How to buy in Rakuten Japan and ship overseas

By Macy
18/10/2023 UTC.

Rakuten is one of the largest e-commerce sites in Japan, with thousands of merchants selling everything from fashion and electronics to home goods and groceries. While Rakuten Japan is primarily targeted at domestic shoppers, it's also possible for international shoppers to use the site and have items shipped overseas. Here's what you need to know about buying on Rakuten Japan and having your purchases delivered internationally.

What is Rakuten Japan?

Rakuten is often referred to as the "Amazon of Japan" - it's the largest e-commerce platform in the country, founded in 1997. Rakuten provides the marketplace and platform for thousands of Japanese retailers and merchants to sell their products online.

Rakuten logo

The site stocks a huge range of products across categories like fashion, beauty, electronics, automotive, home appliances, sporting goods, and more. Rakuten also operates other online services in Japan including travel booking, credit cards, banking, securities trading, and more.

Rakuten serves over 96 million members in Japan. While the primary audience is domestic shoppers, Rakuten does allow international customers to make purchases and have items shipped globally.

Why buy on Rakuten Japan?

There are several advantages to buying on Rakuten Japan as an international shopper:

  • Wide selection - Rakuten stocks millions of products across every category imaginable. You'll find both popular Japanese domestic brands as well as international brands retailing their products for the Japanese market.
  • Competitive pricing - Prices on Rakuten Japan are very competitive, especially for imports like electronics which are cheaper than many other countries. Domestic Japanese products are also well-priced for shoppers.
  • Authentic Japanese products - Rakuten is the best place to find authentic Japanese products that aren't available outside the country. This includes unique Japanese fashion brands, electronics, beauty products, snacks, and more.
  • English interface - Rakuten provides an English mode which makes it easier to browse and shop on the site. Most product listings also have some level of English translation.
  • Trustworthy sellers - As Japan's largest marketplace, Rakuten thoroughly vets sellers. You can be assured you're buying legitimate products from established retailers.
  • Smooth delivery - Rakuten has experience shipping millions of packages globally. When using their official international delivery services, the process is quick and reliable.

Overall, Rakuten gives you access to Japan's immense local selection with the convenience of an English site and global shipping. It's a great option for buying authentic Japanese items overseas.

Does Rakuten Japan ship internationally?

Yes, Rakuten does provide international shipping options to customers worldwide. However, not all sellers on Rakuten will ship internationally - you'll need to look for those that display international shipping rates at checkout.

Rakuten provides two main international delivery services:

  • Rakuten Super Logistics - Rakuten's in-house global delivery service. Provides delivery to over 200 countries with tracking and insurance. Delivery times average 5-7 days to major countries.

  • Rakuten Global Express - Faster courier service partnered with major carriers like DHL and FedEx. Provides 3-5 day delivery to most major countries with tracking. More expensive but faster option.

Keep in mind that there may be additional customs, duties, taxes, and other import fees applied depending on the country. You'll want to account for these potential added costs when importing items internationally.

Besides that, international customers can use a proxy service like janbox.com to shop at Rakuten and this service will handle the shipping of your orders from Japan to your address.

Rakuten sellers that support international shipping will display the available delivery options and costs at checkout. Make sure to review these shipping rates carefully before completing your purchase.

Top types of products you should buy on Rakuten

Some of the best things to buy on Rakuten Japan as an international shopper include:

Japanese electronics

Rakuten is a top source for electronics and devices produced specifically for the Japanese domestic market. This includes limited edition consoles and games, audio equipment, cameras, watches, and more sold at better prices compared to other countries.

Anime & manga

You can find a massive collection of anime and manga-related merchandise on Rakuten. This spans figurines, clothing, bags, home goods, exclusive items, and rarities you won't find outside Japan.

Anime product on Rakuten
Various collections of anime are available 


Beauty & skincare

Japan is known for its quality cosmetics and skincare brands. Rakuten stocks famous names like SK-II, Shiseido, KOSE, and more - buying them locally saves you money versus overseas prices.

Japanese snacks & candy

For foodies seeking Japanese snacks, Rakuten has the largest online selection of treats, candies, and exclusives you can only find in Japan. Great for trying local flavors.

Japanese fashion

Rakuten features tons of brands creating fashion and streetwear specifically catered towards Japanese tastes and styles. You'll discover many brands not available outside Japan.

Kitchenware & home

Find authentic Japanese homeware brands along with modern minimalist kitchen and home goods popular domestically. Excellent source for Japanese-style dishware, utensils, textiles, and decor.

Overall Rakuten gives you access to a broad catalog of authentic Japanese products tailored specifically for local tastes - making it the go-to marketplace for discovering items not available overseas.

How to buy in Rakuten Japan - Step-by-step tutorial

Here is a step-by-step guide to purchasing items on Rakuten Japan as an international customer:

Step 1: Create an account

First create a free Rakuten account here - this allows you to make purchases, earn Rakuten points, and track orders. Select "Overseas" for the region.

Step 2: Set language to English

By default Rakuten is Japanese language only. Switch it to English by clicking the EN button in the top right and selecting English.

Step 3: Search for items

Use the search bar to browse and discover items you want to purchase. You can filter by category or shop.

Step 4: Check seller ships overseas

Before buying, click into the item listing and scroll down - check if international shipping rates are displayed. If not, the seller may not support overseas shipping.

Step 5: Add to cart

When you find an item with international shipping displayed, add it to your cart. You can repeat this process to purchase multiple items.

Step 6: Proceed to checkout

Once ready, click through to complete the checkout. Confirm your shipping address and custom/duty information.

Step 7: Select international shipping

On the delivery page, select Rakuten Super Logistics or Rakuten Global Express as your international shipping option.

Step 8: Pay

Complete payment using your credit/debit card. Rakuten accepts all major cards like Visa and MasterCard.

Step 9: Wait for delivery

You'll receive a shipment confirmation email. Typical delivery times for major countries average between 3-7 business days depending on the option chosen.

And that's it - Rakuten will process and handle the international shipment, providing tracking so you can follow along up to final delivery. Enjoy your authentic Japanese goods!

Ezbuy Japan - your proxy service helps foreigners easily shop in Rakuten

While Rakuten does provide international shipping, there can still be challenges buying directly as a foreigner:

  • A limited number of sellers ship overseas

  • No consolidation of packages to save on costs

  • Dealing with customs declarations can be difficult

  • Communication issues if any problems occur

That's where using a proxy buying service for Rakuten like Janbox from ezbuy.jp can be extremely helpful.

We integrated Rakuten onto our website, so you can access Rakuten directly on Janbox and start shopping

Rakuten interface when integrated into Janbox
Rakuten interface when integrated into Janbox 

Here's how Ezbuy Japan makes shopping on Rakuten seamless:

  • Easily shopping: Through Janbox, foreign buyers can easily shop at Rakuten and other Japanese shopping sites in 6 languages. 

  • Consolidated shipping - They consolidate all your Rakuten purchases into single shipments to save on delivery fees.

  • Simplified customs - Ezbuy handles all customs paperwork on your behalf so packages are clear easily.

  • Customer support - Their bilingual team helps with any issues during or after purchase. Much easier than dealing with Japanese merchants directly.

  • Refunds guaranteed - If any item is defective/damaged, Ezbuy refunds you quickly so there's no risk.

Overall, using a proxy service eliminates the headaches that can come with buying Rakuten Japan items directly as an international buyer. With Ezbuy Japan handling the purchasing, communication, logistics, and customs - you can simply focus on finding the perfect Japanese goods and waiting for consolidated, low-cost delivery. Visit janbox.com today to explore millions of attractive products from Rakuten.