Interview
2021/07/05

Forwarder Guide to Buying Japanese Related Goods

Forwarder Guide to Buying Japanese Related Goods

This guide is dedicated to explaining how to purchase physical goods from the following online stores using a forwarder: Akiba Hobby, Melon Books and BOOTH. For those interested in buying online products via Book Walker, please refer to this guide here.

Proxies are a third party service that places, purchases and sends the products to you, while forwarders “forward” the goods to their Japan address. They are then sent to your real address. Generally speaking, forwarders are cheaper than proxies and  enable you to  buy the product yourself instead of having someone else buy it for you. On top of this, it is cheaper to buy using a forwarder than getting a product shipped via a store’s international shipping option. However, forwarders will require the use of basic Japanese, which this guide will cover. 

Please use these services wisely. Garakuta cannot claim any responsibility for any issues that might occur while you use these services.  

Please be aware that this is a guide specifically for Tenso, and will not be covering any other forwarding services. In order to set up an account you will need to be at least 18 years old or above. You will also need a credit or debit card or a personal bank account which can transfer funds internationally. Tenso also requires you to provide two forms of identification (ID Card + Proof of Address). Here is an example:

Cited from Tenso https://www.tenso.com/  

As cited from Tenso, these are the required documents necessary to verify your identity.

■ Appropriate documents for ID (name and birth of date) verification

※   These documents also suffice for current address verification, as long as they also show your current address.

・ National ID card

・ Driver’s license(including those for cars, motorbikes, boats, operator’s licenses etc)

・ Passport

・ Student ID(including ID cards for educational organizations)

・ Copy of family register

■ Appropriate documents for current address verification

※ Please note that documents listed below are not appropriate for ID verification.

※ “Documents” refer to official papers created by the appropriate organizations (statements, notifications, bills, invoices etc.)

・ Bank documents

・ Documents from your credit card company

・ Documents concerning public utilities (gas, water, electricity)

・ Documents from your phone company or internet provider

・ Lease agreements

Akiba Hobby Guide

     1. Sign up for Tenso itself. Once completed, you will receive a Tenso Japan address (with something called a TS number) and phone number. This is required when signing up for an account on a forwarding site. 

     2. You should then send over images of both of your ID’s to Tenso (you can blank out everything except your name, birth of day and address).

     3. Go to Akiba Hobby’s website, click on the EN button in the top right corner, create an account, and then go to “My Account -> My Addresses.”

     4. Fill in the following information as presented in the boxes. 

Cited from Akiba Hobby: https://shop.akbh.jp/en

Address: 千住曙町42-4
Your TS(Number)(転送コム) Example: TS14960496転送コム
Prefecture: Tokyo
Postal Code: 120-0023
Phone Number: 03-5739-3341

     5. Put the product that you want in the cart and insert your payment method, before purchasing the goods. 

     6. Tenso will notify you once they have received your goods. Head over to Tenso’s site and once you sort out and pay for the shipping, your goods will be delivered right to your doorstep.

Melon Books Guide

     1. Sign up for Tenso itself. Once completed, you will receive a Tenso Japan address (with a thing called a TS number) and phone number. This is required when signing up for an account on a forwarding site

     2. Go to the Melon Books Store website, and go to the account creation section. From there insert the following information.


Address: 千住曙町42-4
Your TS(Number)(転送コム) Example: TS14960496転送コム
Prefecture: Tokyo
Postal Code: 120-0023
Phone Number: 03-5739-3341

     3. Put the product that you want in the cart and insert your payment method, before purchasing the goods. 

     4. Once Tenso receives the goods, they will then notify you about it. Head over to Tenso’s site and sort out your payment for the shipping. Your goods will be delivered right to your doorstep. 

BOOTH purchasing method:

     1. Sign up for Tenso itself. Once completed, you will receive a Tenso Japan address (with something called a TS number) and phone number. This is required when signing up for an account on a forwarding site. 

     2. Firstly, you will need to head over to Pixiv to make a Pixiv account. Once you have made an account, return to BOOTH’s page.

     3. Head to Settings -> New Address. From there, insert the following information.


Cited from BOOTH: https://booth.pm/en 


Address: 千住曙町42-4
Your TS Number (転送コム) Example: TS14960496転送コム
Prefecture: Tokyo
Postal Code: 120-0023
Phone Number: 03-5739-3341

     4. Once this information has been filled in, put the product that you want in the cart, and then enter your payment method.

     5. Tenso will notify you once they have received your goods. Head over to Tenso’s site and sort out your payment for the shipping. Your goods will be delivered right to your doorstep.