May 8, 2019
When I first came to Japan, I had an issue with buying games online because I did not have a local credit card. Many of my digital accounts did not accept my card back home, and since indie games were not available physically, I could not really play them as they came out. Buying a pre-paid credit card also did not work as they were blocked. If you are facing the same issue for your Nintendo Switch, particularly from the Japanese Nintendo e-Shop, I would like to turn your attention to Amazon and buying digital games there.
Not all games sell their digital codes online but the bigger profile games so -- both AAA and indies. When you buy them from Amazon, they do not ship you a code, but instead you immediately receive the code via e-mail.
The process is quite simple and convenient, but I was indeed a bit nervous the first time I tried it, as I was buying something non-physical from a seller after all. So here is how you do it:
Find the game you want on the Amazon page. I was buying Stardew valley and was pleasantly surprised by the 12% off that Amazon was offering for this and many other digital games. Before you buy a game from the Nintendo Store, check the prices here too. The red box shows this is a digital version and not physical.
Check out the game and purchase it as you do with anything else you buy there, and it will take you to the next page.
Before you are finished, you will see this button that says, “Use this item digitally,” on the page with the receipt. This brings you to a page with the code. Alternatively, you could also wait a couple of minutes for the e-mail from Amazon with the code displayed directly.
Back to your Switch now. Open up the Nintendo e-shop and log into your Japanese account. Here is where you would click to redeem your code/games. Put in the code you have received.
Tadaaaa - The download would start and very soon Stardew Valley was installed and there I was spending five hours of my evening farming and talking to my digital town folks. Simple process and it saved me a bit of yen as well. Thanks to this method, I have yet to need to connect my credit card with my account, and I would like to keep it like that.
Of course, this also means you can use your Amazon points to buy games! I know where all my saved up amazon points will go to from now on.