What is Otsukai？
Named after the Japanese word for 'errand', Otsukai is a service that helps you get hold of Japan-exclusive items! Instead of browsing through a catalog of items and buying what is available, you instead upload a description of the item you would like to buy. We simply call these Requests. Our Japanese users (who we call Friends) can browse Requests and start searching for items online or in brick-and-mortar stores. If a Friend finds the item from your Request or something else they think you may like, they will calculate all the costs including shipping and make you an offer. The price you see is the price you pay. All you have to do is choose the offer which works best for you to send the Japanese user on an Errand!
How does Otsukai work?
STEP 1: Place a Request
Let the Otsukai Friends know what items you’re looking for. Just sign up, log in and click on Request an item! Fill in the details of what you are looking for and your Request will be published on Otsukai. You can be very specific or quite open— find out more about making Requests here: Placing a Request.
STEP 2: Wait for a Friend in Japan to make an offer
After placing a Request you just need to wait for a Friend living in Japan to make an offer. Don’t forget to leave comments for the Friend if you have any questions or would like to give more details. You can read more about how Offers work here: Managing Your Requests and Offers
STEP 3: Accept the best offer and make payment
If you are satisfied with a particular offer, you can accept it by clicking on Buy Now. You will then proceed to the PayPal checkout. Once the payment has been processed, your Request will be marked with the word Fulfilled and an Errand page will be created for your order. Otsukai will safely keep hold of your money until the Errand is complete.
Read more about payment and the fees included in your order here: Payment Methods and Fees
STEP 4: Receive your item
After making payment, the next step is to wait patiently for a shipping notification. Once the item has been shipped you will receive an email with the tracking number enclosed. You can also go to the Errand page for your order to check its status. Read more about shipping here: About Shipping.
STEP 5: Mark your item as arrived and rate the Friend
Let us know when your item has arrived safely by logging into Otsukai and marking the Friend as either 'good' or 'bad'. You can also leave a comment and/or some photos of your goodies for your Friend to see. Your Errand will officially be complete once you have rated the Friend and they have rated you back. Otsukai will then pass on the money (excluding service charges) to the Friend. Read more at After Receiving Your Item.
Please note that some of the features on Otsukai are not yet available on the smartphone application. Please use the browser version of Otsukai for the full set of features.
Before You Start
Please make sure you familiarize yourself with the following points before you use Otsukai.
Requests must be written in English. You are also welcome to use Japanese if you have a basic understanding of the language. We do not recommend using machine-translated Japanese as it can be very difficult to understand. Requests or comments written in any other languages may be deleted without warning.
We only currently accept payment via PayPal. All payments are calculated in United States Dollars, although they may display in your local currency once you are in the PayPal checkout. PayPal is a safe way of completing transactions because of its secure and encrypted website and buyer protection. Read more about PayPal at https://www.paypal.com/
You, the user, make payment to Otsukai when you accept the offer. We keep this money safe until you mark the item as having arrived. We will then pass the money onto the Friend minus service charges.
The price that the Friend inputs when making an offer already includes shipping and any additional fees such as transport and packing costs. A 10% Otsukai service fee and an 8% PayPal/currency conversion fee are then added on top. The price you see in an offer already includes all these charges and therefore the price you see is the price you pay.
Regarding Customs Charges
It is possible that your items may be held back by customs in your country for tax inspection. Depending on your country, you may have to pay duty on your items. Please understand that neither Otsukai nor the Friend are responsible for any extra charges.
Regarding Restricted Items
Some items are prohibited. You can see a list of such items here: What to Request or Not Request
Please also be aware that there may be additional restrictions depending on your country of residence. Otsukai can take no responsibility if you order something that cannot be imported into your country.
Regarding Cancellations and Returns
You cannot cancel your Requests after payment. Please very carefully check the details of your Request and the offer you would like to accept before you make any payments. Items cannot be returned except in certain circumstances.
Please see Returns and Refunds for more details.
Guidelines / Rules
Only request items from Japan
Otsukai is a system to help you get hold of items only available in Japan.
No personal info or contact information
All communication must be done directly on Otsukai or via our support center. This means no email addresses or social media handles anywhere on Otsukai except in specific circumstances. You can read more on why here at Can I Contact the Friend Directly?
No Requests for prohibited items
Although Otsukai strives to give users the freedom to make Requests for any Japanese item they want, there are some restrictions in place as some items cannot be shipped internationally.
Please read through What to Request or Not Request before making your first Request.
No inappropriate images
Adult items such as adult games, manga etc are permitted on Otsukai but you must not post any images of a violent or sexual nature. If you would like to use an image relating to your requested item, please crop it so that NSFW (not safe for work) areas of the image cannot be seen. The title of the Request should be the official name of the product like the game or manga's title and nothing more. Please do not use terms like ‘R18’, ‘hentai’, ‘eroge’, ‘adult’ etc in the Request's title. Requests containing these words may be deleted without warning. If you are not sure if it's okay to post your Request, feel free to run it by us first by creating a ticket with some details and we will be very happy to assist.
You don't need to make multiple Requests for the same item. Making multiple Requests for the same item with the sole purpose of 'bumping' your Request to the top page may result in your Requests getting deleted.
Otsukai Support Team
If you ever encounter a problem, have questions not answered in the guide or if you have some feedback you would like to share with us, please don't hesitate to contact us by creating a support ticket. We will reply as soon as possible, but please note that our office hours are 09:00 - 18:00, Mondays to Fridays (Japan Standard Time / GMT+9). Don't forget to include important details into your ticket:
- Email address
- Link to Request or offer you are referring to
Create a new ticket here: