These shops will ship outside of Japan:
pants shop avenue
The following Rakuten sellers will not ship outside of Japan:
OT-EMENS (ot & emotional mens)
Original post is by Pauken4
I am far from an expert in these matters and gladly await input from the more experienced members of this forum.
As far as I can tell there are a number of options for buying denim from Japan. I have bought several pairs of jeans recently and thought that my experience might be useful to others.
Option 1: Visit Japan. This would clearly be the best way the see all brands and styles, try on, and buy at the best possible price.
Option 2: Have a friend buy them for you and have them carry or send them back. Size and fit will always the be inquestion. Fortunately there is a whole lot of info on this forum about size and fit, but as we all know, one man's skinny is another man's baggy.
Option 3: Rent a friend. There are individuals that are living in Japan that will shop for, buy, have the alterations done, and send you jeans for a commision. The service the Derrick (xcoldricex) offers in excellent! In particular, he can find things not available online and is willing to do the leg work, that would otherwise be impossible. It might be an imposition on a friend to hunt down an obscure shop, buy you jeans, have them hemmed and return in a couple of days to pick them up while on their vacation. The pair of PBJ AI-001's that I bought through Derrick are amazing! I paid on Monday and the jeans arrived hemmed at my door on Thursday.
Option 4: Buy online through a bid service. I have read alot about the bid services provided by Celga and Jun, but have not used them.
People on this forum and at SF have all seemed to all have had good experiences. For a commission they will buy items online in Japan, have them shipped locally, then ship them to you in the US. The upcharge can be as much as 30% or more when all is said and done. They can bid on an eBay, Yahoo, or Rakuten auction for you as well as buying at online stores, which give you an option not available elsewhere.
Option 5. Find your jeans outside of Japan. Iron Hearts and Sugar Cane for example can be purchased online from english speaking vendors outside of Japan.
I'm sure there must be others as well. These are just a couple of brands that I was interested in.
Few shops in the US, deal in Japanese denim. See the thread on Blue in Green in NYC, just opened. I guess there is Denim bar in Los Angeles as well.
If others have sources, please share!
Option 6: Buy them directly from Japan without a middleman. This can be difficult if you do not speak Japanese. Samurai will sell directly to you, and answers email inquiries in English. Studio D'Artisan will not ship outside of Japan. I haven't tried others, but it can't hurt to try.
I bought a pair of black Sugar Canes last week, directly from a Rakuten shop, using the Google translator. I paid only price, plus tax, plus shipping to the US. The total upcharge was around $20. This is probably the most economical way to go, but may not always work and is only limited to what you can find at a Rakuten shop.
Here were my steps.
Update by Ayn
superrag's instructions no longer works, I was helping one of my blog readers with Rakuten and a Google search yielded this link:
At Super Rag, they have instructions to setting up your own Rakuten ID and account in english.
I followed the instruction on "how to order". Once my Rakuten ID was set-up. I followed the instructions and order a pair of Sugar Cane Edo- AI's. The total was less than $300. I recieved an email from them the next day in excellent English, informing me that they were out of stock in the size that I had ordered, and offered to help me with anything else.