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Accessing Nintendo eShops from other regions


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  • Retromags Curator

It's great that the Switch is region free, but access the eShop for another region - specifically Japan - seems like a huge hassle. Setting up the Nintendo Account for it is easy enough and takes no time at all. The problem is when you want to set up a way to pay for purchases in the eShop. Domestic (North American) credit cards don't work. Unless you know a Kitsunebi in Japan that can get eShop gift cards for you and is willing to do so, finding them online from a trustworthy site that isn't sold out is tough. The last option is setting up a Japanese PayPal account, which is also a huge hassle.

Has anyone gained access to the eShop and purchased games? Was it a huge hassle? How did you do it?

I'm currently waiting for PayPal's pending charge to show up on my credit card statement so that I can confirm it even though the site was fussing about the 7-11 Kyoto address I chose to use. I transferred 1400 Yen to my Japanese Paypal account from my Canadian one, but when I go to add PayPal to my eShop account, it asks for a credit card.

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I haven't owned any consoles since before e-shops were a thing, so I've got zero experience with this, but I can confirm that Japanese websites will sometimes refuse foreign credit cards (since my credit card is American).  Of course, there's usually no need to use it, since everyone pays for everything with cash.  I pay for all of my utilities and my Amazon orders in cash at a convenience store.  Maybe that's why they fussed about the 7-11 address.  They'd be thinking, "Why would someone use a credit card at a 7-11 when they could just pay cash?"🤣  I think they get charged a slightly higher service percentage to accept foreign cards, so if Nintendo is refusing them, it's because they're cheapskate tightwads.  But we already knew that.

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  • Retromags Curator

So I have had success. It seems like when I was setting up the Japanese Paypal account, I didn't see that I had to manually request a test charge to my credit card when I added it. I did that yesterday and the charge showed up today. Once I entered the confirmation code I was good to go. Then I was able to add Paypal to my Japanese eshop account and buy stuff. Which I did. Now I can explore some of the games we'll never get in the west.

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  • Retromags Curator
4 hours ago, JHD said:

How easy is it to navigate these e-shop sites without a reading knowledge of Japanese? 

It's not too bad if you remember where everything is in English. I only went in a couple of times; once was just to browse, so I relied on the thumbnails for that.

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