Purchasing From Amazon Japan

amazon_logo

 

Hola amigos. Mr. Wada is back on duty. As I’ve shared how to register on Amazon Japan in my previous post, this time I would like to share details on purchasing from Amazon Japan.

5 Minutes to Register on Amazon Japan

Please check the previous entry and start with the English page.

Select Items to Purchase

It isn’t completely in English but perhaps you could select the category from menu.

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Well, no need to explain. Add any items you like by clicking the “Add to Cart” button.

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Checkout

OK, I’ve picked these items (Mrs. Wada might tell you why later on). Now I’m gonna checkout. Click the “Proceed to checkout” button.

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It will require you to sign in again.

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Select a Shipping Address

You have options where to send, in other words where to pick the package up at. Your address or at convenience stores.

1. Send to your address

Use the address you added in the “5 Minutes to Register on Amazon Japan” post. Click the “Ship to this address” button. Or, type a new address and save from below.

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2. Send to convenience store

Search convenience store locations by address, zip code, or landmark (like Tokyo Tower). Then, pick a location where you want the package to be sent.

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Like I’ve mentioned before I suppose it’s one of the great services of konbini (convenience store) for people like me.

 

OK, either to your place or conbini, you’ve already picked one right?

The next page will ask you for shipping options. Forget it by now. Click “Continue” button to proceed to the next step.

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Select a Payment Method

There are various payment methods.

1. COD (Cash on Delivery)

It’s easy but costs you extra 324 yen (update 2015/7/30). I’ve never used it.

2. Convenience Store/ATM/e-Money

Some of them will cost you extra for service fee. Plus, after placing an order, Amazon will email you with instructions on how to pay, etc. It’s hassle for me, I wouldn’t choose and won’t explain it here (sorry).

3. Credit Card

It’s easy once you’ve added your credit card information. Definitely hassle-free. For international shipping this would be the only choice.

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This time I’m using my card.

Place an Order

Alright. Look through the details once last time and click “Place your order” button to finalize your order.

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…and it’s done!

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If you picked your place to send the package, that’s it. All you need to do is just wait till it arrives at your door. However, for picking up at konbini, there’s another step (a little hassle but still convenient).

Receive a Package at Convenience Store

Remember the estimated delivery date? When it’s about time, you get a notification email from Amazon that says it has arrived at the store you picked. This is an example how I would pick my package at a Lawson store.

This is the email. Click the link as shown in the photo below.

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Then it will open the following page with a barcode. If you have a tablet or a smartphone, just show this to the cashier. The staff will process it and bring you the package.

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If you don’t have a smartphone, take a note of these numbers indicated in the email.

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Go to the Lawson store you picked and find the Loppi machine.

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A Loppi machine for purchasing any kind of tickets.

 

Touch the screen and tap the button on the left most.

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Enter the first number (first line) you got from the email then go to next (a yellow button for NEXT will show up).

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Now enter the second number (second line) in the email and tap the NEXT button (the yellow button).

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Check the information being displayed and make sure it’s your info. Click the yellow button to confirm it.

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The Loppi will print the bill out. Take this to the cashier. You may be asked to sign and receive the package that you ordered.

Loppi Machine: For tickets and other purchases

 

Lastly

It normally takes 2 days to get my package. Since Amazon’s warehouse is in Chiba (as I’ve heard) perhaps it should be faster for customers residing in Kanto area (Tokyo, etc). Just let you know this is just a reference. I hope you find it useful and enjoy your shopping!

See you around!


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How to make your instant coffee taste better

Better Taste Instant Coffee: Instant coffee powder-closeup

Hi! I’m Mrs. Wada reporting on duty.

Better Taste Instant Coffee: Mrs. Wada's regular instant coffee powder
My regular instant coffee powder.

Do you drink coffee? I hope you do, because as the title suggests, it will be all about coffee. I’ll be talking specifically about black coffee using an instant coffee powder. Last year, I learned something from one of my favorite Japanese TV shows “Tameshite Gatten” — how to make instant coffee taste better. Not by adding any thing like milk, creamer or something similar but by the way of preparing it. So, if you regularly drink coffee at home, I bet you have all the stuff we need to try this method I’m going to share.

But first, let me ask you, how do you usually prepare your coffee?

I think most of us do almost exactly the same way. Put some coffee powder to the cup, pour hot water, mix and viola!, ready to drink. Or add some sugar, milk or creamer to make it easy to drink. What if you can drink it even without adding any thing extra? Here’s the method I learned:

Preparing a good coffee with “Gatten-style”

1. Put your regular amount of coffee powder into your mug and add 1 tablespoon of water.
2. Mix well until no lumps are left.
3. Then, add hot water.

Isn’t it simple? It might take an extra time to melt the powder but to level up your usual black coffee, why not right?

Why mix coffee powder with small amount of water first?

According to the show, coffee powder contains starch just like cornstarch. Remember when using cornstarch to make your sauce thicker when cooking? We usually mix it with water first before pouring it to the soup to avoid lumps, right? It’s the same concept with coffee. Without mixing it first with a small amount of water, there might be some lumps of coffee powder left. And when you drink it, then you’ll taste the bitterness. This also applies to corn soup powder and cocoa powder.

Still not convinced? I wasn’t also at first, so I did the same experiment I saw on the show.

Regular coffee preparation versus the Gatten-style

So, I prepared two the same mugs. I prepared coffee in a usual way while on the other mug, I followed the Gatten-style.

Better taste instant coffee: Put your regular amount of instant coffee to your mug
Instant coffee powder first…
Better taste instant coffee: Mix with small amount of water first
Next, a small amount of water.

Here’s how it looks like after mixing well.
Tip: I figured out it’s a lot easier and faster to mix using a plastic spoon.

Better taste instant coffee: After mixing well
Mix, mix, mix!
Better taste instant coffee: Clear bubbles
Ta dah! Your Gatten-style instant black coffee.

See that clear bubbles? Compared to the regular preparation of instant coffee below, pictured before mixing up.

Better Taste Instant Coffee: Finished shot; regular style
Regular preparation of instant coffee

So how’s the taste then? Indeed, there really is difference. The one by Gatten-style is mild and easy to drink. There is no bitter after-taste unlike the regular one. Ever since I tried this, I’m already alright drinking coffee without adding any sugar, milk or creamer. It’s nice to enjoy coffee without extra calorie.

Try it yourself, compare the two different methods and let me know how it turned out. Enjoy your black instant coffee.

That’s it for now guys.