Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How To Win 40,000Worth Of Japanese Goods This Week

Tofugu's favourite haikyo fanatic, the , is now working at Tenso. When not out having adventures in forgotten ruins, he's been working behind the scenes to arrange free stuff for Tofugu readers. It's his English-gentlemanly pleasure to bring you this fabulous Tofugu x Tenso giveaway. Give him a pip-pip and a cheery hello as you read on!


Why, #TENSOFUGU, of course! The hoopy fish that keeps on giving.

A long time ago, when Tofugu was still just a fledgling blog, Koichi wrote a post. That post introduced readers to a new service known as "" that lets you buy and ship the things you love from Japan. You could also win a fantastic t-shirt by writing a haiku (no-doubt with traces of Koichi DNA that fetched wild prices at auction).

Koichi has aged a little since

More than four years have gone by and both Tenso and Tofugu have grown up. Tofugu is now a multi-author Japan blog with almost daily content reaching out into the far corners of the internet. Tenso is now a successful shipping service and recently created sister site "" so you can bid on Yahoo! Japan Auctions from overseas!

In celebration of this, our past, and the queen, I've arranged special giveaway for Tofugu readers. You get the chance to win lots of free goodies from Japan, so long as you play along.


First, a brief re-cap. What is Tenso, exactly?

Tenso is a forwarding service that helps you to send the stuff you want from Japan to your home overseas.

All you need to do is sign up with Tenso (this gets you your very own Tenso mailing address in Japan). Afterwards, you use your Tenso address to shop on your favorite Japanese websites, such as, Rakuten Japan, Hello Kitty Japan, DatingMakura.cometc. You get the picture. Pretty much any Japanese online store you've ever dreamed of can ship your goods to your Tenso address. Then, Tenso takes your goods, repackages them, and sends them all to you.

You might wonder why this type of service is even necessary, though. Why not just buy directly from the Japanese store itself and ship it to your own address? Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly), many Japanese stores do not offer shipping overseas. In addition, if you do a lot of shopping, you'd have to ship each item separately to yourself and that really makes things expensive. Those international shipping charges really add up! Shipping to your Tenso address, however, is very cheap because it's within Japan (often times places will offer free shipping within Japan as well if you spend enough), and then by bundling your items together before sending it to yourself you're able to save on shipping. It looks something like this:

After your items arrive at Tenso, you can choose to group them together into one big box. Tenso only charges a small service fee, so the savings can really add up quickly to save loads on international shipping. A few clicks later and your package is on its way to your address overseas.

So what if you have trouble navigating Japanese websites because of the language barrier? Or what if your overseas credit card is not accepted by the Japanese store? Do not fear! Tenso also operates a special buying service to solve this problem.

All you need to do is tell Tenso what you want to buy, the link to the item, the price, and the quantity. Tenso will check to make sure the item is available for purchase and then sends you a bill. You can pay via Paypal and then Tenso does the work of buying and shipping the item to their warehouse for you. Once your item is at the Tenso warehouse, you can pay the international shipping fee and send your item(s) to your address overseas.

It's a bit like having your own personal friend in Japan, just without the embarrassment of constantly asking them to buy stuff for you.


Gakuranman always meant to be a pirate

Okay. That's enough about how Tenso works. You got the idea, right? Let's get right down to it - the free stuff! It's time for the Tenso x Tofugu Giveaway! Now, I (the Gakuranman) had to pull a few strings to get this many prizes available to you all. Koichi kept on saying "no" to this post until I made the prizes way better too.


So here's what is available to you. Stay tuned for how you actually win these things.

2X 10,000 YEN (ROUGHLY $100) prize to use for buying things from Japan. Free Tenso fees & Free shipping fees

Two winners will be chosen at the 10,000 yen prize level.

10X 2,000 YEN PRIZE (ROUGHLY $20) to use for buying things from Japan. Free Tenso fees, Winners pay for international shipping

Ten winners will be chosen at the 2,000 yen prize level.

(Note that, if you win, you can buy items worth more than your prize amount and pay the difference).


You have one week from the date of this Tofugu post to make your submission(s). So basically, Tuesday, November 5 2013, at around 9:00am, PDT.


There are 6 ways you can enter the prize draw. That means that you have up to six chances to win one of the 12 prizes.

STEP 1: Create an account on Tenso by clicking the big button below. It's important to use this link to register otherwise we will not be able to contact you (and you won't be able to win).

STEP 2: Do any of the following six actions listed below (don't forget the #TENSOFUGU hashtag and don't forget to make your shares public!) If you do everything you will have six chances to win!

1) Share this post on Facebook using the #tensofugu hashtag

Example: [ Share to win free stuff from Japan with! #tensofugu ]

2) Share on Twitter using the #tensofugu hashtag

Example: [ Retweet to win free stuff from Japan with! #tensofugu ]

3) Share on Google+ using the #tensofugu hashtag

Example: [ Share to win free stuff from Japan with! #tensofugu ]

4) Write a comment on this Tofugu post

Write a comment in reply to this blog post telling us what you want to buy most from Japan

Example: I want to buy DakiMakura and date one! #tensofugu

5) Bonus Entry: Facebook Like

Click [Like] on the

6) Bonus Entry: Twitter Follow


STEP 3: Wait and (hopefully) profit.

That totals six possible entries per person. Remember, make sure to include the #TENSOFUGU hashtag when you share the link on Facebook, Twitter and Google +, or your entry will not be counted!

Once the week is over, I will tally all the entries and draw twelve random winners. Afterwards I'll contact you to let you know that you've won and how to claim your prize. That's all there is to it!


I like Tenso and have used them in the past with good experiences, which is why we're going ahead and doing this giveaway (I know, we don't usually do these!). It's definitely nice to have a way to ship things to myself from Japan when a store doesn't ship overseas. And sadly, I'm not getting any bribes or kickbacks for putting up this post, so hopefully you guys can enjoy this giveaway for me. Back to normal posting schedule tomorrow.
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