What Tenso is doing is one of those ideas where you think “dang, I shoulda thought of that.” It’s simple, it’s helpful, and provides a really good service. I tried it out recently, and they let me pick out a Japanese t-shirt and ship it via their service, so that I can give it away to one of you. More information on that at the end of the post.

So here’s the rundown on Tenso: 1) You go to a Japanese website that sells something. 2) You order the item, and have it shipped to your address (the address is free). The package is then sent to them, located in Tokyo. 3) They get the package, and then send it to you at a discounted rate.


Now why is this service convenient? Why is it better? First of all, a lot of places won’t ship internationally. If they do, it’s stupidly expensive to do so. Tenso is a shipping company, and all their specialty is shipping outside the country, which means you get a discount. Shipping from a store in Japan to Tenso is very cheap. I know I wish I had known about this service when I was shipping Christmas gifts from Japan. Would have saved a lot of money :(


They also provide a list of shops to give you some good ideas on where to shop. My favorites are and  Yahoo Auctions. With these two sites alone, you can pretty much find anything you want. There’s a ton of other specialty shops listed, though, as well as a list of shops that accept Paypal, if that’s how you roll.



Go check it out – there’s a lot of good stuff out there waiting to be bought. There may be hope for all of you who wish you had a ridiculously warm panda hat like mine.

Win a T-shirt

Tenso was indeed kind enough to buy and ship a t-shirt to me so I could give it to you folks. There is a tiny little catch, though.


You have to write a haiku for me. Well, actually, it’s a haiku for Tenso, since they were the ones who paid for the shirt. I also want you to write it on Twitter (feel free to put it in the comments below, too, but it won’t count towards the contest). In your haiku tweet, you must include the hashtags #tenso #haiku at the end of the tweet to make it count. For example:

Tenso, my heart wanes / for your shipability / love me ship me now #tenso #haiku

That way, when I search for it on Twitter, I’ll be able to find it! While you’re at it, follow me on Twitter for brownie points (which won’t help you at all in the contest, but will give you awesomely stylish brown noses!). You have until the end of the week to write this haiku (We’re talking Friday, here!). You can write as many as you want, but of course, you can only win one time :)

The t-shirt is a size Medium, but fits kind of large (I imagine it’ll shrink a bit, though). I’ll ship it to anywhere in the world, even back to Japan if I have to, so everyone please give it a shot! Haikus are 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables, and if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask and I’ll help you out.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, or just want to get a hold of a Godzilla head, check out Tenso for all your Japanese shipping hopes and dreams.

  • Sofi

    Can you use this address with, for example, the iTunes Japan store? I think you have to have a Japanese address to get an account there…

  • Koichi Ko

    Hmm, that's an interesting idea. Never thought of that… I feel like the folks at Tenso probably wouldn't want you doing that, but it might be possible :D

    Though, when I was trying to hit up iTunes Japan, the problem I ran into was the lack of Japanese credit card, but it's been a while since I've tried so it might have changed. I put my host family's address in before, though, so I imagine you'll still run into that problem. If you try it, though, let me know if it worked, cuz I'll be right there doing it with you, haha :)

  • Deas

    Send it back to me for some deliciously delicious irony. And test their system in reverse! Haiku posted. Ha ha.

  • koichi

    hahaha, I loved the Haiku, Deas! Everyone else, you better try hard, because Deas had a pretty solid one already!

  • Jenn sells itunes gift cards for iTunes Japan and allows you to use their address for your account.

  • Jenn

    I wonder if you can use this for membership in band and idol fanclubs that require a Japanese address.

  • Okanehira

    Can you ship Godzilla? / Will he Fit on the Plane Sir? / He will Protect Us!

  • Sofi

    I'm thinking this would work except for concert ticket lotteries, which I'm pretty sure they do by area/region. But as far as having an address for them to mail you goods and such to, I don't see why not.

    That would really sell this for me, though. xD JE fanclubs, here I come~

  • facebook-1563510331

    wow, i wish i had known about this earlier!!
    when i want stuff, i have to wait until my mom wants stuff, and then we have to wait for the stuff to ship to my aunt, and then wait for her to ship it to us.

    where's the shirt from?? it's cute!

  • Jacki Jinx

    Dude. I just spent about $100 yesterday on Japanese items! YESTERDAY! Oh, my heart aches for my wallet.

  • Mari

    Great find, good sir. Indeed.

  • クリス

    I was actually thinking the same thing. If Tenso allows me to use their address for iTunes Japan, I wouldn't have to use iTunes gift cards to purchase Japanese music.

  • Donnie Darko

    Here's mine. Not spectacular, but hey, why not?

  • Donnie Darko

    Here's mine. Not the greatest thing ever, but hey, it's always worth a shot!

  • Donnie Darko

    Here's mine. Not the best haiku ever, but it's always worth a shot!

  • bratja

    Bahahaha, this is fun!

  • Donnie Darko

    >< Sorry. Popup blocker was on, so I didn't notice it posting.

  • Mashimaro7

    He will,he's the size of an average American.

  • zurui

    ROTFL. “That's what's she said!”


    Great post and LOVE the video!

  • Karyudo

    “My heart wanes”?? That doesn't make any sense. Maybe “my heart pines,” but “wanes” makes no sense in this context.

    Off to write my own haiku…

  • koichi

    Hmm, good thing I didn't use “pines,” otherwise I would have won the contest outright! :P

    My grasp of English is failwhale, haha.

  • koichi


    Oh I spent hundreds,
    on Japanese merchandise
    today is too late

    #tenso #haiku

  • erika303

    Ahhh… I wish I knew about this earlier..
    Thanks for the info! This will come in handy next time I go on e-bay =3

  • Jamaipanese

    looks like a great service I must try it someday. I have been using a similar service to buy items from the States and Canada for a few years now.

  • acidkun

    my friend gonna love this one. thanks for the info..

    by the way, the last link to tenso in the article has double ' http:// ' so the link is broken :)

  • koichi

    Whoops – thank you! I'll fix that link now

  • Kevin

    This is made of so much epic win! Wish I found out about it sooner too… Thanks, Koichi!

  • Theda_Bara

    The only issue I have with this service is…you have to register with the majority of Japanese websites before you order. Copying and pasting certain katakana, or kanji does not work on said wesbites-so you'd be basically s.o.l. with those(I have tried three websites already, and it's taken me two+ hours due to the fact that I get an error message everytime)

    Great idea, but they need to tune up their system for when you are asked for your name in anything else but romaji.

  • christine

    good gosh. for the longest time, i've been watching to buy certain japanese merch that would be practically impossible to ship to the US unless i knew someone living in japan help who could help me out (in which, that would be absolutely nobody).

    there is hope for the collector in me once again.

    i love you. and this post. but mostly you. but not in *that* kind of way. THANK YOU!!!

  • kuroshirohaiiro

    OMG I wish
    I could write a haiku…lameslice…TENSO ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF!!!

  • Digger

    I'll definitely keep tenso in mind in case I'm ever fortunate enough to need it. Nice post ^_^

  • JackiJinx

    Another day now,
    Get crunk with the Japanese!
    Money in da bank!

  • Cal

    Do you think one could use Tenso for magazine/periodicals subscriptions, or do you think that wouldn't be a practical use?

  • koichi

    If the place won't ship internationally, then I'd say it's a pretty good way
    to go about it.

  • zaywex

    Haiku contest!
    Ancient Japanese art form?
    I suck at writing.

  • Greg

    I don't understand on thing at Tenso…

    they have the EMS charges and the shipping fee… do you have to pay for both or not? It's a bit confusing since it says somewhere else on the site that if the EMS is lower than 20,000 yen it's free.

    Can anyone clarify this, please? :)

  • arcticfeather

    Would it be possible to use Yahoo! Auctions with this? Obviously shipping wouldn't be a problem now, but can you set up any kind of payment method using a foreign account/card?

  • sereneko

    i havent understood une thing…thats probably cause my english is not good…but anyway:
    1. i already have an account on, should i create another with tenso address or when i order i just say “ship to another address” and write the tenso's one
    2. how do i pay for the stuff i buy, normally? by my credit card? if so…how do i know that when the package will arrive to tenso theyll send me it for sure? what is my guarranty?
    i watched the guidesbut for me theyre not so clear…

  • Benjamin Claverie

    It's not really useful to buy books though. I was trying to get 4 Mangas through an it would have cost me 35€ to get them directly, about 40€ through Tenso.

    Is there any good way to get Books shipped to Europe? Sometimes I'm lucky to find what i want in Book Off Paris (<3 them!), but I don't live there, and it's always luck to get what you seek…

  • Jessie

    Wow, I've never seen anything with a more 'WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT AND BECOME VERY RICH?!?!' label attached to it. Thanks!

  • Jessie

    Wow, I've never seen anything with a more 'WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT AND BECOME VERY RICH?!?!' label attached to it. Thanks!

  • Txema

    Escriba su comentario aquí. ¿Cómo colgáis en las redes japonesas?. ¿Admiten tarjetas de crédito no EMITIDAS en Japón?. ¿Cómo colgáis en internet en Japón?

  • linyulin101

    (II) In the past 6 years, we have sent great many products to the customers in USA, Europe, ASIA and other area, also we have lots of experience in dealing with online business oversea

  • marylain

    I'm sorry, but I don't think you can use paypal on Yahoo auction site…

  • marylain

    I'm sorry, but I don't think you can use paypal on Yahoo auction site…

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  • Tammy Block

    Tenso is exactly what I was looking for when I found your blog. Thank you for laying it out, I’m definitely signing up right now!

  • Tammy Block

    And thanks for a cool contest!

  • Diana

    I don’t see Yahoo Auctions listed. Can you really buy there? :(

  • ZeroX Zeo

    how about, the other way around?
    I’m living in japan and i want to buy stuffs that can’t be ship to japan.