Some of you may or may not have heard, but Toranoana and Tenso are now working together to deliver goods overseas! Now everyone can buy doujinshis and support their artists and their work more! :) I decided to write a guide for those who want to buy from the website, but don’t understand Japanese. I hope this proves to be useful! If you want more information on Tenso and their fees, shipping etc., feel free to research their website here!
*Please read everything carefully before commenting/emailing me! I get a lot of the same questions and tried my best to address them all here.
Register at Tenso (https://www.tenso.com/en/)
You need to register here before you do anything else! It’s pretty straightforward; just fill in the form like you would normally do. After you register, you will get Tenso’s address that you will be using for Japanese online shopping! It should look something like this:
It should be the same except for the red parts. Your shipping address should have your Tenso membership number (you’ll see it next to your name near the log out button) in it.
After this, you need to go through the ‘Proof of Identity Verification’ process where you submit a copy of your identification (such as your car licence, photo I.D, passport etc.) by either uploading it, emailing or by mail. In other words, make sure all the details you give to Tenso match your documents or you will not be able to receive packages.
When you have done this, wait a day or two, and they will email you informing that your identification documents have been verified if you’ve provided the correct details. If Tenso however says that they can’t verify, you need to edit your details to make it match your identification 100% (don’t forget your middle name!).
*If your identity on Tenso has not been confirmed, they will just keep your items until they confirm it. You can still shop online but you won’t be able to receive them if you haven’t done this step.
**Although this is a guide for Toranoana, you can freely use Tenso address for any other Japanese website (Amazon Japan, Animate, TSUTAYA, Tokyu Hands etc.) :)
Toranoana’s registration is all in Japanese so this might be the one step people may struggle with.
After that, you’ll come to a page with form boxes which is obviously where you put in your details.
*If you don’t know what your name is in Japanese, use this website http://www.sljfaq.org/cgi/e2k.cgi which converts English to Katakana. Just type in your name, convert it to katakana and you’ll get your name in Japanese. Your first and last name will be separated with a dot ・
**Because I have a middle name, I separated my middle and first name with the dot・to be safe. If you don’t have a middle name, then you can just skip this part.
To make things easy, there is the ‘address and postal code search‘ button there which is convenient. Put in the postal code of your Tenso address, click the button, and you’ll go to this page.
After you click the button, this should automatically fill in your prefecture and city. It should look like this.
And now you fill the rest of the stuff in! I did a sample to make it easier. I outlined the parts that should be already filled in after you put in your postal code. In other words, you don’t need to add or change anything :)
Address should be the numbers in your Tenso address (42-4), and your building/apartment name should be your Tenso membership number and the stuff after it (e.g. TSXXXXXX転送コム) so put that in the kanji section.
Now when putting the address and building/apartment name in katakana, each digit and letter must be in katakana. I made a list of numbers and their katakana counterparts, so use this to help you. With the dashes (-) I just left it as that.
転送コム in katakana is テンソウコム
2 ニ (please do not confuse this with the kanji 二)
*If your address is 1-2-3, then it would be イチ-ニ-サン
**If your Tenso membership number is TS123456転送コム, then in katakana it would be ティーエスイチニサンヨンゴロクテンソウコム
*MAKE SURE YOUR PASSWORD IS AT LEAST 6 CHARACTERS AND HAS AT LEAST ONE NUMBER.
After you have filled everything, click the grey button on the bottom, and it will take you to this page.
This is just a review of the details you have put in. If you think you need to change something, click the blue link on the bottom left. If you’re happy with everything, click the small grey button on the bottom right!
If you get this page, congratulations, you have just successfully registered with Toranoana! The bold part here is your membership ID. Please do not forget this as this will be your login so write this down somewhere!
Toranoana Shopping Guide
You find all the goods either on the main Toranoana mail order site here or the Princess Side here which is more aimed to women since it has BL (boy x boy) goods as well. Both websites are practically the same in terms of layout and everything, but they sell different goods so feel free to browse as much as you like (**18 year olds only).
Whether you’re shopping in the main or Princess Side site, when you click on a product, the page should look something like this.
IMPORTANT: If you are ordering both pre-order items (check the sale date next to 発行日 and if the grey button next to the quantity says 予約 – this means that the item is up for PRE-ORDER) and in-stock items, you will pay shipping twice for both.
Also, there are two shipping options:
「予約毎度便」means they will ship your items as soon as they are in stock. If you want your items to arrive fast and don’t mind multiple packages, choose this.
「予約定期便」means they will ship in-stock items every Tuesday. This helps you save some money on shipping as well as reducing the amount of packages you get as they will bulk. How it works is, for example, if you ordered a number of books and they were all in-stock on the same week, rather than getting multiple packages sent, they will bulk and send it all the following Tuesday. I would recommend this option if your items are all on stock and/or released around the same time as each other.
*You cannot combine shipping/packages as this is how Toranoana does business. You can combine your packages with Tenso however (read below for more info).
You’ll come to this page, which just confirms if you want it to be sent to your address. After that, click next.
This is where you choose your payment method. Choose to pay by credit card, leave the next part, and then choose whether you’d like a receipt or not.
Almost there! After you choose credit card payment (THEY ONLY ACCEPT THE ABOVE CARDS LISTED – THEY ALSO DO NOT ACCEPT PAYPAL!) you fill in your details. It’s pretty straightforward from here, so after you’re done, click the 「次へ」grey button on the bottom right and it’ll take you to a page which confirms your credit card details. You can type the name on your card in English.
IMPORTANT! I get a lot of comments/emails from people who have the problem of Toranoana rejecting their debit Visa/Mastercard cards. I can confidently tell you that some debit cards work (mine works fine), but for others it doesn’t as it all depends on their card and bank. Japan usually doesn’t accept debit cards but if your card does not work, please check with your bank provider! I am not a banker, I cannot solve all your card problems.
After that, click the grey button on the bottom to confirm your whole order and you should be done! They will tell you that your order has been successful and the numbers you are given is your receipt and order number so keep that safe. You’ll also get an email that confirms your order and after that is the waiting game :)
*Do not panic if they don’t automatically charge your card. They will charge it when they’re about to ship your package so make sure to have a sufficient amount of money in there or they will cancel your order and you will have to order again. If you chose the option to ship out your order as soon as there is stock, it should roughly take a week (don’t take my word – it varies depending on Toranoana’s stock etc.) to ship and then 2-5 days to and arrive at Tenso, but if you chose the option to have it be sent on Tuesdays, give it 1-2 weeks or longer to ship. Toranoana is a bit unpredictable however since I have had orders take longer to ship than others so please be patient.
**To check the status of your order, click on 「購入履歴／配送状況」 (Purchase History/Delivery Status) located on the left sidebar, then click either:
「未発送一覧」(Not Shipped List)
「発送準備中・商品入荷待ち」 (Shipping in Progress/Backordered Items)
「発送完了」 (Shipping Completed)
「品切れ・キャンセル」 (Out of Stock/Cancelled)
After you click any of these links, choose between which two dates you want them to show orders from (i.e. orders from 1/5/2015 to 5/5/2015) and then click the 検索する (Search) grey button. After you’ve made an order, it should be under the ‘not shipped list’ so check back every couple of days and it’ll eventually move to ‘shipping in progress’. If it’s a pre-order, sometimes they take a bit longer after the said sale date to send your order so don’t worry.
When Tenso gets your order and has calculated your shipping (this can take a few days even after they have gotten your items), they will email you so log-in to Tenso and click on ‘International Shipment’. Click on the order, choose which shipping method you want to use (SAL, EMS etc. and it’ll show you how much it costs), pay for it and Tenso will ship out your package within the next few days!
*If you have multiple orders at Tenso, you can choose to consolidate, which means they can pack your orders in one package and send them altogether. There is a fee but it’s worth it if you don’t want to pay shipping for every item.
I hope this helps for not just Tenso users, but other people who want to shop on Toranoana while using different proxy services. I chose Tenso because I think their prices are reasonable and so far I haven’t been disappointed with their service! One thing however is that the whole shipping process and the time it takes to get to your place varies and in some cases, can take longer than expected (minimum 2-3 weeks) so if you choose to buy Toranoana and use Tenso, prepare to wait a while.
Please feel free to email or comment if you’re stuck or need help and I’ll do my best to do what I can :)