A display for rental of Season 6 episodes of "24". If you wanted to buy Season 6 of "24" in Japan, it'd cost $167 (¥18,648) for the Japanese box set. If you wanted to buy it in the U.S., it'd cost $38.99. (Both are Amazon prices for Amazon Japan and Amazon U.S. respectively.)
In the past, I've recommended Americans and others who are from Region 1 countries who want to buy DVDs consider buying a cheap (about ¥8,000) region-free multi-system DVD player from the Foreign Buyer's Club and purchasing DVDs from the U.S. This idea not only seems to suit foreign people but also Japanese studying English. My husband has a student who has chosen to buy his discs from Amazon U.S. because the prices are so much lower compared to Japan. (See the caption on the picture above for an example price comparison.)
While you can get some cheap DVDs in Japan, they're usually older movies stripped of any of the sort of extras that you find on official releases. Most of the newer ones, and the T.V. show sets in particular, can be very, very expensive. It gives you a good idea of why region codes were set up in the first place. Japan very much would prefer to protect its (Region 2) market of overpriced DVDs by making those from far cheaper Region 1 distributors incompatible with the basic players most Japanese people own.
Last year around this time, Deep Discount DVD held a 20% off sale on all DVDs. This year, they're holding a sale at pretty much the exact same time. It's a very good time to pick up some of the bigger box sets at an appreciable discount or even just a bunch of cheaper movies for a few bucks off. It's also a good time to consider buying some books along with them if you're in the market for cheaper books than you can get via various outlets in Japan. While there is no discount on books, the shipping rate policies at Deep Discount DVD make it far more worthwhile to order from them than Amazon. At Amazon, you are charged postage by the book. At Deep Discount, you are charged according to the total amount of money you spend. Adding in heavier books to an order rapidly shoots up the shipping costs at Amazon but has no effect at Deep Discount as long as you stay under the spending caps. For example, an order totaling up to $249 carries a shipping cost of $17 regardless of whether it is composed of books, DVDs, or CDs. The shipping rates for various size orders can be accessed on the help page under "shipping and delivery" for "International orders".
My husband and I usually allow ourselves a big order of DVDs and books as a Christmas gift to ourselves around this time of year so we put in a huge order the day before yesterday. One thing we noticed was that, if you plan on spending more than $249, it's better to make two separate orders than one to save on shipping as it costs $17 for up to $249 and $40 for over $249.
The sale ends in about a week so you have to get an order going soon. If you want to get the discount, you have to type in the code SUPERSALE in the code box when you view your shopping cart. If you take too long to shop, you'll have to re-apply the code if it vanishes from your total. Bear in mind that shipping costs are applied before the discounted price is applied.