Saturday, April 21, 2018

iPhone/iPad: Guide to Downloading Kotodaman Outside Japan | Guest Post

Step-by-Step Guide: Download Kotodaman Outside Japan

Help is at hand for those not living in Japan who want to download Sega's new word-based RPG  mobile game Kotodaman (read more about it here), thanks to Phantom River Stone patron James Brown (visit him on Twitter or YouTube) who has written this guest post with step-by-step instructions on how to install the game on your Apple iPhone or iPad.

Kotodaman was released this week and, according to a recent tweet, generated 1 million downloads in just the first 3 days! The game is a free download - with optional in-game purchases - but unfortunately is only available on the Japan app stores. 

The game is based on the concept of forming Japanese words, with the UI also being completely in Japanese. However if you are interested in playing around with it anyway, we recommend giving it a try!

For Android users: we will be publishing a separate guide soon on a method for downloading Kotodaman outside Japan.

About the author

Hi guys, it's James Brown (SkillJim) here! You may not know me, but I've been a huge Shenmue fan and collector since its inception. Playing the Original Shenmue on Xmas day of 2000! I've been heavily involved with the community since then, and I'm currently part of the Shenmue Dojo team! Some of you may also recognise my name from the Sega Europe video where community manager at the time Dan Sheridan read out and answered my question concerning Shenmue 1 & 2 HD back in 2016! - I'm jealous of Switch for being able to see it announced live in person last weekend (considering I was in Japan only a week prior - doh! Look out for a future post from me all about my day exploring the Dobuita area with Switch!).

I don't contribute too much on Twitter, but if you would like to follow me, please do so :) -  @SkillJim - I also have a YouTube channel with Sega content, and hopefully really soon I'll be releasing a series of travel videos of my time visiting the great countries of China & Japan, and also the day I met Switch in Yokosuka, you can find my channel here - - Thanks guys! 

It's with great pleasure that I present to you a guest blog post here on!  A big thank you to Switch for letting me be featured! I hope that this post can be of some use to someone out there who may have heard about the Kotodaman game, yet didn't know how to go about downloading it from the Japan Apple AppStore.

As someone living outside Japan (in the UK), I was wondering how it would be possible for me to download this game onto my iPhone and potentially be able to play as Ryo Hazuki, which we unlocked in the campaign which Switch previously did a blog post about a while back!
So I did a little bit of research into creating a Japanese iTunes account and I want to help anyone interested in doing the same!

This is a lot easier to do if you have access to a computer or Mac with iTunes installed on it.

Steps to Download (iPhone / iPad)

Step 1: Sign out of iTunes

The first step is to completely sign out of iTunes:

Step 2: Change country to Japan

Next you want to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Store page on iTunes, and look at the bottom right for a circle with your flag in it - so for me it's the Great Britain flag. Click on that circle.

After doing this, a page with all of the flags of the countries will appear, scroll down until you find the Japan flag!

The Store page should load again now but with Japanese songs!

Step 3: Create a new Apple ID

Now go to sign in.

A window should pop up asking for your email and password, ignore that and click the Create New Apple ID instead!

The Create Apple ID page should load and it should ask you to input an email address and password.  You should input an email address in here that you have never used on iTunes before. If you have a GMAIL address, it's handy to know that you can sign up with that address, but just alter it slightly by placing a + and then whatever you like before the @ sign (don't worry it still works!). For example, say your gmail address is - - enter instead. The + almost acts as though creating a temporary address on the spot, but all emails are still sent to the regular Gmail account!

Once you have assigned an email address and password for the new account, double check the Country is showing Japan, and then click continue!

Step 4: Enter personal information

The next page requires you to enter personal information.

This is pretty straight forward, but the top two entries are Phonetic Last Name, and Phonetic First Name. For these two fields, you are required to enter your name in Phonetic Japanese. The easiest way to find this out is to go to the following website -

Type your first name, keep the drop down menu set to "Traditional" and then hit translate.

Hopefully you'll see the interesting information of what your name is in Japanese! You want the English version of the Japanese translation, so in my case that would be  “JEIMUZU”

Once you have done this for your last name as well and entered them into the iTunes personal information, fill in the rest of the fields and then click continue.

Just a few more steps to go now!

Step 5: Enter a billing address for Japan

On the next screen, you are asked for a payment method and billing address. Make sure to click "None" as the payment method, and for billing address, just fill in exactly as shown in my screenshot below -
Step 6: Verify email address

Click continue and you should be asked to input a verification code, simply check your email and input the code that's given in Apples email!

Sorted, you now have a Japanese Apple Account!

Step 7: Sign out of your iPhone/iPad

Now you need to go onto your Apple device. Go to Settings, and select "iTunes & App Store".

Here you will need to press on your Apple ID, and when the window pops up, choose Sign Out.

Step 8: Sign into your iPhone/iPad with the new Apple ID

Now press on Sign In, and type in the new email address and password which we created moments ago.

Hopefully you managed to sign in with no issues! Now when you go to the App Store on your device, you'll notice that it's now displaying Japanese apps!

Step 9: Search for Kotodaman on the App Store

The final step is now finding the game using the Search feature at the bottom right!

Since you need to search for the game in Japanese, you may have to open this page up on your mobile device and copy and paste the following into the search box on the App Store -


Step 10: Download

You should now see the Kotodaman game appear in the search results, and simply press on "Get" to download!

And that's it guys! That's how to get the Kotodaman game installed onto your Apple phone or tablet.

Enjoy trying to figure out how to play it now :D - let us know if you manage to unlock Ryo!

See you again soon!
James Brown (SkillJim)

We will be publishing further posts about Kotodaman on the blog in the near future, including a download guide for Android users & steps on how to view your name in the game's credits if you followed the official account on Twitter prior to its release. Stay tuned.

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  1. Very informative guide! Thanks so much to your guest Switch, whoever the heck that dude is ;)

    1. Tee hee! Many thanks for putting together the guide, and we look forward to having you back for another guest post soon!