Registering for a Japanese iTunes Account without a Credit Card

Each country has its own iTunes music store. In order to buy music from iTunes Japan, you must register a Japanese account even if you already have an account in another country.

Normally, a Japanese credit card is required to register an account, but this guide will show you how to register without a credit card by using an iTunes Japan gift card.

Is the Japanese store in English?

Originally, everything in the Japanese store was displayed in Japanese. However, in late 2011, Apple updated the store and now the interface of the store is displayed in the language of your iTunes software (if iTunes is in English, the menus in the store will be in English, too.)

The pictures in the guide below are of the iTunes store in Japanese. I am leaving them for reference in case anyone has to register a Japanese account with a Japanese computer.

The guide still works if you are using English-- click the same places and enter the same information.

How to Register a Japanese Apple ID

  1. Open iTunes and go to the iTunes Music Store. In the bottom right corner of the iTunes Music Store homepage, there is a circle that includes an image of the flag of the store of the country you are currently accessing. Click this circle. (In the example, the user is accessing the United States music store.)
    click your country's flag
  2. Choose "Japan" (日本) from the list of music stores.
    step 2
  3. To ensure the "None" (no credit card required) option appears later in this process, choose a free app from the App Store. Any app is ok, and you do not need to have an iOS device.
  4. Click "iTunes card/コードを使う" (Redeem a code) from the menu on the right.
    click to redeem the code
  5. Enter the gift code at the prompt. Do not include spaces. Then click "iTunes Card/コードを使う" (Redeem a code).
    enter the code
  6. Click "アカウント作成" (Create Account).
    create an account
  7. Click the checkbox to agree to the terms and conditions. Then click "続ける" (Continue) to continue.
    agree to the terms and conditions
  8. A welcome screen will appear. Click "続ける" (Continue) to continue.
    pass by the welcome screen
  9. Enter your personal information. In #1, input your e-mail address. Your e-mail address must not already be registered to another iTunes account. You may need to make a new e-mail address with Gmail or Hotmail for this purpose.
    In #2, input your password. Passwords must:
    • Be at least 8 characters
    • Include letters and numbers
    • Include at least one uppercase letter (ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ)
    In #3, input your secret question, secret answer, and birthday. This will be used to recover your password later if necessary. Make sure to write down the answer to your secret question; you will need this answer if you ever lose the password to your account. Finally, in #4, uncheck the two boxes if you do not wish to receive marketing communications from Apple Japan. Then click "続ける" (Continue) to proceed.
    enter your personal information
  10. To register without a credit card, make sure that "なし" (None) is selected for #1. Also make sure your code is listed correctly in #2 (this should be automatic, but double check). In #3, first input your name in English and then in katakana. If you cannot write your name in katakana, cutting and pasting any katakana (such as トクメイ) should be fine.
    Next, input a Japanese address. Apple checks that the city, prefecture, and postal code are valid. If you do not have a Japanese address, it is possible to input the address of a hotel or business, although this may violate Apple's terms and conditions.
    In the example, the "郵便番号" (Postal code) is set to "100-0006," the "都道府県" (Administrative area) to "東京都" (Tokyo) [Hint: to locate this item on the list, look for the 都 in the final position: there is only one entry in the middle of the list with this character], and "市区町村" (City) to "Chiyoda-ku."
    Last, you must input a phone number. Apple will accept the phone number provided in the example, 080 55555555.
    Click "続ける" (Continue) and you're all done!
    enter your address
  11. Congratulations, your registration is complete! Enjoy the music, movies, and apps!
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