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software/mp3 imports??

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  • software/mp3 imports??

    Hey guys I have a quick question.

    I am moving to Japan in 3 weeks, and am going to be bringing most of my CD collection and about 50 DVDs. Does anyone forsee me having any problems getting past customs? All of my CDs/DVDs are legitimate, however my main concern is that I also want to bring 5-10 CDRs which contain LOTS of software/MP3s which I have *ahem* downloaded ... Is this going to be a problem at Narita? Pirated software and whatnot ...

    Thanks for any advice you can offer, I would rather forgo having the software if bringing it will get me detained, etc ...


  • #2
    Re: software/mp3 imports??

    G'day Josh. My recommendation would be to avoid any hassle and chance of delay or confiscation or whatever by sending your supply by boat. Put in your winter clothes, some shoes etc. and your collection of CD's and DVD's.

    It's cheaper, takes about 4 to 6 weeks and no problems. If you send it before you leave, make sure you have a secure address, otherwise pack it now, get your address, leave 30 bucks or so with your Mom, and get her to send it when you can give her your address.

    Have a good time in Japan.



    • #3
      Re: software/mp3 imports??

      i had some similar worries when i moved here about 3 years ago - about 20 cds containing about 80 albums worth of mp3s (which were all mine, but no proof of course) and about 4gb of porn ... but it turned out to all be for nothing. they didn't even look at the cds. in fact i don't think they even checked my luggage at all. but that was before all the 9/11 stuff of course, so they might be a little more likely to hassle you these days.

      of course it depends on a lot of things, mostly the person you end up getting, what kind of a day they're having, what (they think) you look like, etc. also depends on where you're coming from ... it seems to me they might tend to be a bit more lenient/casual/whatever if you're an american, but that's just my opinion. but if you have a bunch of cds/dvds and other stuff and thus it looks like you're moving here, they may hassle you about having the proper visa, etc.

      obviously the weirder your scene looks, the more likely you are to be singled out for investigation. personally, i would be a little more worried about the visa situation - if you're coming in on a 90-day tourist visa (i'm arrogantly assuming america here), then why are you bringing all this junk?

      "jack" above offers some pretty good advice i think, when he suggests that you wait until you get settled in and then send for your stuff if possible ... another reason this is a good idea is that you don't really want to be getting here after a really long flight, and then dealing with getting all your stuff (and it sounds to me like you're kind of planning to bring quite a bit, which again i would kind of advise against for a variety of reasons) on the train or whatever from narita (another hour+), and then dealing with getting wherever you're going from there (oops, arrogantly assuming tokyo in this case) ... i say this from experience, because my own arrival (upon moving) here, even though i had tried to pack minimally, and had been here before, was an ordeal only _just_ palliated by my excitement and feeling of embarking on a new adventure.

      feel free to email me if you have any other questions ...


      • #4
        Re: software/mp3 imports??

        ... oh, one more thing i forgot to mention:

        eventually, i did have a friend back in the states send all my cds out here, and i should warn you that it was a little more expensive than jack suggests. i had around 220 cds packed in a wooden rack (which itself was pretty light) in a box about 2'x3'x9" or so. i don't know what it ended up weighing, but it cost around $200 to ship via air from california to tokyo. but then again i didn't want to wait 6 weeks either ...

        also, make sure you pack them really well (which my friend didn't do, btw), to avoid damage to the cd cases during shipping ...


        • #5
          Re: software/mp3 imports??

          thanks for the advice.

          The visa thing is hopefully not going to be an issue, I am arriving with a tourist visa but my girlfriend and I are getting married soon after I arrive, so the only problem is whether or not to tell the customs people about the marriage plans (I'm not planning on telling them, I think it would be better to just tell them I am visiting some Japanese friends for the summer) ...

          As for Jacks's advice, I am thinking that it may indeed be a better idea to ship my CDs, I can bring over maybe 50 DVDs in a CD case, plus maybe 30 games and 10 CDRs, which should be enough to hold me over until I can have my CDs shipped. The number of discs I will be bringing if I leave my CD collection at home can be fit into two 48 disc carrying cases, which is probably much less suspicious than a huge 248 disc case ... lol

          Does that sound reasonable? The last thing was the transportation issue but my girlfriend is picking me up form Narita in her car, so that shouldn't be a problem, I think ...



          • #6
            Re: software/mp3 imports??

            Immigration grants you your visa. Then in a separate area, Customs checks that you are not bringing any contraband in. Should not be an issue.


            • #7
              Re: software/mp3 imports??

              One concern is that Japan is not in your DVD zone. An American
              friend brought over a DVD from the US and could not see it
              properly in Japan.
              As far as lots of discs go, get one of those 100 disc spindles and
              keep it in your carry-on bag to avoid unneeded shaking. Should
              come out fine.


              • #8
                Re: software/mp3 imports??

                Region-free DVD players are available here in Shinbashi and Akihabara in Tokyo, and no doubt in Denden Town/ Nihonbashi in Osaka