Many international Kairosoft fans expected the localized version of Epic Astro Story to hit their App Stores a few days after the Japanese version was released. (See this thread for some trends on the release times of Kairosoft games.) However, even as of this post, the game has not shown up outside of Japan. Due to this, many fans have been inquiring how to register for a iTunes Japan account as it’s widely known that the Japanese version already includes the English translated text.
Generally, to sign up for any iTunes account outside of your home country, you will need a credit card with billing information that belongs to an address in the other country. However, anyone can create an account to download free apps, songs, or books by using the following method.
(Click on an image to see its full size. Please note that the screenshots are from iTunes version 10.5.3.3 for Windows so there’s a possibility that they might look slightly different than your version. Also, my screens are in English since that’s the language I chose to install iTunes with so yes, text in parts of the Japanese App Store should partially show up in English or whatever language you installed with. Isn’t that great? :3)
1. First off, download iTunes. (The link goes to the US Apple page.) If you have a portable Apple device, you pretty much have to had installed iTunes at some point to sync it to the program.
2. Go to the bottom of the iTunes home screen and select the little country flag icon.
3. Once on the page where you can select another country, scroll down to Asia Pacific and choose Japan.
4. On the Japanese iTunes page, you can either head to App Store to choose to download any free apps there (just pick any from the Top Charts list of Free Apps on the right sidebar) or do a search for any free app or a company that offers demo/Lite/free versions of their software like Kairosoft.
6. Fill in all the information on this screen! You can uncheck the boxes if you don’t want any info from Apple. When you’re done, click “Continue”.
7. Now here’s where the fun begins. Select “None” and ignore the code redemption & gift certificate field unless you actually have a Japanese iTunes gift card to use. As for the account information, this is what you need to know:
- You can enter your name in whatever language you use. Likewise, for the fields that require the phonetic spelling of your name, just re-enter whatever you wrote for Last and First Name.
- Postal codes, along with the city and prefectures, are at http://homepage1.nifty.com/tabotabo/pzips/jp_post_zip.htm. Choose a prefecture and on the next page, the lists are read as postal code, city, and then street. Note that you may need to add a hyphen after the first 3 numbers of the postal code for iTunes to accept it.
- For the telephone number, you can enter whatever you want.
When you’re done filling out the information, click “Create Apple ID”. That’s it! ^_^
Additional Information: Buying Apps
For apps that require monetary payment, you will need to locate some source to obtain a Japanese iTunes gift card such as eBay, JBox (http://www.jbox.com/product/ITUNESCARD), or The NPP Store (http://nihongoperapera.com/store/index.html) Depending on the seller, they may e-mail you the code. Some can provide it to you within a few hours while others will send it next business day. I’ve only used JBox to get my cards and always got my codes through e-mail so I can only vouch for them.
When you have the card or code, go to the bottom of the iTunes Japan store and choose “Redeem”.
On the code redemption screen, type in the code and click “Redeem”.
Now you can start buying Kairosoft Japanese games to your heart’s content! ^_^