Planning to get iPad 2 in Japan this coming March 25th 2011?

iPad 2 Japan @ Ginza Apple Store

Japanese waiting to buy iPad last year. Credit photo to Reuters &

Japan will be getting their iPad 2 this coming March 25th 2011. And coincidentally, I will be going to Japan soon. This is so great. That’s why I am researching on whether should I buy iPad 2 in Japan. So, I asked someone who is expert in Apple products and lives in Japan. Here’s the excerpt:

Questions About Buying iPad 2 in Japan, Anyone?

Hi, I am going to Japan soon @ Saitama, Tokyo. I was thinking whether is it worthwhile to buy iPad 2 while I am in Japan. I saw what you wrote in your blog about buying iPad in Japan. There are a few things that I am worried of. Can you please enlighten me?

1. Will it be more expensive to buy iPad 2 in Japan? I’ve checked their lastest offering of iPad and compared the prices. Japan’s price for iPad is around RM200++ more expensive than what Malaysia Apple store can offer. More over, Japan’s currency is getting higher than Malaysia’s currency.

If you are comparing the prices between Malaysia and Japan, you’d notice that the Japanese prices are about 5% costlier than Malaysia, this is a value added tax that is levied on all purchases made in Japan BUT you can get a rebate if you show your passport and say: “PASSPORT-TO” to the salesperson (note: the “instant rebate” is only valid when your purchase is more than ¥10,000).

2. Will the iPad 2 have some tweaks made just for the Japanese which will give me trouble if I use in Malaysia? Example, the language and maybe some other issues?

No, all iPad Wifi hardware are almost the same (there are small tweaks involved but they will not affect you.), you can switch languages when you first launch the iPad, where it will ask you what language would you want to use with the iPad.

3. I read about the 5% discount for China Unionpay. Where can I apply this in Malaysia or anywhere that I can get it before I go to Japan end of this March?

Go to a Bank of China near you and ask them about the UnionPay card, they were issuing those cards before the World Expo, I don’t know if they are still doing that now. The EXTRA 5% discount on UnionPay cards are offered in YODOBASHI, so, if you are not planning on shopping in YODOBASHI, safe yourself the trouble.

4. Will iPad 2 give trouble to Malaysian customs? I have never bought any electronics items from overseas. No experience about the customs. Must I declare iPad 2?

The short answer is NO, the long answer is, if you carry only electronics goods for personal use, you are safe, but if you pushed a cart load of iPads, TVs, PSP etc past the customs officer, you’ll be in trouble.

5. Anything else that I might have overlooked? Please let me know.

If you want to keep the boxes, make sure you flat pack them into your luggage, the iPad box is a bit trickier, I’d empty the box and put other things into it so it shows up in the X-ray with a less conspicuous profile.

6. I am planning to get Nikkor 35mm/ f1.8 lens for my trip to Japan as I am having sharpness problem with my current 18-135mm Nikon D7000 kit lens. Is it worthwhile?

I bought the Nikon D7000 without the kit lens for the same reason: kit lenses are not good enough. However, if you are looking for a wide lens for daily use, I think the Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D is a better choice, but the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 is a great lens too.

Prime lenses are great investments, if you happen to have time to go to Tokyo, I can point you to the right shops for great deals.

These are the questions that I have asked him. Hope that answers some of your questions or worries. If you have anything to ask, leave a comment and I will get back to you soon! Cheers to all future iPad 2 owners.

Now, the thing to worry is whether should I get iPad 2 in white or black? Only WiFi or 3G + WiFi iPad 2. 16GB, 32GB or 64GB iPad 2?

There are speculations that Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore will get their iPad 2  two weeks or more after the March 25 2011 international markets launch. This means that Hong Kong, Taiwan & Singapore will be getting their iPad 2 around April. 2011 Maybe Malaysia will be getting their iPad 2 around May or June 2011?

What’s your say?


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19 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    I’ve read repeatedly that the only place you can buy a 3G capable iPad, in Japan, is from the phone company called Softbank (which is a hilarious name for a phone company!) And they won’t sell any iPad without a contract! That is the situation for the current iPad and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to expect it will be any different in the next two weeks than it has been, there, for the last 12 months!

  2. Matt says:

    dont want to get a 3G as it will more than likely be simlocked which means you cant add in a sim card from overseas…. Unless you hear otherwise…. buy it from somewhere else…

  3. Dollie says:

    Hi, I’m going to Tokyo on 27th March. I know the launch date will be on 25th March, and I’ll be there 2 days later. But I’m dying to have an iPad 2. Is it still possible for me to get an iPad 2 on 27th or 28th March? thanks

  4. erik says:

    You can just buy an ipad 2 from ebay or from both of those places ship worldwide and dont require a contract

  5. apple says:

    great~!! i m thinking to buy in japan too, i’ll be going on june, coz i guess m’sia will not hav it so soon since the ipad 1st generation came in so late… -_-
    btw, my fren told me tat, she tried to use her iphone in japan, but the sim card doesnt fit into her malaysia version iphone. she concludes tat the slot is different, but it looks exactly the same on the size. so if u r considering to buy the +3G, try to look into it…
    let us knw how much is the price in japan ya~!!

    * i m going to taiwan too on end of march, but too bad, they dont have it yet… sad….. =(

  6. johnkhor says:

    Yeah. I have received a few comments about that sim card issue. That’s sad. Never mind. Might not be getting iPad 2 WiFi with 3G. Now doing research.

  7. johnkhor says:

    Hi, I will be going to Japan soon. Yes. There is a chance to get iPad 2 in Japan as long as they have enough stocks standby. The basic model iPad 2 WiFi only 16GB and 32GB will usually finish first. So, let’s pray and hope that when you go to Apple store to purchase it, they will have available stock. By the way, wanna meet up to buy together? I am going with my girlfriend. 🙂

  8. johnkhor says:

    That’s a great idea and I don’t usually buy from websites. eBay maybe but others I have my doubts. Anyhow, thanks for the idea. It might help my other readers. Thanks a lot!!! 🙂

  9. johnkhor says:

    Haha. Never mind. I will buy the iPad 2 and sell it back to you, brand new. But +20% for the hassle. Want or not?

    Yeah, I read about the sim card issue too. Too bad. Never mind, when I get my iPhone 5, I can use Personal Hotspot. 🙂

    I will certainly let you know the price when I purchased it. Keep coming back ya!

    Taiwan!!! I love Taiwan! It’s like my second home. I went to Taiwan twice in a year. Fell in love with the place, chocolate milk tea, pudding milk tea, cleanliness, efficient mrt, safety, shopping, yang ming shan and etc. So nice!

  10. pinaygirl123 says:

    Hi! I’m going to Japan on April 21 and also planning to buy the ipad 2 there. But I’m afraid that it might be out of stock and retailers will increase the price cuz of the demand. From last year’s experience, after the launching of the 1st iPad, was there available stock?

  11. Ray says:

    Hey, earthquake now! Don’t go!

  12. johnkhor says:

    Hi, thanks for the advice. Still waiting to know how is the situation now. Might be going too depending whether Haneda Airport is open or not. I want to see it myself the damage of the earthquake and want to help out the people there. 🙂

  13. johnkhor says:

    Hi pinaygirl123, congratulations for being able to go to Japan to buy the iPad 2. I believe with the earthquake, you might want to consider changing your plan and wait for Malaysia iPad2 launch? Some models for iPad 2 might be out of stock based on last year’s and our own Malaysia’s iPad launch. So, wish you best of luck. About the price, Apple Store will never increase their price because of great demand. Other retailers, I am not so sure. Best of luck. 🙂

  14. apple says:

    Hi, so are you still going to Japan few more days later?
    i m worry of the radioation…
    is ok, i will buy it mysf~ jz let me know how is japan currently n whether u advice us to go or not to go…. 10q~!! ^_^

  15. johnkhor says:

    I am not going already. Don’t want to take the risk. Somemore, iPad 2 launch in Japan is delayed. iPad 2 is scheduled to launched in Singapore in April 2011. Better get it there because there’s some issue with iPad 2 display.

  16. apple says:

    i see, then let’s wait together~ ^_^
    thanks for ur info ya~!!
    i m hoping that AA can offer us to do the credit shell…

  17. apple says:

    i got mine on the 1st day launch… ^_^ u?

  18. johnkhor says:

    @apple: congrats!!! i got mine too on the 1st day of launch!!!

  19. Chris says:

    Hi Jhon, just wondering if you were able to purchase ipad2 in japan? just wanted to know if it’s possible to use in the philippines? like the language or voltage are there any difference? Because most of the gadgets I have that was purchased in japan are 110 volts and in japanese language, which is a bit difficult to use here. Your response would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!

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