Over at the Skullbrain message boards, I put up this topic figuring it would helpful to direct newcomers to when they ask questions like this. Any input is welcomed.
General Note: Before you get started with any of this, it is recommended that you make sure your browser can display Japanese character sets. To test this, go to any Japanese site listed below and see if the characters display correctly. You can do some of this "blind" without the character set, but it's tough.
How do I search for items at Yahoo Japan Auctions?
First, go to Yahoo Japan auctions.
Next, put in your search criteria. Some listings do have English text in them, so if you put a search term in like "ultraman", you will get some results.
Obviously, you will get the most results using Japanese. For non-Japanese users, it's easiest to copy and paste kanji and katakana from other pages.
- Bandai: バンダイ
- Bounty Hunter: (need characters for this)
- Bullmark: ブルマァク
- Charactics: キャラクティックス
- Dream Rocket: ドリームロケット
- Gargamel: ガーガメル
- Marmit: マーミット
- M-1 Go: Ｍ１号
- Marusan: マルサン
- Real X Head: リアルヘッド
- Sakamoto Showten: 坂本商店
- Secret Base: シークレットベース
- Blobpus: ブロッパス
- Dougram: ダグラム
- Ganime: ガニメ
- Gezora: ゲゾラ
- Gojira: ゴジラ
- Gundam: ガンダム
- Hedora: ヘドラ
- Kameba: カメーバー
- Macross: マクロス
- MOSPEADA: モスピーダ
- Megaro: メガロ
- Rumble Monster: ランブルモンスタ
- Rumble Monsters: ランブルモンスター
- Rumble Monster Damudoron: ダムドロン
- Rumble Monster Faraosu: ファラオス
- Southern Cross: サザンクロス
- Ultraman: ウルトラマン
- VOTOMS: ボトムズ
- clear: クリア
- crystal: クリスタル
- kaiju: 怪獣
- mechanic: メカニック
- mini: ミニ
- robot: ロボット
- skeleton: スケレトン
- sofubi: ソフビ
Once your search results are entered, hit enter or click on the gray button that has this text:検索
YJA normally displays listings as plain text, without pictures. It's easier for non-Japanese readers to browse them in Gallery mode. To do this, find this link above the auction listings and click on it:画像のみ
After that, browse through the auctions by using the previous 20 ( 前の20件 ) or next 20 ( 次の20件 ) links at the bottom right.
You can combine multiple keywords in one search by putting them in parentheses and separating them with commas.
For example, entering this displays anything with "Charactics" or "Gargamel" in Japanese or English:
(キャラクティックス charactics ガーガメル gargamel)
As another example, entering this displays anything with "kaiju" that has the words "clear", "crystal," "mechanic", or "skeleton":
怪獣 (クリア クリスタル メカニック スケレトン)
How do I find items on other Japanese sites?
You can either click on the company sites listed above, or do a Google search using the kanji and katakana above.
How do I buy items from Yahoo Japan Auctions or other Japanese sites?
To bid on Yahoo Auctions, you have to be a Japanese resident. For other sites, you might want to try them directly via email and cross your fingers that they 1) read English and 2) are willing to ship something internationally. This works sometimes.
Often, though, barriers like these will prevent you from having a simple shopping experience. Luckily, services exist to handle this for you. Some of the common ones are:
Each one has different rates, procedures, and policies, and you will definitely want to research them before signing up.
How do I buy items from Amazon Japan?
Go to Amazon Japan, and look for the link on the top right or bottom center that says, "In English." Even if you have an account at Amazon USA, you will need to register for a new account with them. Amazon Japan will take American credit cards, ship to America, and is a very good source for books if you know the ISBNs. You'll find that the site is exactly the same as the American one.