Buying Protein Powder and Supplements in Japan

Sticky

UPDATE (1/25/2017): Added a new coupon at the bottom of the page.

UPDATE (1/5/2017): Happy New Year! Added a new coupon at the bottom of the page.

UPDATE (8/10/2016): Make sure you take advantage of the weekly deals at iHerb.com. You get 20% off of the selected brands. Sometimes there’s brands that have whey protein, so you can stock up on it. But be sure to buy in the beginning of the week because they’re usually sold out after a few days. To see what brands are part of the weekly deals, click here. I will also occasionally post coupon codes near the bottom of the page, so be sure to check back now and then to take advantage of it.

UPDATE (9/19/2015): So I’ve been lifting and watching what I eat consistently for about 14 months now. I won’t talk about my gains, but I will say that I’m pretty satisfied with the results. If you have any questions or want advice, feel free to comment below. Over the course of 14 months, I still haven’t found a cheaper option for protein and supplements than iHerb. However, I have developed a list of products that I have been ordering consistently: whey protein, creatine, pre-workout, multi-vitamins, fish oil, and protein bars (optional). I’ve ordered the products by level of importance, with whey protein being the most important. Protein bars are optional, but I recommend it for those who are busy and don’t have time to cook a quality protein packed meal. Furthermore, the protein bars that I order are packed with 15-20 grams of fiber! Also, I tried to find products with the most value for each category. In other words, I found the cheapest quality product with good reviews for each category.

If you want to add all the above items to your cart, simply click here.

TIP: What I usually do when ordering protein is I set the filter for price to $10 to $50 via the left menu. This narrows down the whey protein by price. Then I sort the results by “Heaviest” which can be found on the top left area of the results box. What this does is that is shows only whey protein priced from $10 to $50 with the heaviest ones first. The heavier ones are usually the 5LB proteins. When you buy more protein, it usually is cheaper. Then with the price filter I had set above, I know I won’t be spending all my salary on just protein. I also recommend buying more of the same product, rather than buying 4 different products. Some products will give you a discount if you buy a bulk amount starting from 4. Also from time to time, there will be sales where there are massive discounts so be on the lookout for those.

The Return

I apologize for the recent disappearance. I’ve been very busy and finally started to settle down living in Japan. In fact, I’ve even joined a gym. Not no local gym that’s sponsored by the government where you pay about 400 yen to get in each time and you have a time limit of 2 hours. Each ward should have it’s own. Those gyms are meant for the old people in Japan, where there’s an abundance of. I mean no offense to the elderly, but I say this because the gyms are not equipped for bodybuilding, let alone just getting in shape. I’ve been to two different local gyms and none of them even have a bench press, which is probably the most popular workout ever. Anyway, there just happened to be an Anytime Fitness that opened up nearby. For their grand opening, they waived registration fees and the key card fee (this is what lets you in). I pay around 7,000 yen or about $70 a month. Yes, that’s no mistake, I said $70 a month. Welcome to Japan. Actually, $70 per month is considered cheap in Japan. Most gyms here cost over $100 a month. No joke. And on top of that, those gyms are not opened 24 hours. Depending on your membership, you can only go during certain days. Furthermore, you can only go during certain times during those certain days. I’m not joking. Luckily for me, Anytime Fitness is opened 24 hours, hence the “Anytime” and I can go whenever. To add to that, I can go to any Anytime Fitness location, not just in Japan, but worldwide. I’ve actually already taken advantage of that and have been to 3 different locations in Tokyo. All this for only $70 a month. It’s a freaking steal in Japan, right? Okay, I went overboard with the introduction and I haven’t even started the topic yet. If you’re serious about training and want to learn more, check out my post on How to Lose, Gain, or Maintain Weight.

Anytime Fitness - Tokyo, Japan

Anytime Fitness – Tokyo, Japan

Bodybuilding

So after joining a gym, I wanted to buy whey protein powder and supplements. Apparently, buying protein powder and supplements in Japan is super expensive. I know stores like Don Quijote have whey protein and supplements, but super expensive and their brands that I’ve never heard of (Japanese generic brands). I’m not hating on the Japanese brands, but if I’m buying expensive whey protein and supplements, I’m gonna buy it from brands that are at least known in the bodybuilding industry. And so I did some research. I remember back in the states, I would order from Bodybuilding.com. Turns out you can change the country of the store, meaning they can ship to Japan! I was stoked. Prices were decent and there’s always deals and coupons to get a steal. Prices were even in yen and it was all in English. I thought it was too good to be true. And it was. When I got to the checkout page, the shipping fee was a lot. Although there were 3 options to choose from, the Super Saver option was still super expensive. The shipping fee pretty much killed the deal.

iHerb

And back to researching I went when I came upon a website called iHerb.com. Despite the name, there were also a whole bunch of other types of products such as beauty products, herbs, some other stuff, and most importantly, “supplements and sports”. Although iHerb’s prices of whey protein weren’t that great, the prices of their supplements were. However, keep in mind that the shipping fee makes up for the higher cost of protein powder which I’ll talk about more in a bit. There was even a coupon that took $10 off if you’re a new customer. I’ll talk more about the coupon later. And lastly, most importantly, the shipping was “cheap”. Shipping was only $4.00. Yes, ONLY $4, well as long as your order was under 30 pounds. But that’s a steal! I could order 30lbs of whey protein and shipping would only be $4. And on top of that, delivery time is 3-5 days. That’s crazy. Furthermore, if your order totals $40 or more, you get FREE SHIPPING. Wait, there’s still more. If your order is over $60, you can an extra 5% off on top of that. Tell me not, that’s a steal. I should stop here. I feel like if I continue, this article will never end. Ugh, here we go… I just remembered that iHerb has a trials or samples page. What that means is that there’s a bunch of samples that you can try for as low as $0.25. On top of my protein powder order, I added a whole bunch of $0.25 and $0.50 items to my cart. Even if I didn’t need it, I still added it anyway. But yeah, be sure to check out the trials page too.

Beware of Customs Fees

iHerb has it written on the website, but I had to learn this the hard way. For those that are ordering from Japan, make sure your total order doesn’t exceed 16000 yen. When I shop on iHerb, I have the currency set as US dollars. Use a currency exchange calculator and make sure the value in yen is under 16000 yen. Just to be safe, make sure the value is at least 1000 to 2000 yen under 16000 yen. You will be charged an extra 3000 yen for custom fees if your total price is above 16000 yen. You will have to give the 3000 yen to the delivery person in order to receive your products. If you cancel, you won’t get a 100% refund. So the best thing you can do is make sure you don’t order anything that exceeds 16000 yen.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article will point you in the right direction in getting quality well-known protein and supplements for an affordable price and quick delivery time. I know things in Japan are expensive, but I feel there has to be a better option sometimes. I wish you the best of luck in achieving your fitness goals.

iHerb Coupon Details

Enter the code DPJ857 to get 10% off your first order. First-time customers only.

Enter promo code PROMOJAN at checkout or click on the following link to get $5.00 USD off your next iHerb order:

http://www.iherb.com/?pcode=PROMOJAN&rcode=SMV494

*This code is limited to one order, and will expire on Tuesday, January 31st, at 10.00 am. PST.

Share

Buying a Computer in Japan

Sticky

Buying a Computer in Japan

Broken Laptop Screen

Broken Laptop Screen

I came home under the influence one night and I tried to start my computer or laptop to be exact. Unfortunately, it couldn’t start. I’ve been having this problem a few times now, but eventually it would somehow start up again with no problems. However, the night it wasn’t working happened to be a crucial moment in my life: Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors. Go Nets! Due to being under the influence and the frustration from my broken computer, I stupidly ended up punching my laptop screen. Although the computer was unable to start up already, there still may have been a small chance that it could possibly start up. Unfortunately, I completely cancelled out that small chance by destroying the laptop screen. With no laptop in my life, I needed to buy a new computer in Japan right away.

The first thing I did was do some research. Luckily, my girlfriend still had a working laptop (although I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone with wifi access, I would rather use a PC). So I go online and google “buying a computer in Japan” and I find out that there’s some problems that I might be faced with when buying a computer in Japan.

Problems with Buying a Computer in Japan

Computers sold in Japan usually come with a Japanese OS and Japanese keyboard. By Japanese OS, I mean that the operating system (Windows 7, 8, etc.) will be in Japanese. And by Japanese keyboard, I mean that the keyboard will be in a Japanese format. Turns out Japanese keyboards and keyboards in the rest of the world are different. Japanese keyboards have extra keys and the layout is different. Although the Japanese keyboards do have English, such as letters, written on it, just the fact that the layout is different will cause me some problems when I’m typing. I type pretty fast, but if the layout of the keyboard is different from what I’m used to, I’ll be typing the wrong keys. I have also heard that some stores offer the option of an English OS and/or keyboard, but it will end up costing a lot more. Another option is to buy a Mac from Apple, which has the option of having an English OS and keyboard. But Macs are just so expensive and I’m more of the PC user. So having a Japanese OS and keyboard might be one of the problems I’ll be faced with when buying a computer in Japan.

Another problem I might run into is the language barrier. Most of us know that the Japanese aren’t really good at speaking English, let alone speaking about technical stuff such as computers. Luckily, my girlfriend speaks Japanese and this was truly helpful in buying a computer in Japan. However, not everyone will have this option. But do not worry, I believe it’s still possible even without knowing any Japanese. I’ll explain more later.

Buying a Computer in Japan Online

If you want to buy a computer in Japan online, I recommend going kakaku.com.The website is in Japanese, but do not let it scare you. I’ll give you a brief guide on how to use it. So after going to the site, click on the link that says “パソコン”. It has a picture of a laptop or notebook to the left. Then scroll down a little and you’ll see icons of desktops, laptops, PDAs, and so on. Click on the laptop icon (or whatever you want to buy) and then you’ll see a list of the top 5 sellers. Below it is a list of all the laptops they have. Now, on the left you’ll see a list of filters which is all in English. Choose your brand, OS, CPU, display size, color, price range, and so on. After you find one you like, click on it and you’ll see the product description. For some products, you’ll see a list of prices offered by different vendors ranked from cheapest to most expensive. It’ll show you where the product is and what services they offer, such as shipping or in-store pick up. I won’t go deep into this, because you’ll probably need a translator for further information.

Buying a Computer in Japan Offline

Most people recommended going to Akihabara to buy a computer. As you may already know, Akihabara is famous for electronics. I’ve also read that there are some stores who have English speaking personnel. However, since I live near Shinjuku, and I didn’t want to go that far to buy a computer, I decided to just shop at Shinjuku. I had two places in mind, Bic Camera and Yodabashi Camera, two of the largest electronic retail stores in Japan. First I went to Bic Camera. I went to the floor where the computers were located and started looking around. They divided the sections by laptops and desktops. It further broke down into brand names. There were also some computers on sale that were placed in the front of the computer section. I had a game plan in mind already, so I didn’t need to talk to the attendants. Each computer model has a paper with a description of the computer details which are all in English, well at least the necessary parts such as the OS, CPU, RAM, etc. I couldn’t find something to my liking so I decided not to buy anything at Bic Camera. One thing I did realize is that computers in Japan are expensive! I thought it would of been cheaper, but I think computers in Japan are actually more expensive than they are in the United States. Anyway, the next stop was Yodobashi Camera so here we go.

At Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku, the computer area was on the first floor. The layout of the computers was similar to that of Bic Camera, where computers were categorized by desktops and laptops, and then by brand names. The prices here were expensive as well, but I think it was actually a little cheaper here than Bic Camera.

Buying Process

The model I wanted had three different pricings. This was because they had already planned out three different options you could choose from, of course the one with better parts being more expensive. However, I think this was done for the customers, who didn’t know much about computers, so that they could easily buy from just choosing 1 of the 3 options. I’m not a computer enthusiast, but I at least know some of the basics. So when I was ready, I called for an attendant and told them I wanted this model and this option. I figured I’d choose the cheapest option and work from there. What I mean by that is that you can customize your computer like you would if you were to buy from Dell online. So pretty much this is the part where my girlfriend helped, well, for the non-computer related parts. We needed to sign up for a points card if we wanted to take advantage of a sale that was going on and so we did or I should say my girlfriend did. So for the computer, the attendant handed me a list of customization options. Pretty much I could choose the CPU, OS, keyboard, amount of RAM, disk drive, display, etc. Each option also had the pricing to the side. It was exactly like buying a computer on the Dell website, but on paper. I wish they had this sheet out on display to begin with. Anyway, so yes I did mention OS and keyboard. I was able to choose an English OS and keyboard. The English OS didn’t cost extra but the English keyboard required an extra 1,080 yen. Not too bad in my opinion. But keep in mind, I chose Windows 8.1. I’m not sure if the English OS is available for previous versions of Windows. So that eliminated the OS and keyboard problem. I originally started from a price of about 63,000 yen and ended up with a price of about 82,000 yen. But because my girlfriend signed up for the point card, we were able to take advantage of the sale and the price was reduced by about 10,000 yen. So my total came out to about 72,000 yen or about 720 dollars. Tax and shipping was already included. I tried asking if foreigners get a discount because I read that some places offered it, but the attendant said there wasn’t. Oh well. Speaking of foreigners, I did overhear a female attendant speaking English to a few foreigners. Her English wasn’t good, but just the fact that she was speaking English means that maybe this could eliminate the second problem of buying a computer in Japan. After we were done with that part, the attendant read us some of the guidelines such as warranty and returns (or at least that’s what I think it was since my Japanese isn’t that good). Finally, the attendant took us to the cashier where I payed with my Chase Sapphire credit card which has no foreign transaction fees. Woohoo!

Shipping

Okay, this was probably the biggest setback. The attendant told us that shipping could take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. What the f***. I was seriously contemplating about just stopping right then and there, and this was after I was done customizing the order with the attendant. My computer broke so I needed a computer right away, which is one of the reasons why I went in person to buy a laptop from the store. If this was the case, I should of just bought a laptop online (or maybe online wouldn’t even have made a difference because that might of took 2-4 weeks to ship as well)! I understand that because I am customizing my computer, it’ll take some time, but not 2-4 weeks time! Dell only takes at most 1 week. Argh, this is going to be the hardest 2-4 weeks of my life.

Conclusion

In conclusion, buying a computer in Japan is not that hard and does not require the ability to speak Japanese. Maybe in the past, things were different which made it difficult to buy a computer in Japan due to the OS and keyboard. But I think now, the bigger stores will have the option of choosing an English OS and keyboard. Also, the bigger stores should also have staff who could speak enough English to help you with your purchase. The key thing to keep in mind is that shipping can take up to 4 weeks. So if your computer is broken or if you didn’t bring one to Japan, you’ll have to figure out something to do during those 4 weeks that you’re without a computer. I’ve listed the address of Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku below. I hope my experience of buying a computer in Japan will help those who are planning to buy a computer in Japan. Good luck.

EDIT (May 9, 2014): My laptop finally arrived. After waiting for a little over 2 weeks, it was finally shipped to my address in a box. Time to get busy! I already feel rejuvenated.

Bic Camera, Shinjuku
1-5-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023
+81 3-5326-1111

 

Yodobashi Camera, Shinjuku
1-11-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023
+81 3-3346-1010

Share

Buying Nail Art Supplies from Japan

Standard

Japan is famous for their over the top nail art. Unfortunately, buying nail art supplies from Japan does not come cheap. If you’re interested in buying nail art supplies from Japan but don’t want to spend a lot of money, then look no further. NailStyle is a nail product brand based in Tokyo, Japan that sells affordable, trending nail art supplies online and ships worldwide. They sell a variety of nail art supplies such as gel nail, nail parts, nail seals, rhinestones, nail foils, nail power, and much more. Check out some of the supplies sold by NailStyle below.

 

Share