Where to Order Japanese Books Online
Many of us aren’t lucky enough to live near one of the ten Kinokuniya bookstores in the U.S., so the next best option is to order Japanese manga, light novels, and books online. Here are 3 websites you can use to order popular Japanese manga and books at a reasonable price. Please note, this is a guide for people who live in the U.S., so if you live in a different country, this guide may not be as useful or relevant for you.
1. Kinokuniya BookWeb USA
Kinokuniya is the largest bookstore chain in Japan, and has numerous overseas stores in the U.S., Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and more. Their online store, BookWeb, launched in September 1996 and have long been a reliable option for people looking to buy Japanese books online. If you want to order your books from a company with a good reputation, Kinokuniya is the place for you.
Shipping cost (for U.S. residents): Free shipping if you spend $50 or more on your order. Flat shipping fee of $8 if your order is less than $50. No express shipping option available.
Free shipping on orders $50+
No express shipping option
Decent selection of manga, light novels, and books
No magazines for sale online
Flat shipping fee of $8 on orders less than $50
YesAsia.com is one of the oldest online marketplaces for books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs from East Asia. They have been in operation since 1998, and have the largest selection of entertainment products from Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea on the internet.
Shipping cost (for U.S. residents): Free standard shipping if you spend $39 or more on your order. Shipping cost for orders under $39 depend on the weight of the items and size of the order. Express shipping available at a higher fee based on weight and size.
Free shipping on orders $39+
Shipping fee on orders below $39 based on weight and size
Express shipping available
Decent selection of manga, light novels, books, and magazines
This is the official website for Amazon in Japan. Don't confuse Amazon.co.jp with Amazon.com, which is based in the U.S.
Amazon.co.jp ships domestically to residents living in Japan, while Amazon.com ships domestically to residents living in the U.S. Even though Amazon.co.jp is based in Japan, you can order books from sellers that ship internationally.
Kisuka.com has a helpful beginner's guide that you should read before ordering from Amazon.co.jp for the first time.
Shipping cost (for U.S. residents): No free shipping options available. Expect shipping to cost $10 - $20 depending on the seller.
Best selection of manga, light novels, books, and magazines
Initially more difficult to use than Kinokuniya BookWeb and YesAsia.com
Items are shipped directly from Japan
No free shipping
How to Decide Which Website is Best for You
First you need to check is whether or not the items you want are available on Kinokuniya BookWeb or YesAsia.com. Both of these sites will have cheaper shipping compared to Amazon.co.jp. If you can find the items on both sites, compare the total cost + shipping and go with the cheaper website. However, only YesAsia.com offers express shipping, so if you want your items shipped quickly, you should choose YesAsia.com.
If you can't find what you want on BookWeb or YesAsia.com, chances are you'll find it on Amazon.co.jp. You'll have to decide whether or not the shipping cost is worth it.
Good luck finding your favorite Japanese books online!