First off, the San-X Net Shop is a great way to access Rilakkuma products if you don’t live in Japan. They have hundreds of Rilakkuma items in stock, and they also run a pretty fun blog with additional product photos. They generally don’t stock the store/event exclusives, but they do have cool Net Shop exclusives from time to time (like Mushroom Rilakkuma/Squirrel Korilakkuma), and a ton of housewares. Importantly, items are released on the same day as Japanese Rilakkuma Store releases (stores outside of Japan will generally have a delay).
The San-X Net Shop, operated by emix, does not ship internationally, but they do work closely with Tenso, an international shipping service. You can even see a little Tenso ad at the bottom of the San-X Net Shop home page! There are a few other international forwarding services like it, but I trust Tenso because it is recommended by the San-X Net Shop.
As for cost, in addition to the cost of the plushies/purchases:
- San-X will charge a flat 500 yen local shipping fee (~5.53 USD), shipping (with tracking) took ~3 days for me
- Tenso will charge a 490 yen service fee (~5.42 USD)
- Tenso will charge an EMS delivery fee (depending on weight) – I paid 2220 yen shipping (~24.54 USD) for 5 plushies, and shipping (with tracking) was super fast, ~4 days (I live in Florida)
- Your credit card company MAY charge a international service fee (check your credit card policy – some do not add this charge, like travel rewards cards)
In this partnership, Tenso has come out with a short guide (in English) on to how to order from the San-X Net Shop using their service. It’s great and succinct, but I’ll expand on a few points after the jump:
Registration is free and in English (and a few other languages, if you prefer), and relatively straightforward. Sign up with your shipping (your actual mailing address that Tenso will ship to) and payment information (they accept PayPal, VISA, MasterCard, JCB and Amex), and they’ll give you a Japanese address. Save this address because you will need it to sign up for a San-X Net Shop account!
Notice: The San-X Net Shop website has changed format recently. Please use this link for registration instead: https://shop.san-x.co.jp/mypage/regist/ent?mode=1.
While Tenso has multiple language options, the San-X Net Shop is almost entirely in Japanese, save for a few headings. Thus, if you cannot read Japanese like me, I highly recommend using Google Chrome, which gives you an option to translate entire pages. Alternatively, Rikaichan for Firefox has helped me too. Even more alternatively, you can copy+paste everything into Google’s online translator, but that’s a bit tedious.
Registration at the Net Shop should look something like this – click on the images to expand:
Using Google translate, some of these are self-evident, but field by field:
- Username, 4-15 alphanumeric characters
- Password, 4-15 alphanumeric characters
- Confirm password, 4-15 alphanumeric characters
- Last name for the first field, then first name (I just typed these next 2 fields in English because I wanted to be consistent with my Tenso account)
- Last name for the first field, then first name
- Postcode: 120-0023
- Prefecture: select 東京都 / Tokyo (if you are using a translator)
- Address 1: 足立区 千住曙町４２－４
- Address 2: ＴＳ [***YOUR TENSO # HERE****] 通販商品配送サービス ＴＥＮＳＯ 取次ぎ
- Phone number: 03-5739-3341
- Email address
- Email address verification
- Mobile phone email address (optional) – I left it blank
- DOB: year, month, day
If this gets too confusing, try using this Tenso guide for inputting the shipping address.
Once this is all confirmed, log in at the San-X Net Shop, and you can begin shopping!
3. Shop & Order from the San-X Net Shop!
Even though the Net Shop is in Japanese, ordering is surprisingly pretty straightforward – if you’ve shopped online before, the process is the same and the buttons are all about where you’d expect them to be; I’ve just provided a few screenshots for clarity. For convenience, click here to go straight to the Rilakkuma items hahaha.
The next few screens are where you put in your credit card information. You should check over your card’s international policies – since San-X charges in yen, some credit card companies will add a charge for the conversion, and some will not (like travel rewards cards). San-X accepts a ton of credit cards, and that part is pretty standard. Also, I’ve found that my Google Chrome translator kind of goes wild while the order is being processed, but this doesn’t affect your order.
Once everything is set, confirmed, and paid for at the San-X Net Shop side of things, they’ll send you a few emails (your order confirmation from an @emix.jp address, and your payment confirmation from an @aeon.co.jp address).
Then your order will ship to the Tenso warehouse! This took about 3 days for me, but that was over a weekend so the local shipping time might be even shorter depending on what day of the week you order.
4. Ship from Tenso!
Tenso will send you an email when you package has arrived at their warehouse. From there, pay the international shipping fee at their website, and your package will be on its way to your home! They even send you the original San-X box with a Rilakkuma design!
The usage fee is 490 yen (~5.42 USD), plus the EMS shipping fee based on weight and destination – all of which can be calculated at the Tenso site. For my last order, I paid a 2220 yen (~24.54 USD) EMS shipping fee for 5 plushies (820 g): this included tracking, and my package arrived just 4 days after my payment was confirmed, and I live basically across the globe! Totally worth it for the speed and security, in my opinion.
Whew that was a long trip! Hope that helped, and happy Rilakkuma shopping!
(For the record, I’m completely unaffiliated with San-X/emix/Tenso, and this is just a record of my process and experience – sorry this kinda reads like an ad; I just had a pretty positive experience and wanted to share!)