Tokyo Otaku Mode Review

Hey guys,

I received my first order at Tokyo Otaku Mode and wanted to write about my experience here.

Tokyo Otaku Mode Review

I placed an order on 8/13 for two items:

  1. T-Shirt: 162nd Arpeggio of Blue Steel (Takao 02) Keep Cool Version
  2. Sumikko Gurashi Plushie Multi- Use Stand – Sumikko Sanpo

My Products

In terms of ordering experience, I’ve found the site to be appealing to browse through with lots of images and information on the products, but it is not the easiest to filter through/narrow down items and the 15 minute time limit for the items in your cart is a bit annoying.

There is no filter options after you go into a sub-category within a category page. For example, I was looking through their t-shirts section within the Fashion category, but they were not categorized by series, so I had to look through 7 pages of t-shirts to see if I find anything I may be interested in. The good part about their product pages was that there were a lot of images and details for most of their products so you knew exactly what you were getting. Products are also genuine; don’t have to second-guess whether they’re fakes from China or not.

One annoying thing that I’ve found is that they give you a 15 minute hold for the items in your cart. There is a live “remaining time” counter that counts down from 15 minutes from when you last updated your cart that tells you the time you have remaining before all the items in your cart is removed because your hold is over. If you’re familiar with Gilt city, it’s kind of like that, but more annoying, because they remove all the items from your cart so you would have to go back and look for them again and add them to your cart again.

This is for them to keep track of stock in real time, but personally, I’ve just been frustrated with browsing through products and having to keep track of the counter and to have to consciously add/delete an item after some time just to keep the cart “active.”


The part that I liked was after I placed my order. Right after placing the order, I received a *Free Shipping Offer* that was valid for 3 hours from when I placed my order. If I placed another order within those 3 hours, I would get free shipping; no minimum. This seems to be a nice offer for people who forget things or like to shop around after.

At the time of my order, only EMS was available and for these two items, it was $12 base + $3 per extra item. If you are not in a rush for your items and want to save money, I strongly recommend using SAL Small Packet Registered (if possible), or SAL Parcel. The prices are all weight-based and if you’re ordering a lot of items, it could cost a lot. There is a price chart here on their FAQ page for comparison of how much it would cost.

My order was shipped via EMS on 8/18. Typically, orders should take 2 business days, but there was a notice that August orders would take longer due to “sudden increase of orders,” so my order took 5 days to ship, which is not bad.

I received my package on 8/20; I’m on the East Coast of USA. It was pretty fast. I also got some goodies, an Otaku Mode clear file and a fan, shown below.

Otaku Mode Package

Opening the Package

Otaku Mode Goodies

Otaku Mode Clear File

Otaku Mode Fan

In terms of price, the products are actually not as marked up as I imagined. The shirt I ordered had a price tag of 3990 yen, which is ~$38.42. The shirt is only available at Comiket 84 as written in this post, so I was super excited to be able to order and receive a legit version of it at this price. The other plushie stand had a price tag of 1200 yen, which is ~$11.57 at the time of the post. Little to no markup on the prices, maybe a dollar or two depending on how bad the exchange rate is.

Overall, I’m happy with my order/items. Checkout was simple; they take Paypal. Only complaint with the ordering process was the 15 minute limit item hold. I think they could improve in their inventory/stock, but they do have some niche/rare items that make shopping there quite worth it. I would recommend this place.

Anyone else have Tokyo Otaku Mode experiences they’d like to share?

If you register for Tokyo Otaku Mode with my link, you can get $5 in TOM points (as of Jan 2017), 5% off your first order.

About Kaizora

A front-end web designer/developer with an interest in the human side of things.
This entry was posted in anime, order and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Tokyo Otaku Mode Review

  1. neroxyr says:

    You’re right, the 15-minute windows is annoying. The have a lot a figures, most of the are preorder. Just ordered a bunch of them but they don’t release yet. EMS is in fact the safest and fastest shipping method and really worth it. The website is really neat and so eyed-great looking. The free-shipping tag in some pre-order items are great and have a vast of otaku goodies. I ordered a cup 3 weeks ago. The wrapping is the same ase yours, very well taken care of. Will definitely buy again.

    • Kaizora says:

      I think the free shipping over $200 is a really sweet deal, especially if you’re into figurines and art prints (since cost is high). I was not aware that they have free shipping tagged items, but I will keep an eye out on those :x! Thanks for the comments and short review!

  2. Rae (@CSrae) says:

    Do they have a wish list feature like Amazon or eBay? Sometimes I end up collecting items over time esp if I’m not sure if I’m 100% interested on that day. I imagine this would get annoying if I lost my place after 15 min.

    • Kaizora says:

      They don’t have a wish list…but they do have a “Your Recently Viewed Item” List/Page that’s accessible from the home page or at (if you’re logged in). For me, I check the time every so often to make sure that it’s not close to timing out and if it’s close to timing out, I just add whatever I’m looking at to the cart, then delete it later when the time is almost up again. Another option is to just open new tabs for each item you were thinking of buying… It’s awfully annoying, but seems to be the only solution right now.

  3. jptrunks says:

    I have placed some orders with TOM and I think its an excellent site for the price, quality and shipping. It is true that the countdown is a little weird but I get used to it.

    I agree that a better filtering system would be better. However, the prices are good…especially for figures (including some preorders for free shipping) and I like that they sell authentic Japanese goods that I can’t seem to find elsewhere like Dojinshi or EVA goods.

    I will say too, they sometimes have excellent deals around Holidays and New Year. I remember between Christmas and New Year, they had that “add another order and get free shipping” and I must have used it 3 times! Everything came well wrapped with a clear folder too!

  4. ShootingHailStar says:

    Help. D: I pre-ordered a figure and it says “Pre-orders are charged immediately upon checkout. ” So does that mean I payed right away or?! I thought the point of a pre-order was not ahving to pay right away, only when it releases!

    • Kaizora says:

      Sorry, I must have missed this somehow. Yea…pre-order at Otakumode means you have to pay upfront. They wrote this on their product page:

      “About Pre-Orders
      Pre-orders are charged immediately upon checkout. Products sometimes sell out prior to their release.
      Therefore, a pre-order is recommended because it guarantees you that you will receive the product once it releases.
      As a general rule, pre-order products cannot be canceled.”

      That’s why :P.

  5. cheeselordtv says:

    I ordered a lloyd towel from and the website was ease to search with, the order was simple with PayPal and got this within 1 week. Super fast, also allowed tracking info 5 star

  6. Masumi Sasaki says:

    Do you know if Tokyo Otaku Mode is a reliable site to get Japan goods? I’m thinking about buying figures/nendoroids from here, and I want to make sure they aren’t bootlegs.

    • Kaizora says:

      Yea, they’re reliable. They are a Japanese company specifically catering Japanese otaku goods to overseas fans. A number of people have ordered from their site and I’ve seen no negative comments thus far. If you want some info on the legality of their company and how well they’re doing as a company, they’re on Crunchbase ( They raised Series B in Sep 2014, so there are some serious investors out there putting their money into this company.

  7. Pingback: Otaku Mode Referral Bonus | Without Restraints

  8. kossie says:

    they do have a wishlist! thats were i keep my items since the cart doesn’t store them for me!

  9. Annie says:

    I have Tokyo Otaku Mode boxes all over my apartment floor to the point where you have to dodge them now. I don’t find the time limit annoying because I have no problem with keeping a million tabs open, but I see how it could be annoying for internet users with different browsing styles. They have no markup to the extent that I often can get things from TOM *cheaper* than if I were buying from Tokyo Kawaii Life, Liz Lisa’s parent site. TOM is the sole reason I can dress in gyaru fashion in America.

  10. DKinMN says:

    Just a terrible experience here – I ordered several items from Otaku Mode for my daughter for Christmas…and they sent us *completely* the wrong order. It wasn’t even close. There was still time to correct the mistake, so I sent them the packing list I got with the wrong shipment, plus the order so that they could see the difference, and asked them to send us what we paid for as soon as they could. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for them – they insisted on seeing a photo of what came in the wrong shipment. Fine, but every time you email Japan you lose a day, and apparently TOM can’t be bothered to do anything on a Saturday. By the time they finally got around to shipping it to me, Christmas had come and gone. I explained to them that these were for my daughter’s Christmas…and to “make it up” they offered me three lousy TOM dollars. Just poor service and sloppy work on Tokyo Otaku Mode’s part.

    • Kaizora says:

      Sorry about your experience! I’ve never ordered through them around holiday season, but I’d definitely recommend ordering gifts a month or two ahead of time because usually around the holiday season, shipments from Japan can take longer than expected, and there is a higher margin of error with the amount of orders they receive, I imagine. They are still a small company, so I imagine they are probably short staffed around holiday season and better on off-peak seasons. If you want more reliable service from Japan, I’d definitely recommend CDJapan or even PlayAsia depending on what you’re looking to order.

  11. Ren says:

    How friendly is their customer service? Ive been following their site for some time and they have great articles about anime and games. I just wanted to know uf anyone had goid experience with their custoner service/support before I buy from them. Thanjs. Sorry for late reply. Wanted to find a good review before I buy from them. :)

    • Kaizora says:

      From my experience, they don’t do business during Japanese holidays, so even their customer service would be down during that time. It would be advised to check their holidays that before you place your order. If you contact them during that time and they can’t get back to you, they would give you $3 in TOM points for the inconvenience. They seem pretty friendly overall and cleared up any issues I’ve had.

    • Nero says:

      The custome service, as I’ve ordered dozens of time, is superb. I’ve had some problems with customs in my country because of the maximum amount of the order I can received and weight and when it surpasses they gladly have received them and have made a full refund. They are friendly and to help you in everything you say to them. If they can’t they try to give you options until there’s no more. The 3$ TOM points is true. Have a happy Otaku buying experience!

  12. Merla says:

    Although Tokyo Otaku Mode is a great site to order goods from Japan, Tokyo Otaku Mode needs to fix their shipping errors. I have tried to order 3 small plush toys that were only 13 cm tall today as a set and yet my shipping for EMS came out to $30.98 -_-. I eventually found a way around this mess by ordering each of the small plush toys separately instead of as a set and my shipping for EMS came out to be $15.37. However in the end I chose the SAL Small Packet since they offered it when you brought them separately and not as a set. Plus it was cheaper and it was only $8.59.

    I don`t know if these errors do come up when ordering figurines but for small stuffed toys or plush toys this does come up. Apparently Tokyo Otaku Mode has been having this problem since last year. So be careful when checking out and make sure the weight of your item and shipping costs add up together. Other than that the site is great besides the 15 minute time limit though.

    • Tay says:

      I wish I had read through all of the comments on this website… $24 item, $31 shipping, and I didn’t know until AFTER I placed the order. I thought the estimated cost WITH shipping was $31… I emailed them, so I hope to either cancel the order or have the cost lowered. Man, even a small extra item would make the cost a bit easier to absorb.

  13. Tay says:

    I wish that I had known that shipping would be $30 for a $24 item. I wouldn’t have ordered from the website. There was no indication that it would cost so much until the item was confirmed and the total was shown. It wasn’t a great first experience there :(

    • Kaizora says:

      Hi Tay,

      It seems like they’ve changed their shipping options since I’ve ordered from this site and I’ve updated my review to reflect the options along with their FAQ link ( with their shipping price chart (based on weight). I should have mentioned that EMS would cost quite a lot depending on the weight of your item(s), and at the time that I ordered, I believe it was calculated in cart so I was able to see how much it was… Right now they have a little footnote near the price charts that state, “For shipments that exceed 10,000 g, the estimated shipping cost will be available on the Shopping Cart page.,” so I guess they must’ve took out the estimation. I definitely would recommend to choose SAL Small Packet or SAL Parcel for the cheapest shipping method if you’re ordering here again. It takes a bit longer but would save you some money. Other option is to buy items that are marked with “Free Shipping”!


  14. Lou says:

    I agree with Tay. AFTER I placed my order they said the shipping would be $41. There we No shipping options. I cancelled the order but they took my money and said I would get a refund in a few weeks. What a ripoff! I’m going to complain to Amazon.

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