Visiting Japan from UK - Spending Spree Advice Required!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mesut Ozil, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. Mesut Ozil macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2013
    Evening all,

    I'm visiting Japan in a couple of weeks and was considering purchasing an iphone 6 and a 15" Retina Macbook Pro. There's a bit of a saving on the UK prices.

    Any tips or advice?

    Points to note:

    - I can get the education discount in the UK :)

    - I know it might be difficult/impossible to get a UK keyboard

    - I'm aware that there might be LTE issues but I would REALLY like some clarification on this. shows all the countries and bands but I still can't tell if I'm going to have issues with a Japanese iphone in the UK....:confused:
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    iPhone 6 should be perfectly fine back here. As for the MacBook a friend managed to get an American layout in China last month. Suppose you'll have to shop around.
  3. Mesut Ozil thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2013
    Nice one. If I'm saving a few £££, I'd gladly take a US keyboard layout....
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Don't forget that you may have to pay import duties if they find out about it at the airport in UK.
  5. Mesut Ozil thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2013
    I think it still works out cheaper even if you do!
  6. crenz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2003
    Shanghai, China
    I bought my Mac mini in Japan (no keyboard issues there!). One thing I noted: Without a Japanese address/account, it seems to be impossible to preorder hardware, and you basically have to take what they have at the store. If you plan to customize your MacBook, I suggest to get a friend or colleague from Japan to preorder for you online (you can then fetch it in the store).
  7. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014
    Do you care about the ability to turn off the sound when you use a camera?

    Japan by law requires cell phones to make the shutter noise when you take a pic. I do not know about the UK but I know on the US release phones you can turn this noise off. Its a minor thing but just giving the heads up with a JDM phone you cannot turn off the noise.

    Long story short for this is they enforce the sound to discourage some creative photography to put it as mild and pg as I can by the preverts on say trains.
  8. monty77 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    UK, South Coast
    Is it really any cheaper than buying at the tax free stores in UK before you go (for the laptop at least)? I visited the Apple store in Ginza when I was there (albeit a little while ago) and prices weren't that special.

    Happy shopping :)

    ..and as for the p*rverts they have all kinds of crazy stuff to spoil their fun. Separate sections on the subway were the funniest - pink zone is ladies only in peak times as some gentlemen can't keep hands to themselves when it's crowded - crazy (but amazing) place!
  9. expand macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008
    In Japan the MBP US key is a special order only available from Apple online store, occasionally one might popup in Akihabara district but usually they are special order refurbs with 1TB flash drives for example. There have been no US key refurbs for over a year from Apple Japan online. Apple is increasing prices on all its products recently along with J tax to 8% (soon to be 10%). Macbook pros are up about 30% from pre May prices. You might be able to score one on Yahoo auctions but you will need contact with Japanese skills, an auction account and J bank account/address.
    Conclusion a) : get one in the US, plenty of choice for refurbs as well. Also check out what MSI are doing with notebooks in the US. The GTX 970M says it all over Apples 3rd level graphics.
    I'm in Japan for work but will fly to the US for the price / choice available there.
  10. Tamo'shanter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2015
    Some fantastic info here. Thanks for all the replies.

    15" rMBP - It sounds as though it might be difficult to get the US keyboard and there might not be a significant saving, anyway.

    iPhone 6 - I'm not a pervert but thanks for the camera shutter info, certainly had me chuckling :D

    I envisaged arriving back in the UK laden with Apple products but this is what I might actually do:

    - Buy a 15" rMBP from the UK store using student discount (maybe wait for BTS offers)

    - Buy a pervert-friendly iPhone 6 from eBay UK

    For guidance:

    Standard UK prices:

    iPhone 6 Plus 64GB = £699

    15" rMBP (intel graphics) = £1599

    Student Discount UK prices:

    iPhone 6 Plus 64GB = £699

    15" rMBP (intel graphics) = £1359

    Standard Japan prices:

    iPhone 6 Plus 64GB = £586 (110,800 Yen - ex tax)

    15" rMBP (intel graphics) = £1189 (224,800 Yen - ex tax)

    I believe sales tax is currently 8% in Japan (rising to 10% in October) but if you show your passport, you do not need to pay it.
  11. expand macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008
    Best rate today I see is ¥180.5 ie £1245 on GPA (have at Narita also I think) but folks on the Visit Japan forums may well know of a better option
    happy shopping either way
  12. Tamo'shanter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2015

    Thanks for that. I think all the keyboard stuff has made it unlikely that I'll get the Macbook. Might still pick up an iPhone if there's a saving, though.

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11 July 5, 2015