Buying vinyl records from Japan can often be more complicated than it needs to be, to help solve this problem we have put together a guide complete guide to make the purchasing process as easy and painless as possible for you.
Vinyl records have received enormous popularity over the last few years.
This is quite surprising because there was a time when this audio medium was almost dead with the arrival of modern music platforms, but despite this, the Japanese record industry is on the rise.
Although a majority of people prefer using online streaming applications and platforms, they are always new vinyl records of your favorite music genres being released to add to your personal collection.
Even with all the recent developments in technology, the sound quality produced by a good vinyl record is still held by most to be the highest-quality listening experience of any audio format currently available.
Its high fidelity audio is one of the main reasons behind the huge popularity of vinyl records in the modern market allowing vinyl records to successfully outpaced the other traditional audio mediums such as CDs and cassettes.
Get out our step by step guide below as well as some of the answers to the frequently asked questions we receive for people looking to get started in ordering their first vinyl records from Japan.
What Vinyl Records To Purchase?
When you visit a Japanese record store, you're just as likely to find records by popular Japanese artists like Tatsuro Yamashita and Anri as you are popular Western artists like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Not just that, you'll also find the creations of modern musicians as well!
Due to the huge popularity of this format at present, many modern artists are releasing their music albums on vinyl records.
Depending on which store you land in, you'll find a full range of vinyl records by artists from different countries and in different genres.
You're most likely to find records of Japanese rap, R&B, Hip-hop, City Pop, American Rap, Indie, House, Techno, and many, many more!
All in all, name any genre and you'll find it in a Japanese store.
Regardless of the artist you want to listen to or the genre you're interested in, you'll always find a Japanese version of that album which often comes with additional features that make it stand out from its counterparts.
It will be a great addition to your display case or wall.
Why Buy Japanese Vinyl Records From Japan?
There aren't one or two, but plenty of reasons to buy vinyl records, especially from Japan.
But the biggest reason is the popularity and reputation of the Japanese vinyl record industry.
These records offer great quality when compared to some of their western vinyl record counterparts.
Not just that, Japanese records are known to have some of the best sound quality on the market.
The reason behind the amazing quality is the fact that these records are processed in smaller batches which often means better and higher quality control is carried out on them.
The main advantage of having high-quality records is that they result in noise reduction when you play them.
Aside from the excellent quality control, there is one more reason behind the premium sound quality of Japanese vinyl records: the Japanese Vinyl record manufacturers use 100 percent pure vinyl for making the records. This high-quality vinyl or "Virgin" vinyl is a material that hasn't been recycled before.
For the collectors among you, records from Japan are commonly considered to be the home of many rare editions of records.
If you're a collector, you would definitely want to check out some of the rarest and hard-to-find records in the world from Japan.
These vinyl records generally come along with "obi" which roughly translates to "belt" in English. It's basically a piece of material, often paper, that is wrapped on the left side of the cover and contains all the information regarding the record.
Many collectors go out of their way to collect Western albums from Japan that come with this Obi.
Due to these benefits and how easy it has become to buy records from Japan, more and more people are shifting towards Japanese vinyl records that they can purchase directly from Japan.
Why Buy Japanese Vinyl Records With ZenMarket?
If you live in a country other than Japan, buying Japanese vinyl records can be very difficult as well as costly. But not with us!
Many Japanese online vinyl records stores do not offer international shipping for people wanting to buy items from Japan. To make matters worse, most Japanese websites won't have an English version available for you to read and navigate through.
Our proxy service acts as a great mediator between the Japanese record industry and you.
We make this process easy and hassle-free.
All you need to do is, find the record you want from Japan and then let us know which online retailer you would like us to buy it from.
We'll take care of shipping your parcels to your doorstep, regardless of where in the world you live. If you place your order early enough, we can even help you pre-order records you want to purchase through us.
Buying Japanese vinyl records from ZenMarket is a quick, easy, and hassle-free process.
If you want to take the Japanese vinyl record collecting hobby to the next level, try shopping with ZenMarket for all your needs!
How To Buy Vinyl Records From Japan?
Here is a complete step-by-step guide for buying Japanese vinyl records from Japan.
Step 1: Translation
The first thing you may need to do is translate the name of the record you're searching into Japanese.
This isn't always necessary as often with western music artists the Japanese will keep the name of the artist in English, but this isn't always the case.
"The Rolling Stones" = "ローリング・ストーンズ"
"AC/DC" = "エーシー・ディーシー"
Often searching for the artist you are looking for using the Japanese spelling of the artist name can often yield more search results, especially if you want to go hunting on auction sites such as Yahoo Auctions!.
You can use Google translate in a pinch if you can't seem to find the name of the artist you are looking for in Japanese. However, we would strongly recommend looking up the Wikipedia page of the artist you are searching for.
If you didn't know, you are able to click on other languages versions of the same Wikipedia page by going to the bottom left "Language" menu of the page and selecting “日本語“ (Japanese).
simply highlight and copy the Japanese name you will find on the page and using that when searching on online Japanese vinyl record sites on auction listings.
Step 2: Searching For Japanese Vinyl Records
Once you find the name of your favorite Japanese vinyl record, the process becomes much easier.
Simply copy the name from Wikipedia and paste it in the ZenMarket search bar, or the Japanese site of your choice, and simply press "Enter".
After this, the desired record will be shown in the search result.
Next, select your favorite store. You can often find newly released records by selecting and searching through stores such as Amazon Japan or Rakuten.
You even check out the selection of vinyl records provided by world-famous Tower Records by checking out their ZenPlus store on our website - Browse the Tower Records range here.
If you are looking for something older, rarer, or just can't seem to find what you are looking for on the stores mentioned above, we strongly recommend checking out Yahoo Auctions!
You'll find a tone of rare records on Japan's largest auction site at great prices!
Moreover, if an item is unavailable, reach out to our customer support by clicking the "can't find" option.
STEP 3: BROWSE VINYL RECORDS
With a bit of practice finding your favorite music records is easy!
With some Japanese online retailers to choose from, feel free to search on any other online Japanese retailers that work best for you!
If you find what you are looking for on another site, but they don't ship items internationally, don't worry!
You can just copy and paste the URL of the item you want into the ZenMarket search bar.
All you need to do now is pick the best deal for you.
Our recommendation would be to look for the premium and "Virgin" vinyl records as they offer the best sound quality.
Here are a few online Japanese online vinyl stores to get you started:
Step 4: Confirm Product Information
On reaching the product page, you can look at the item details more closely.
Check the price and other features to make sure you're getting the right item.
There will also be a lot more information about the item under “Product Details”, which you can normally find by scrolling down the page.
In case you're pre-ordering the records, know that we will be able to ship it after it reaches us on the stated delivery date.
So, keep that in mind while placing your order.
Step 5: Place Your Order
Once you're satisfied with the vinyl record, add that to your ZenMarket cart.
If your requesting us to buy from an external website, fill out all the information and wait till our operators check the availability and price of that record.
Then, simply proceed with the payments and you're done!!
Once your record arrives at our warehouse, we will weigh and safely package the item for international shipping with your chosen shipping courier.
Once international shipping has been paid for all you have to do is sit back and relax till your favorite vinyl record reaches your doorstep!
If you need more information on how to shop with ZenMarket you can click the image below to check out our full in-depth guide on how to shop using ZenMarket, which will teach you everything you need to know about how to buy ANYTHING you want, not just vinyl records, directly from Japan and have it shipped to your front door anywhere in the world.