Imaginatorium Shop
Covid-19: Shop status

We are accepting orders again, but with very limited shipping options, which we have to handle manually. Please use the checkout form to request puzzles, and we will get back to you when we can. Please see below for more details.

Jigsaw puzzles from Japan

Titles in stock:
1029
Around 2500 by special order

Welcome to the Imaginatorium Shop, now in our nineteenth year!

From our base in Japan (here!), we send jigsaw puzzles anywhere in the world. Most of the hundreds of puzzles we have in stock feature oriental themes, but the high quality of Japanese-made puzzles (exquisite printing, really solid card stock, and clean cutting) also makes "reverse imports" highly desirable — puzzles of Peanuts, Disney, and lots of other Western characters popular in Japan. In general, if a puzzle is available in Japan, we can get it for you within a week or so - see the special orders page.

Covid-19: Shop status updates

December (apologies for the long delay in updating this) Things are gradually gradually getting better. But there are still many countries (e.g. United States and Australia) to which we can only offer either Yamato express (handled by UPS in the States) or surface, and one or two setbacks (Canada: now no express service at all).

The checkout is still not re-enabled; we have to calculate too many things manually. So for the time being, please use the form on the checkout page to make a request for puzzles, and select whether you are looking for speed, at higher than the normal cost, or economy, which may take even longer than normal.

So how long will it take?
  • EMS is the Post Office express courier service; where is it not available we can generally use Yamato. Delivery times are similar for both services: normally 5-7 days, but with universal delays nothing is guaranteed, and it is better to anticipate two or three weeks.
  • Airmail, where available, is taking much longer than normal. For example to Canada we have had several cases taking one month; in practice this is the SAL service at the regular airmail cost.
  • Surface is the only economy option, and it is slow, typically 8-10 weeks to North America or Europe, somewhat less to Asia or Australia. But it seems that surface is hardly affected by the pandemic, so extra delays are not common.
How much will it cost?
  • EMS express (where available): as always, this costs a premium over the regular airmail parcel rate, proportional to the weight. For example, two 1000-piece puzzles to Europe: 5200 yen.
  • Yamato express: unfortunately uses a crazy system of "sizes", based on the sum of the dimensions of the package. There are huge jumps from each "size" to the next, and the cost varies from less than EMS to several times as much, depending on how close the shape of the package is to a cube! We cannot calculate any of this automatically, because we have to measure the actual package size. For example, to the US: four 1000-piece Ghibli puzzles 4900 yen, but two 1000-piece Haruyo puzzles 9300 yen.
  • Airmail: for example, two 1000-piece puzzles to Europe: 3050 yen.
  • Surface: the only real economy method available at present. For a single puzzle it costs almost as much as airmail, but the real saving comes with a larger order of at least three or four puzzles. For example: four 1000-piece puzzles to Canada: 3600 yen.

The above examples are to North America and Europe; express rates to Europe are slightly higher than N America, and all rates to Asia are somewhat less.

Other issues
  • Our most popular shipping method has always been SAL, economy (low-priority) airmail. This is suspended everywhere, and since it relies on the vast overcapacity of commercial airlines is not likely to return in the near future.
  • We have had big supply issues, but the list of temporarily unavailable titles is now below 100. If you want an out-of-stock puzzle, just ask and we will get back to you when we have stock.

(Puzzle of the month suspended)

2021 is the Year of the Ox

The next symbol in the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac (see Wikipedia article)... and a new collection of all twelve animals...

Latest additions

Contemporary Western artists

New Evangelion puzzles...

More children's characters: Sumikkogurashi, all about living and studying

Hello Kitty and friends — latest smaller puzzles...

...and more children's anime characters

Latest Peanuts ... more tiny pieces!

And more...

Chit-chat

Brian Chandler

—December—

It is now too late for any puzzle order to arrive by Christmas, but this year there simply was no "Order deadline" – all services are subject to varying delays. And I'm afraid we are struggling with a huge backlog of requests for puzzles, as I still have to handle orders manually. The good news is that problems of supply have eased: the manufacturers are gradually catching up with the surge in demand for puzzles caused by lockdown. So our range of in-stock puzzles is now back at well above 1000, and slowly increasing.

The big problem is the absence of SAL, meaning that there is no really economic way to buy a single puzzle. If you are a patient puzzler, the best value comes with ordering for the long haul: choose three or four puzzles, and have them sent surface. This is slow, but means absolutely minimal shipping costs for each additional puzzle.

But the situation is completely different for each country, and in some cases may change in either direction: Canada was offering almost normal service, but since some time in November there has been no express service to Canada at all. At least now the checkout will show you more specifics about the destination country.

But anyway, apart from a short break over the new year, we will keep operating, so send in the order requests. But please understand if I am slow to respond; I am doing my best.

Read more of these blog entries

Mural

About ordering

The details under each puzzle show the price, with approximate equivalents in US dollars, euros, and pounds sterling. Click "Buy this puzzle" to go straight to the checkout with a single puzzle, or "Add to basket" to carry on shopping. At the checkout, you can select the shipping method, then choose how you are going to buy the puzzle(s). If you have any questions or problems, just use the forms provided to ask, and we'll get back to you. Once we receive confirmation of a payment, we aim to despatch puzzles by the next working day.

PayPal (verified member) You do not need to create a PayPal account in order to make a payment; the total is in yen, but you will be charged in your 'home currency', and you will be able to check the final amount before confirming payment.

Credit cardseChecks
You can pay by major credit card, eCheck in the US,
and bank transfer in many countries.

As you can see in the pile of puzzles on the left, most of the writing on the box is in Japanese, so we also include printed details with each shipment. Click these thumbnails for descriptions...

(Sorry! You can't see the "pile of boxes", because your browser does not support the functions necessary.)
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Finally...

The Shop is only part of my website, the Imaginatorium - I hope you will have time to explore some of the other pages!

 
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