Of Apple Stores in Tokyo and Custom Configurations...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iindigo, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. iindigo macrumors 6502a

    iindigo

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    Hey!


    I'm currently located in Tokyo for the purposes of attending college and with my leftover college loan money for this semester being disbursed in about a week or so, I'm looking to upgrade my painfully aged 2.1Ghz 20" iMac G5 (don't get me wrong, it's a faithful machine, but it's become painful to do anything extensive with graphics and ESPECIALLY anything video related, which is not a good thing when you're a digital art major).

    My current intended configuration is a 27" iMac with the following changes:
    • Core i7
    • An extra 4GB RAM (not absolutely sure, I may buy and install it myself)
    • Wired US keyboard (keep in mind that keyboards included with Macs sold in Japan, are, duh, Japanese by default)
    • Apple Remote

    I also might opt for the 2TB HD as well, as I already have two 500GB externals and my iMac G5's 250GB internal full, but I'm not entirely sure it's worth it (especially since I may swap out the internal for a SSD in the future).


    Here's where the questions come in. First, of the two Apple retail stores in Tokyo, which is the "main"/bigger one? The one in Shibuya or the one in Ginza?

    Second, is my requested configuration outside the scope of what Apple stores typically keep stocked?

    Any recommendations regarding the machine's configuration are quite welcome as well.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    IIRC they're both pretty much the same size. It's been a while though.

    Apple Stores typically do not carry custom configurations, and I highly doubt they'd have a US keyboard.
     
  3. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #3
    The Apple Stores in Japan do have the US keyboards but you're right about the i7. He'd need to order that from the Apple Japan online store or via telephone.
     
  4. iindigo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iindigo

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    They seriously don't carry any i7s? Really? I always thought it was a popular build...

    Honestly, I would just order online, but then getting my student discount is a royal pain in the ass, especially since my Japanese capability, while not nonexistent, is very low. In a retail store, I can just show them my student ID and be on my way...

    Also, with the current wave of yellow-screened iMacs, it would be nice to be able to crack it open on the spot, check if it had the curse, and exchange it then and there if necessary.
     
  5. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #5
    Just download the Rikaichan plug-in for Firefox and Japanese websites are no problem.

    If you want a custom configuration, you have to order it online--what the stores carry configuration-wise doesn't change country to country.

    Also, the Apple stores here carry English keyboard versions of their computers--I got my Air in Shinsaibashi with an English keyboard.

    Ginza is the bigger store.
     
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #6
    It's not a matter or popularity but the i7 is considered a 'Built To Order' machine which means it is only available for special order. You can try asking at the Apple Store if they can arrange an order for you. It can't hurt to ask.

    I use the Apple Japan Online Store for Education but if Japanese is an issue for you then just call the English Sales Line at 0120-99-4477. They'll handle everything for you in English.

    I've heard that some retail stores in the US are stocking i5 iMacs. Otherwise, this is a chance you will just have to take. My i7 has no yellow tinge, for what it's worth. :)

    Excuse me? Rickaichan is a great tool for reading kanji and kana but will be of absolutely no help whatsoever for entering Japanese text, which would obviously be necessary for placing online orders at the Japan Store. I prefer to place my orders online but I can see where it would be daunting to someone with less than fluent Japanese ability.
     
  7. nick1516 macrumors 6502a

    nick1516

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #7
    Question for you since your in college in japan, is it going to be a significant handicap to not know any japanese? Or is english widespread enough throughout the country and the media to be fine? Just wondering as when I go to college, Japan was one of the top countries that I wanted to study abroad in.
     
  8. iindigo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iindigo

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #8
    While one can survive without knowing Japanese, you'll be limited in what you can do. You'll be able to keep most of the basics running, but anything beyond that is iffy. I am personally studying Japanese very intensely at the moment and will not remain unable to communicate for another year.

    @SaSaSushi:
    Thanks, the English line will be of great help. I have one other question, however... if I were to order online or on the phone, will I need a debit or credit card? I have a bank card for my Japanese bank account, but no debit card (as far as I can tell, such a thing is next to nonexistent here). Is that sufficient?
     
  9. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #9
    I'm sure they can give you details for bank transfer which you can then take to your bank (alternatively, withdraw cash from your bank and take it to their bank) for processing. You do not need to have a credit card or a debit so far as I know. They probably will just hold processing on your order until they've confirmed the cash transfer into their account. Give them a call. They are extremely helpful and will be able to answer any questions.

    I hope you enjoy your new i7 as much as I have been enjoying mine! ;)
     
  10. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #10
    The good news is that since you have no choice but to speak Japanese to function in Japan, one learns quickly. ;)

    January 20th will mark 16 years for me here. I couldn't speak much either when I stepped off the plane. So long as you're willing to study hard and learn the language and culture a lack of Japanese skill is no reason to forego travel/study here. :)
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    Like SaSaSushi said, there's a phone number that you can call and get English service.

    Also, Ginza is like 3-4 stories, and is the bigger and better store. ;)
     
  12. oftheheavens macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    cherry point
    #12
    Ginza is by far the bigger store, and for when you learn Japanese there is a classroom on the 3 (maybe 2nd floor if it is only 3 stories, but i think it is 4 total) floor that you can sit in on for free and learn cool stuff with macs.

    I also have the i7 with not 1 single issue. I ordered mine via the internet on the american apple site and had it shipped to me here in japan through an APO shipping company APOBox.com (or something like that). It arrived just fine due to the amazing pack job apple does.

    Japan stores do have american kb's because apple is primarily an American based company that serves internationally their product. it will be an american kb with kanji (or whatever) on it, or just plain english.

    whew..think that answered most if not all your questions. Get the i7 you won't regret it!
     
  13. Dekimasu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    A couple of things to remember:

    Even with the education discount, the computer will still be more expensive to buy in Japan than it would be in the US. So if you won't be here long and you can possibly wait, I'd recommend it.

    If you are going to be here for a while, you may want to take the time to get used to a Japanese keyboard. At first I didn't like them very much, but now I find that it's been much simpler to use a Japanese keyboard 100% of the time. My fingers got used to the new setup, whereas they were always confused when I was switching back and forth. The only key that's really a pain to use is the apostrophe, and you can switch from English to Japanese with one keystroke.

    If you go to a physical store, they will have people there who speak English and can help you get a BTO through the Japanese website, even if they don't have the computer you want. So I don't see any reason to avoid going to the store.
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    That depends entirely on the exhange rate. When I bought my i7 (with the 7% edu discount) the exchange rate was about 87 yen to the dollar. I did the math and it was cheaper than the same machine in the US. When the yen is weak it is absolutely more expensive to buy the same machines in the Japan Store though.

    God, I hate Japanese keyboards and although I am forced to use them every day at a university I work at I will never get used to them. The single henkan key is no advantage for me. It's a simple two key press in both OS X and Windows for me to switch to Japanese and then Romaji with the space bar as the henkan key. Some people actually use kana input with the Japanese keyboards but how they do it is beyond me.

    I agree with that. Actual human interaction is always the best. :)
     

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