I don't like that this guy condones sniping. That is very shady. Makes me really question his ethics. I have bought things from Japan myself, and had no issues. But, it is very uncool to say that sniping is OK.
Kevin Young
Kevin Young Month ago
Its not usually what you think. most auctions get extended 5-10 mins if a bid is placed in the last 5 mins. Like a really auction. so a snipe just saves you having to be there when it ends to place a bid.
Jason Brookes.
Jason Brookes. Month ago
Wicked info. Thanks Chris.
Some stoned German guy
I've been a Ebay seller for almost 3 years now and the b*llshit I read about people demanding a near 100% feedback rate is hilarious. They seem to forget that some customers are hard to please and sometimes relentless. They're always backed by Paypal who always take the side of the buyer, so as a seller you not only have to deal with loss of revenue (people can easily claim they didn't receive their stuff or it isn't working) you also have to stay friendly and pray to any God out there that the buyer won't leave you negative feedback. Kind of insulting working so hard to be a good seller and people seem to always want more and are not easily pleased...
XXXPrince the 2nd
Both of you sound alike wow
McLovinMyBacon Month ago
More videos with Chris! Love his passion for video games, would be great to hear his opinion on other topics
Epademic Renaci
Epademic Renaci Month ago
Kotaku=hella gay
Patricia A F Murray
are you going to do a video on the expo in CA you just went to d?
Ben V
Ben V Month ago
Love your videos dude!
Fernando Benavides
How to know if the japanese game have english version/language?
Kevin Young
Kevin Young Month ago
Do your research. If its old and text heavy. It wont.
Mrandom101 Month ago
yuck kotaku
Floatillyboats Month ago
Holy fuck this video is boring!!
AsteriskSS Month ago
The conversation with this video’s guest was awesome. I learned a few things today. Thanks for sharing the information. You had me at “Chun-Li’s eye.”
Mat Cooper
Mat Cooper Month ago
I love getting Game Boy consoles to fix up from Japan along with SNES games that don't require you read Japanese! There are some real bargains out there and 9/10 times the games are VERY well cared for and arrive in lovely condition. Great guide here chaps!
Grecks Hanma
Grecks Hanma Month ago
Zenmarket and Buyee...Y'all...Forget the rest. Ebay will rip you off every time.
World of Retro Gameplay
Here’s another tip to help people who are looking to buy imports: if you don’t know the difference between the US dollar and the Yen, you can visit longtime currency exchange website XE.com for up to the minute exchange rates. I swear by this website when importing games from Europe and Japan!
Dean Thompson
Dean Thompson Month ago
How the hell is Kotaku still going?
David Frank
David Frank Month ago
Ty for showing this and blowing up the priceses for the rest of us :(
Ivan Ganjee
Ivan Ganjee Month ago
Bro I come here to see your shirt every vid
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