Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

It’s always bothered me how few merchants are willing to ship their goods worldwide. If the customer is willing to pay for the shipping and customs costs, why should they be denied? Unfortunately, the vast majority of Japan and U.S. based companies hold to this “not outside our borders” policy.

These Japanese-food-goods oriented companies do, however, ship worldwide. Good for them! Often you’ll find that their prices are not that different from what you might pay for similar goods shipped within the country you reside. And for people who live in parts of the world without a lot of Japanese-oriented businesses, they are saviors.

See also Overseas Shipping Services on this page.

Mailorder sources

Sites that I’ve tried myself are marked with a (maki).

General stores

These mailorder stores carry a wide variety of products, edible and otherwise.

  • J-List: Food is limited to snacks and so on. Also carries lots of bento supplies, dinnerware, utensils, cookbooks. Carries a lot of NSFW products (mainly manga, anime of a hentai bent) but has age check. (To go directly to the SFW section without the hentai DVDs and such, go to JBox.com - same company, PG rated.) Prompt service, website is a bit cumbersome, but a big selection of things to browse through. (Note that Just Hungry is a J-List affiliate; by clicking on the link to make your purchases you help to support the site at no cost to you.) (maki)
  • Japan Centre: food only within Europe, but equipment and books worldwide. Very prompt service, easy to use website. (maki)
  • Japonmania is a site in French and English. They list several bento boxes and such.
  • Katagiri: Their web site states they ship worldwide, though I suspect that policy applies to the non-edible housewares. They do ship food all over the U.S.

Bento suppliers

See this comprehensive page on our sister site, Just Bento: Where to buy bento boxes and equipment.

Specialists

  • Evergreen Seeds: Japanese and other Asian vegetable and herb seeds. My favorite source for Japanese seeds, other than my mom! (maki)
  • Hibiki-an: A tea farm near Kyoto.
  • Korin: Knives, tableware, kitchen ware. Also has a showroom/store in NYC.
  • Zensuke: Kitchenware, tableware, gifts from Japan. A nice selection.
  • O-cha.com: A green tea seller. I like their matcha-green tea mix iced tea bags. (maki)

Overseas shipping services

These companies act as your ‘friend who lives in Japan’, for a fee of course. You have things shipped to them from merchants who don’t ship overseas, which they will then send it to you. The commission is usually around 10%, but it pays to compare their service fee structures (some require a flat service fee on top of the percentage.)

  • Tenso seems to be the most active shipping service at the moment. They are advertising heavily on Google Adsense and such (you may see their ads pop up on these pages), and they seem to be the recommended shipping service of Rakuten. Their web site is in English, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese. They charge a 10% fee for receiving and shipping your package to you. They can also consolidate multiple package for you before shipping them out to you, for an additional fee. Comments: I’ve used them a couple of times, and they are quite reliable. (maki)

  • DankeDanke (English and Japanese site) Comments: “I have used dankedanke a couple of times, with no problems. Shipping was very fast.” -(anon.)

  • i-TM4u (English only site), but their blog (English) makes me think they are Japanese.

Comments: “I use i-tm4u for anything I want to buy from Japan, especially when the company does not ship OS. I’ve bought a few Bento boxes as well as other non Bento items through them and they have always been well packaged and arrive quickly. Their commission is low and shipping is very reasonable.” -(Becki)

“Today i received my work-of-art lunchbox and can say that i-TM4U […] is a very good and reliable shopping agent. It is very difficult to communicate with Japanese companies in English so i was glad to rely on their help with payment, shipping etc. i-TM4U was very accurate with all the info, the box was very well packed as i asked and the pricing is reasonable, too.” -(Anna from Russia)

  • Japan to Door (English only site) - offers similar services.
  • Rinkya. Comments: “I’ve used Rinkya a few times, and they’re pretty reliable.” -(anon)

If you know of other places, let us know in the comments!

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New Shopping Link

Hi,
I love your blog! I just found your page this morning for the first time.
I would like to be included as a Shopping Source on your site. We are the largest importer of Traditional Japanese Foods & Cookware and ship worldwide!
Please visit our website at: www.naturalimport.com
We also offer delicious recipes, Japanese Beauty Secrets, Japanese Traditional Home Remedies and more…
Thank you for your consideration.
Crystal Macdonald,
General Manager,
Natural Import Company
PS-Customers can fax or email us their orders in English or Japanese using our pre-printed order form. We will have shopping online in Japanese in 2009. We carry over 300 products.

Crystal Macdonald | 19 February, 2008 - 20:46

Thank you!

Thanks so much for those Japan-to-Worldwide links, they’re extremely helpful!

elvawenn | 30 August, 2008 - 18:50

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

I had trouble finding a just (or almost just) Japanese food store. I did discover a store in Los Angeles called Japan Super that ships overnight for perishables for a reasonable rate. I just ordered mouchi and noodles.

David | 7 January, 2009 - 16:26
K3NN | 27 May, 2009 - 07:36

Japanese store in LA county off . . . Western AVE?

I'm trying to find Japanese towels normally used in Japan's public baths. They're about 11" x 36" cloth towels. Fairly thin materials, not terry-cloth. I'm sure they're sold at a large Japanese grocery/dry goods store in LA county @ the corner of Western AVE & the street connecting with I-5 South. It's not Nijiya. Can anyone tell me the name/address of this store and if it has a web site? Thanks for the help.

Larry "Library" | 10 February, 2010 - 03:43

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

Hello Larry
I can't help you with the name of the store, but I can tell you that these towels are called tenugui.
There are an incredibly wide range of these available (as well as hundreds of ways to use or wear them!)
If you enter"tenugui" into a search engine you can find lots of places that sell them online, many located in the US.
-
-
Just to add to this particular article...
Two places for quality Japanese products are:
-
Workshop ISSé http://www.workshop-isse.fr/acheter-en-ligne/
(reviewed by Maki here: http://www.justhungry.com/workshop-isse-paris )
&
Postcard Teas http://www.postcardteas.com/tea/green
Small but pretty much perfect selection of green (and other) teas and no mark up on delivery* - teas are sent economically at cost, so good prices worldwide. One of the few places that will tell you exactly where your tea comes from.
(*An example of where the delivery charges are vicious is this tea shop located in Paris http://en.jugetsudo.fr/catalog-2.html )

Loretta | 12 February, 2010 - 15:15

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

Nice blog!

Just want to say that I have some things from Japan on my website. Mostly for Green Tea lovers but I have some Coffee that I get from the local supermarket and ship as a "service". I have no problem with shipping anywhere in the world. Have a look if you would like.

http://www.japanesegreenteashops.com/

Jeff | 7 April, 2010 - 01:24

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

Hi, we ship Japanese cigarettes worldwide. That's all we do. If anyone is interested, feel free to check out our site at www.tygerpipes.com

Thanks!

anon. | 19 April, 2010 - 19:29

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

We would love to ship world-wide. However, due to all of the trade restrictions, FDA, customs clearance, red tape, documentation, transort restrictions (not to mention the outrageous cost of shipping, these days), plus numerous other problems that we have tried to deal with, makes it impossible for those of us that are conducting business in a legal manner.

Also, when major US shipping companies have difficulty getting a package overnight, just within the USA, we can not trust them to get packages world-wide. Aside from the fact that most people are not willing to pay a shipping cost that may be more than what the product costs.

We try our very best, but there are many limitations.

Marina Ota | 8 August, 2011 - 19:52

Osusume !

I ordered so many things on many websites from Japan. But I recently ordered on this website:
http://www.akazuki.com/
Definitely, good prices, good customer service and a nice present in my package.

Another website I really liked for all japanese knives lovers is this one :
http://japanesechefsknife.com/

Alundra | 11 March, 2012 - 17:24

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

Here is another shop with worldwide shipping at reasonable rates. They have a growing selection of groceries, tea and other food and a very large line-up of authentic Japanese craft products.

http://anything-from-japan.com

You can also make a special order request and they will purchase things on your behalf.

Nicolas | 14 July, 2012 - 23:29

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

Hello!

This Japanese Green Tea shop is very nice, check out their farm pictures! http://www.japaneseteafarm.com

Emma | 1 October, 2012 - 03:04

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

One of the best site for Japanese Green Tea is http://www.japaneseteafarm.com
You can get lot of information about the teas and health benefits. good luck.

Emma | 4 October, 2012 - 16:39

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

Mitsuwa has an online shop now and I've ordered from them once already and I really was happy with the service :)

http://shop.mitsuwa.com/eng/eindex.php

Melissa | 5 December, 2012 - 05:10

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

I don't know if this is appropriate to this page, since they are based in San Francisco, but they do ship internationally.

http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/

Fallstar | 22 February, 2013 - 04:21

Re: Mailorder merchants that ship Japanese goods worldwide

It is true facts that the amount that we pay for food items that is shipped within the country and from outside the country are almost same. But I am really worried about the nutritious value of these food items and how healthy they are for our body. Anyways, thanks for the share. windows8-problems.com

aMYOO10 | 14 November, 2013 - 13:29

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