How to shop on Rakuten Japan online and ship worldwide

If you want to buy online from Japan, then Rakuten is probably your best starting point. Stocking thousands of products in pretty much every category you can imagine, Rakuten is your one stop shop for shopping in Japan.

In recent years it’s gotten even trickier to order from Rakuten internationally, but that’s where forward2me comes in. We can help you shop at Rakuten with a completely free Japanese shipping address. Not sure what all the fuss is about? We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about shopping on Rakuten Japan and shipping around the world.

Check our go to guide on how to purchase Japanese clothing brands online.

what is rakuten japan?

Rakuten Japan is the biggest online retailer in the country. Stocking items from beauty, books and tech through to Japanese Kit Kats, fashion and technology. You’ll find a wide range of products, many of which are completely unique to Japan, through third party sellers or directly from the manufacturer. It’s an incredibly popular site in Japan, allowing users to find many useful products they may not find in their local domestic stores.

Unfortunately, for foreign customers, Japanese Rakuten is harder to access and you may struggle with getting items shipped to you. That’s where forward2me can help.


As recently as 2020 you, as foreign customers, could shop on Rakuten Japan and ship your orders internationally. Unfortunately, on June 1st 2020, there was an official Rakuten Global Market closure. This means that if you’re based internationally you can no longer use the Japanese Rakuten and have items shipped directly to you. As Rakuten Japan uses so many third party resellers, it was getting too costly for the respective owners of individual stores to offer international shipping.

This is where forward2me can help though. With a Japanese forwarding address you can shop on Rakuten as normal using a Japanese shipping address. Purchase the products you want, get them delivered to our warehouse and we’ll then re-ship your Rakuten order to you, wherever you are in the world.

world map with rakuten japan and forward2me shipping


Shopping on Rakuten Japan is easy! Sure if you can’t read Japanese you may need to use a translation service, but once you’ve done that you’re good to go. Buying online from Rakuten Japan, and re-shipping it to you is as easy as:

  1. Get your free Japanese forwarding address

  2. Visit (translate the page if you need to)

  3. Either browse to the category or seller you want to buy from or use the search bar

  4. Add the item to your basket

  5. Checkout as normal, using your Japanese shipping address

  6. We’ll get the items sent to you once they arrive at our warehouse, via the courier service you’ve chosen.

  7. Enjoy your purchases!


So what makes Rakuten such a good place to shop? There are a number of reasons Rakuten is so popular, both for those in Japan and foreign customers. These include:

A wide range of completely unique products
With such a huge selection of goods on sale there’s a good chance you’ll find items completely unique to Rakuten and Japan. From local Japanese fashion through to tech and food items that you won’t find outside of Japan.

Third party sellers increase variety
Rakuten works a little like Amazon’s marketplace. This means there are multiple third party sellers offering merchandise from their own stores.

The great thing about that is that it makes for an incredible variety of products, but also keeps the costs down. It’s what makes the platform so varied and allows you to discover some truly remarkable items.

Access to Japanese items you can’t get anywhere else
While Rakuten exists in other areas of the world, the Japanese Rakuten offers the most extensive collection of merchandise. You’ll find items here that you won't find on any of the other Rakuten outlets. Plus, Rakuten is a major rival for Amazon Japan and offers items you won’t find on that platform.

Popular items to shop from Rakuten Japan


Rakuten’s collection of items is truly remarkable. With so many third party sellers you really can find pretty much anything. Whether that’s the latest technology, Japanese Kit Kats, cutting edge Japanese apparel, the latest collectible figurines or even fishing materials.


You’ll find the latest in smartphones, computing, TVs and cameras available on Rakuten Japan. It’s always worth checking the compatibility of any items for your local power supplies or software, but there’s an excellent range of high end tech and gadgets.

Food & Confectionery

While some food & drink items may not be shipped, like alcohol, there’s an extensive selection of Japenese food and confectionery items available to order. Get your hands on the famous Japanese Kit Kat flavours or some of Japan’s other unusual confectionery.

Fashion & Japanese Apparel

From underwear and coats to bags and watches, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Whether it’s from a well known west brand like Supreme or The NorthFace or you want to get your hands on a Kimono, you’ll find it on Rakuten. Why not check out the Japanese brand BAPE (A Bathing Ape)?

Beauty & Cosmetics

Japan’s beauty products are respected around the world. Rakuten stocks a number of exciting Japanese beauty brands alongside a selection of well known and loved western cosmetic companies.


From Manga to Marvel, you’ll find the latest collectibles on Rakuten Japan. Whether you want the latest Gundam figurine or Star Wars merchandise, Rakuten has it. You’ll even find an extensive selection of cosplay materials.


Rakuten are the main shirt sponsors of Barcelona, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, so it’s no surprise that they offer a large selection of sportswear. Find brands like Nike and Adidas alongside replica kits for J-League teams.


While shopping on Rakuten Japan is as simple as using the instructions above, actually using the site may be intimidating to people who can’t speak or read Japanese. The good news is that you can register an account completely in English, or another language, and handle most account management tasks without needing to write in Japanese. This means it’s possible to join or log in without having to learn a whole new language.

To use the rest of the site you’ll need to use a translator. The good news is that most modern browsers, like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, offer in browser translation support. In Chrome, for instance, it will automatically recognise that the site is in Japanese and ask whether you’d like to translate it to your native language. This is recommended as the international version, the Rakuten Global Marketplace offers significantly fewer products.

If you need further help on shopping in Japan, read our Japanese online shopping guide.

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