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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
For sponsorship, collaborations and engagements: arisa1443@gmail.com

Zenmarket | Shop directly from Japan

There are many ways one can get access to shopping directly from Japan but there are some drawbacks that may make you feel intimidated like middleman fee and such charged as you can't exactly do it on your own due to certain restrictions like shipping and payment methods, etc unless you are in Japan often then you will not encounter such problems la because you can easily survey, check and buy the items and bring it back in your luggage.
However i do understand that not everyone has the luxury (in terms of time) to go Japan, let alone most of the time spent there is more for sightseeing rather than shopping unless they have some time to spare at those huge tax free stores like Don Quijote where there's almost everything under one roof. But not everyone are into those as they do have specific items they would like to get that's only available either a speciality stores, the branded store itself or online that only ships within Japan.

It can be rather frustrating to see the item you want so badly from Japan but can't get a hold of it because of these restrictions, i too have been in that boat once till i came to a point where i just totally gave up on bothering to purchase anything from Japanese online stores till i started experimenting on various proxy sites that can easily get the job done for me but of course with a certain amount of fee la as nothing is free in this world but so far i'm rather glad that i went with the decision of this little experimentation; the results are rather fruitful, i am able to list out pros and cons of certain proxy sites, recommend a few reliable and affordable ones that people might find useful!

It's all about gaining easy access to one of the places the world loves most- Japan
How did i came across Zenmarket? It's one of those ads recommended by Facebook as they know i was browsing through uniqlo and Rakuten Japan sites a couple of weeks back, yes Facebook does stalk your browsing habits and they'll recommend suitable ads based on it lol, you may feel your privacy was somewhat violated but that's how facebook gains its revenue by selling ads.
Depends on how you see it, in a way i do find it useful as if it wasn't for their recommendations i would have came across Zenmarket and this review wouldn't even exist :)

If it's possible i would like to test out a few more Japan proxy sites so i can have a compiled list of tested and approved sites on my blog that my readers can look up anytime.
My blog is open for collaborations a.k.a testing ground, do drop me an email to discuss further: arisa1443@gmail.com

How many of you guys used to shop on Rakuten Malaysia before they closed down in 2015? I used to be a frequent shopper there as there are many merchants under one roof and were once considered an e-commerce pioneer alongside with other e-shops like Lazada (before Gemfive and the rest popped up) was kinda sad that they had to go but we were afterwards redirected to Rakuten Japan's website instead which was good since more Japanese/ international listed products available but tons of shipping restrictions and even if they do provide shipping to Malaysia the cost is definitely double from the product itself and no one in the right mind would close and eye to that UNLESS it's a one off limited edition item la lol.
With Zenmarket, i can finally browse and shop from rakuten Japan with ease; even bought some contact lenses that i've been eyeing for years! The price is really good compared to what we pay here in Malaysia, allowing us to save a significant amount so it makes it worth it to pay extra 300 ‎¥ (service charge).

Everything arrived in good condition, thank you Zenmarket

Of all things why shop from Uniqlo Japan when we have our own Uniqlo Malaysia right? First of all only selected products are purchased by the Malaysian buyer, so not everything released in Japan are available in Malaysia, that's how fashion retail works. It's about picking the most sellable and core themed pieces for their existing market. Also their sister brand GU is not available here, i personally like GU designs more since it's made for young trendy working adults and more price friendly too. The only time i camped at Uniqlo Japan website is to look out for marked down items like some brand clothes can cost only 290¥- 990¥ which is rather a good deal! You definitely won't get those prices on the Malaysian Uniqlo shelf unless it's in the defect bin. When it comes to clothes, you can label me as a hardcore bargain hunter and that's why i usually shop at thrifts or charity stores.

5 Reasons to use ZenMarket

1. Simple to Use

Zenmarket is relatively EASY to use, it's pretty straight to the point and navigating around this website is totally hassle free. It also comes with a step by step guide on how to use their services from sign up all the way to shipping to your country. 
No unnecessary conversations with the zenmarket agents unless it's to update you on the product availability or confirmation of size/ color if you did not fill in the details properly. I pretty much like that i don't have to "discuss" because when it comes to shopping i rather not nego on people's service charges and rather pay a fix amount for it as i know most proxy sites both private/ public tend to charge 10% per item ordered/ purchased so example your item costs 10,000¥ = 1000¥  (service charge) so total you gotta pay 11,000¥  for that item. It does add up quite easily as well if you are getting a couple more like 10 items in your total order you can pay up to 10,000 yen extra and to think of it sometimes it's really just not worth it anymore especially with our weak Malaysian Ringgit against the Japanese Yen.

2. Affordable service charges & Easy payment methods

In Zenmarket regardless of the price value of your purchased item, their service charge is capped at 300¥ per item, it's definitely a more reasonable amount that's why i could purchase alot of items without worrying about the total service charge fee. 300¥ basically covers the purchasing, consolidation, repacking and insurance for parcels sent by post, and also domestic bank fees.
For my current box which contains of 11 items (300¥ x 11= 3,300¥) and that total amount is considered okay la as most of my items were also heavily discounted products and even after adding on the service charge the total amount is still lesser than buying directly from the stores in Malaysia.
For more Q&A regarding their fees you may click HERE to read.
You can top up anytime using either your local credit/ debit card and paypal but do take note to reload a lump sum at once as there is a payment gateway charge for every reload transaction made.

3. Decent purchasing duration

This is an important thing to take note, the duration factor varies as it depends on the sites you shop on like some will mention delivers within 3-5 working days that means it takes 3-5 working days to reach Zenmarket's warehouse before consolidation and shipping off to Malaysia. So give and take, roughly about 1.5-2 weeks (working days only). 

4. Affordable international shipping methods

Based on your needs, like whether it's urgent or not or budgeting you can opt for a delivery method that fits your bill. If your parcel isn't too huge like cargo size then i would recommend for you guys to take DHL as that is like the best and most budget friendly method for parcel weighing less than 4kg and it's pretty fast too within 3-5 working days it arrived at my doorstep safely.

5. Free shipping Insurance 

If your parcel gets lost during the transit from Japan to your country, Zenmarket covers up to a total of  70, 0000¥ but with certain terms and conditions.

Observation on ZenMarket Services
  1. The whole procedure from purchasing to receiving took an average of 2 weeks.
  2. Takes 24 hours to confirm your total shipping price once all items are consolidated in their warehouse. 
  3. You'll receive an email notification for every major update
  4. Reloading from paypal/ credit card there is an extra payment gateway charge, hopefully this can be removed near future for customers to save abit. If there are any unused funds left in your accounts after your order, you may transfer it back to your own bank account.
  5. There are optional services available like repackaging, photo taking, product checking with a minimal fee of 500¥
  6. Shipping quotation isn't final, you can easily select others if you feel the previous courier service you chose had exceeded your expected budget.
  7. I am charged a 6% GST fee by my country as my parcel's total value (14,000¥) has to be declared on the form in order to pass customs. So i had to pay DHL extra RM60 (bummer, no thank you Malaysia).
  8. My box was well packed and even has those air bags to fill up any empty gaps in the box to control it from moving all over the place during delivery. And some of the more fragile/ sharp items came bubble-wrapped too!

SHOPPER'S TIP: Be careful when you are shopping for fresh food on Rakuten/ Yahoo as some times doesn't ship out of Japan due to its fragile lifespan (requires to be shipped in an ice box within Japan only). But you still can get packaged snacks that has a longer shelf life like cookies and tokyo banana cakes.

Hello poppable air bags!

Overall my experience with Zenmarket is satisfying and most reasonable method of getting my items from Japan in a timely manner. So if you are looking to get some Japanese beauty & cosmetic , fashion, hobby, household products, i would highly recommend for you to try them and you don't have to make a bulk order just to split on shipping costs because as mentioned above their rates are really affordable. Definitely will be reusing their services near future, I'll leave their website and social media links below so do check them out guys!

Thank you all for reading!

You may find other related proxy service posts here:



  1. wah.. ada online shopping website yang terabru.. TB baru tau ni.. bolehlah singgah dan try shopping di website ni nanti..

  2. good to know where to shop online, I like to check them soon. I shall let my sister in law to know of this too.

  3. Didn't even realise Rakuten Malaysia closed shop. I do use proxy sites but have not shopped from Japan stores before, only Chinese. Thanks for this alert.

  4. Always wanted to buy few things from Japan! How about their shipping fees? It is expensive?

  5. I love stuffs from Japan and used to buy from Rakuten but it was rather difficult cos sometimes the sellers don't want to sell to overseas people. Thanks for sharing this and will try them soon!

  6. I always thought products from Japan must be expensive but after reading your post here, I should shop online now. Great website to get my stuffs.

  7. Okay..so this will seriously help me to get rid of my Japan travel cravings for the time being..(at least until I clear off my ptptn)... thanks babe for intro-ing this website to us!

  8. I fall in love with Japan after crazy shopping in Japan. Now I can purchase my favourite items from Japan with Zenmarket.

  9. This is my first time get to know about this online shopping site. I love Japanese products, ok going to check out the website soon. Thanks

  10. Another easy way to shop from a different country without traveling down there or paying a high fee to get your product shipped to your country

  11. Didn't know about this website until I read your post, thanks for the info sharing :)

  12. Good to know about this website, gonna make my purchase soon~ hehe

  13. Hello, thank you very much for this helpful and informative post!

    I have a question. How does the GST fee charging thing work? Is the extra fee payed to Zenmarket for them to, in turn, pay the GST at the customs?

    My parcel has just been shipped and I'm certain that I'll need to pay the GST fee. I'm just not sure as to when and how I'd have to do it. ^^'

    1. Hello! Okay usually for GST it's commonly charged when the declared item value is above RM100. It's actually very common for those shipping in items from other countries. The courier will notify you of the charged before delivering to your house.

      Hope this helps clear things up abit :)

  14. Dear Arisa, I have tried Zenmarket upon reading your review but the outcome is not what I hope. Zenmarket customer service is very good in the past but not at the current moment. I have dealt with Zenmarket as we are speaking but they miscalculate the pricing of the goods twice and then proceed to cancel the orders despite availability of stocks. This cause me some problems as I have to re-paste the links and inform them to repurchase items. I also need to deal with them on the missing funds when they cancel my orders.The customer service is consisted of some Russian customer service personnels. When I informed to the customer service manager to improve their services, Maria insisted they did not do anything wrong and refuse to apologize despite evidences. I love Japan but Zenmarket is not very honest in my experiences and I don't think they are really operated by real Japanese who might have better ethics to deal with consumers.

  15. thank your for your information, i never used shopping service i always used package forwarding service like Transbang, they perform pretty good as well and shipping rate is cheaper than others so if you need package forwarding service maybe you can go to them https://goo.gl/vjtw6L


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