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Japanese Pokémon Center Online Buying Guide~

Posted August 8th, 2016 at 11:41 AM by clefairydesuyo

Hi everyone~ :chu:

I posted in the Merchandise thread earlier asking if a buying guide for the Japanese Pokémon Center Online would be of any use... someone replied saying that it would be useful, so I'll do my best here! It's my first time writing a guide like this, my Japanese is roughly at an intermediate level (I'm not fluent, nor am I a native speaker) so please bear with me. I'll try to translate as close as I can to the exact word, but since I am not fluent sometimes I can only write the 'gist' of a phrase. I hope this is ok! :3c :why:

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Nintendo, the Pokémon Center or anybody else... I'm just a PokéFan, trying to help fellow PokéFans! :)

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Let's buy Pokémon merchandise!

Before you begin shopping:

:pokeball: You will need a Japanese address. The Japanese Pokémon Center Online only delivers within Japan. Unless you have a friend or relative who can receive your package and send it to your country, I would recommend registering with a website like Tenso.com (I use this regularly for Japanese online shopping). It will give you a personal Japanese address and phone number which you can use to register in online shopping. Once the package arrives at Tenso, you can pay to ship it to your country. It's very easy to set up. Tenso can be accessed in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

:pokeball: You will need access to a Japanese keyboard. If you don't have one registered on your computer (it's easy to do within the settings), I would recommend using these ones from Lexilogos in hiragana and katakana. The reason you will need access to a Japanese keyboard is because you will need to enter your name in kana on the purchasing form** (and, being a non-Japanese native, I chose katakana for this as it is the writing system usually used for non-Japanese words/names).

**"ARGH! I don't know my name in kana!!" I hear you cry! ~_~ Don't fret! You have a few options. You could find a native speaker and ask them (Yahoo! Answers, language forums etc); ask below in the comments of this blog and I will do my best to help out (if I am online!); or you could try using Kanjizone which does a pretty good job of translating Western names into kanji, hiragana and katakana. If you're a Japanese learner and you already know kana quite well, you could probably work it out yourself! :)

:pokeball: Of course, your own credit or debit card, and access to your own bank details. (Never, ever share these online! Only use when actually shopping, on secure websites!)

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Let's shop~

Assuming you have everything above ready, let's head to the Japanese Pokémon Center Online store! You can find this at: https://www.pokemoncenter-online.com/

:may: Here we are! The Japanese Pokémon Center Online store homepage! :sean:
Click images for a larger version!

Searching by Category~

This is pretty straightforward. Just follow the button to the desired category.

Searching by Pokémon~

This mode is really useful for finding all merch containing a particular Pokémon! For example, you can search all merchandise containing Bulbasaur if you really wanted some merch featuring him! Some Pokémon are featured in more merchandise than others (as an example, very popular creatures like Pikachu will obviously be featured in most merchandise, whereas not-so popular or famous creatures like Graveler might only be featured in a few items or during special campaigns).

When you hover over the 'Search by Pokémon' button, you will get this pop-up featuring all of the main starters from the games.

If you click on the 'Look at other Pokémon' button, you will be directed to this page. Here, the Pokémon are effectively 'alphabetized' according to the corresponding row in katakana script. All Pokémon names are written in katakana (you will not come across one written in hiragana or kanji).

Here, it will be useful if you already know katakana! But if not, don't worry. Use this handy free chart from Japanese-lesson.com to help you. It displays the gojoun (regular katakana characters) and dakuon (katakana characters + two little lines OR a mini circle, changing the reading slightly).

Note that the gojuon rows do connect to some of the dakuon rows - so, the 'ha' row in gojuon corresponds to the 'ga' in dakuon; the 'sa' row in gojuon corresponds to the 'za' row in dakuon, etc. Each of the 'alphabetized' pages here will begin with the katakana gojuon, then continue to dakuon.

You will need to know the desired Pokémon's name in Japanese. Bulbapedia can help you out with this. Then, notice the first character in its name. Knowing the rule about katakana gojuon/dakuon, let's try an example with Pikachu.

:pokeball: Step 1: Find Pikachu's Japanese name. Pikachu is written in Japanese like this: ピカチュウ :t025:
:pokeball: Step 2: Check which row the first character belongs to. Checking the katakana chart, ピ (dakuon) corresponds to the 'ha' row. (It is ヒ, 'hi', with an added mini circle, making it 'pi')
:pokeball: Step 3: Now we know we need to head to the ハ, 'ha' row section to find Pikachu, click on the 'ha' row button.
:pokeball: Step 4: When you find Pikachu's picture on the page, click on it!
:pokeball: Result! You found all the Pikachu merchandise!

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Browsing/Basic Search Results~

Advanced Search Form~

Huh? What's this item? :15:

Like me the first time I used Japanese shopping sites, you may be wondering what these common items are (it's not always clear from the image or name!):
:pokeball: タオル (taoru) - hand towel (very common in Japan, keep it on your person to have handy when you need it - for example, when there is no dryer in public bathrooms)
:pokeball: クリアファイル (kuria fairu) - thin plastic file for A4 documents
:pokeball: ステッカー (sutekkaa)・シール (shiiru) - sticker (the former seems to be more like vinyl stickers, the latter more like sheets of little stickers)

Product Page and Adding Items to Cart~

Checkout Step 1: View Cart

NOTE: If at any time you get this message, you've timed out and will need to start again!

Checkout Step 2: Log in or Register Your Details

From this point on, I'll guide you through the registration process as a new customer. Once you have your login e-mail address, password and delivery address/bank details set up, you can easily sail through the purchasing process again.

This is the point where you will need your Tenso.com Japanese address, and your name in katakana! You can use a Japanese keyboard to enter your name in Japanese. The little red boxes indicate mandatory fields.

Click on the orange button to proceed.

Next, it's time to choose addressee (because you're probably using your Tenso address, stick with the same delivery address as the billing address)

Checkout Step 3: Choose Payment Method

Just to emphasise: DON'T choose the cash on delivery option! Unless you're actually in Japan at that address, that is...

Checkout Step 4: Confirm Order

Before paying, you can confirm the order (including items, delivery details, payment details etc). If you're happy with everything, hit that big orange button to confirm your order!

Checkout Step 5: Purchase Complete!

Pikachu and Eevee say 'Thank you'!

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You should recieve an e-mail from the Pokémon Center to confirm the order, and then one from Tenso when your package arrives at that address. When you get your e-mail from Tenso, you can follow the instructions there to get the package shipped to your country.

:13: Thank you for following my Japanese Pokémon Center Online Buying Guide! I hope it helps. It's taken the whole day to translate text and make this guide... please do let me know if it helps, and if you have any questions or comments feel free to ask! Please also share with me what goodies you've purchased on this site! I'd love to know what awesome things you are interested in :) Take care! :pokeball:
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