I buy Japanese diapers not only because I think that they are well made, but also they are cheaper than American diapers. I also like that Japanese diapers have a stripe to shows if the diaper is wet or not. This helped me especially with my new born baby. Usually the stripe is yellow with a dry diaper and when the diaper is wet, the color turns into blue. It saves the hassle to take off the diaper to see if the baby wet the diaper or not.

Now I have two kids and my younger daughter is 4 months old. She uses the one on the photo posted above. She weighs 5.2 kg, so I use size S. The big Merries’ size S package comes with 80 diapers and the price that I paid at “Drug Eleven” (“Doraggu Irebun”) was 1,280 yen. Each diaper costs 16 yen. This is much cheaper than the price of brand diapers from the States.

I hear that Japanese Pampers’ diapers and American Pampers’ diapers are not the same. In Japan Pampers’ diapers are the most expensive brand. I switched to Pampers for a while with my second child since she had terrible diaper rash. I used 3 different kinds of cream, but none of them worked and I wanted to solve her problem as naturally as possible. I washed her bottom every single time I changed her diaper. Even during the night. She pooped almost every 2 hours. It was basically every time I changed her diaper. Her bottom was always wet, so I wanted to try some good quality diapers and I remembered that one of my friends told me that the only brand she was able to keep her son diaper rash free was Pampers. So, I did the same. I don’t know if Pampers helped or not, but her diaper rash went away around the time I finished a package and I switched back to Merries. I think it might have helped. As my daughter grew, the frequency of her pooping went down, so that seemed to help a lot. Ironically, she moved from one extreme to another. At 4 months, she only poops once every 7 or 8 days. Excuse me for talking so much about the excrement….

When my older daughter started walking, I switched to a pull-up style diapers. Merries have “Merries パンツ (pantsu) のびのびwalker (nobinobi)” These are NOT training diapers. They are like Pampers Cruisers except for the snaps. I think that these are so much better for kids who become active and they are easier to put on kids. These are not training diapers. I loved those “pantsu” style better. You can just rip the sides to change diaper.

When my older daughter started potty training, I used “Torepanman” These are like Pampers Easy Ups. This helps kids to feel the diaper wet. Regular diapers are so well made that kids don’t feel that it’s wet. If your kid is not ready for potty training, I don’t recommend using these. I bought them when my older daughter was about 20 months old, thinking that she would be potty trained by feeling the wetness, and I failed it. She didn’t care. She got used to wearing a wet diaper and if I didn’t notice that she went in her training diaper, the pee went through the diaper and eventually soaked her clothes. However, when she was almost potty trained, which was around her 2 and a half years of age, the training diapers were a savior to me because if she accidentally wet her training diaper a little, the diaper made her feel uncomfortable, and she came to tell me that she needed to go to the bathroom. The diaper would be wet inside only, and it would prevent the mess to happen.

After my daughter was potty trained, I used night diapers. It’s called “Oyasumi man”. Oyasumi means “good night” in Japanese. My daughter loved the princess characters on the diapers. It’s a thick diaper, so if your child has an accident during the night, it would not wet the bed. I think that you can find the same type of diapers at the base Commissary. Oyasumi man with 24 night time diapers was about 1,500 yen (US$15).

You can buy diapers at Exchange or Commissary, but if you are looking into purchasing some diapers online, I recommend this site to buy diapers from. I wrote this and then saw a comment which said that would not ship to APO. I tried to order and checked it myself. No!!! It wouldn’t. Please let us know if you know of any company that would ship diapers to APO/FPO! The current dollar and yen exchange rate makes shopping locally slightly more expensive, but even with the bad exchange rate, you save some money by buying Japanese diapers. By the way, I DON’T work for a Japanese diaper company. You’re welcome to put your preference in the comment!


  1. Amazon will ship to APO for free if you have an amazon prime membership. You can also sign up for amazon mom and get 20% off the diapers/wipes. They have coupons you can clip on the site as well. Makes for some very easy diaper shopping sometimes. Amazon Mom is free for a few months and then it’s $79/year. If you buy a lot from amazon, you’re pretty much saving money with the free prime shipping.

  2. I use cloth diapers off-base, but have hot water hookups for our washer (which is an American washer from base). We’ve had no issues, other than a slightly higher water bill.

    I also use Goon diapers for overnights and occasional disposable use. I love them! We’ve used them for a long time-my son got horrible rashes from American diapers.

    We also purchase liners for the cloth diapers off-base at the bunny store. A box of 250 (??) runs about ¥450 I believe. Makes poop cleanups a breeze. 🙂

  3. Martha, I cloth diaper and it is no problem at all on base. I have several friends off base who ended up giving up because the Japanese washers often (?) don’t have hot water and you have to rig hot water from your sink to flow into the washer. A bit of a drag. But again, as Anne said, you’ll probably be on base.

  4. I didn’t use cloth diapers myself but my neighbor does and seems to be doing fine with it. We live on base and have American washers/dryers. Off base the housing geared toward Americans will have the same amenities, just a bit smaller appliances. (You most likely will have to live on base though, unless they change the rules again in the near future.) I have lived in Italy and I can tell you that in my experience Japan is much more modern with the laundering. A lot of Japanese dry their clothes outside but other than that it seems similar to the States. Their are several women who make and sell cloth diapers and cloth diaper systems at the craft fairs here on base as well. I hope that helps!

  5. I’m joining this discussion late, but I don’t see an answer to my question here. We’re moving to Oki in a couple of weeks (yay!). I’ve been using cloth and disposable diapers but want to switch to just cloth. I assume that on base the washing machines are close enough to American ones–is that right? If I manage to move off base during our time there, is a typical Japanese washer a realistic option for cleaning diapers? (We were just in Italy, where the washers were great but took about 3 hours for a load and sucked up all the power allotted to your house.) Basically I’d like any wisdom on using cloth over there. (We’ve already settled on Fuzzi Bunz.) My daughter is 6 months, so we go through a lot of diapers!

  6. I don’t know about chlorine free diapers, but I thought I’d chime in on how much I love Japanese diapers vs American ones. I use the Moony Man brand pull ups for my daughter, although I’m hoping the package I bought over the weekend will be my last. Aside from the name (where did that come from, anyway?) they are fabulous. They are so stretchy and soft and reasonably easy for my daughter to pull up and down. They are a little wide in the crotch, but that hasn’t caused us any troubles. My daughter is also very long and lean (as someone else’s was, up above) but that has also not posed a problem with these diapers. If you walk down the diaper aisle in Jusco (in the grocery departments- not the baby things upstairs), San-A, or some of the Bunny Stores they have display models out so you can check them out and get a feel of them before you buy. The Moony Man diapers (for girls, at least) are pink with Pooh-san on them. Love them!
    But if I see any that look like a local alternative to Natural Choice in a pull-up, I’ll let you know.

  7. Does anyone know if there are any of the chlorine-free diapers available out in town? More specifically, pull-ups? I don’t mind the price of the Natural Choice ones on base, but my son is ready to move into pull-ups – I’d just do regular unders and let him have accidents, but the Man is embarassed by that technique! – and they don’t have Natural Choice ones. My son gets horrible diaper rashes when in “regular” diapers. I don’t know if it’s the chlorine or some other ingredient that’s different, but the chlorine-free ones don’t do that to him like everything else. In short, please help!

  8. Hey,
    We have been back in the states for a year and I had been searching for a way to get the japanese diapers here. I started using them when we were in Okinawa and really like the pull ups with the little tape on the back! Anyway, if you live in a fairly large city, there may be a japanese grocery store near you. I found one in orange county, ca and went there…it was almost like being in Jusco again! They even had that little bakery place with the curry stuffed rolls…mmmm…. Anyway, I was visiting a friend there and stocked up on like 5 packs of the diapers and they were on sale! I’ve since moved though, to a smaller town…so no japanese diapers for my girl..

    So, just look for a japanese grocer or similar store.

    HTH Shelly

  9. I used Goon brand diapers on my daughter when she was younger, because they had the wetness indicator, were less heavily perfumed, and because they were softer and cheaper than Pampers Cruisers. I would have continued to use them, but I had to go back to Cruisers as she got older, because she was/is a long and lean child and as she grew, the Japanese diapers leaked in the crotch when she wore the appropriate size according to weight range. I tried sizing down, but then the diapers weren’t long enough and they leaked out the top. Japanese diapers seem to be rather square and wide at the crotch, and would probably fit better on a baby that has chunky/chubby thighs. I also tried Merries, with the same results. Cruisers seem to be stretchier in the waist, with a narrower crotch. I used to buy my Japanese diapers at Toys R Us in Awase and used their in-store coupons, so they cost even less than diapers at San-A or Makeman. If it hadn’t been a laundry issue for us, I would have kept using the Japanese diapers, and I would encourage anyone looking to save a few bucks/yen to try the Japanese diapers on their baby. Bonus: Japanese diapers have cuter designs than American diapers!

  10. Hi, Joy. I am sorry for responding back to your e-mail late. I don’t think that there is any diapers equivalent to g-diapers in Japan. I’ve never tried Japanese cloth diapers and I wish I have tried. I read on line that Japanese diapers are thin and very absorbent. I used fuzzy buns and I always thought that they are too thick. G-diapers are not economical. I use them and they are slightly more expensive than most expensive brands like Pampers and Huggies, so if you ship them to Japan, that would add extra shipping. I think that g-diapers will be great for toddlers who poop like adults and their diapers stink really badly. I don’t think that g-diapers are as ecological as cloth diapers since it pollutes the water, but it is certainly nice that you don’t have to smell it!

  11. Has anyone tried eco-friendly diapers or Japanese cloth diapers? I’ve been reading about the g-diapers(check out look like a great “hybrid” of disposable and cloth, but I think it’s just going to be way too expensive to get them sent here. I was wondering if there are some Japanese diapers similar to this that I could find out in town? Or, is doing eco-friendly diapers not that big of a deal here in Okinawa where all the garbage is burned? In other words… we won’t leave our Pampers here for another 100 years after we PCS.

  12. I don’t think that you can buy Merries products overseas, or I don’t know any Japanese online shop that would ship diapers to the States. The cost will probably very expensive if you do though. If you have a friend in the military who lives in Japan, you can ask your friend to ship some Merries diapers from Japan.

  13. Hi, I was wondering if you had any idea where one could buy Merries online or in the states? I’ve googled it unsuccessfully, and even translated the product website only to find they don’t sell them directly.

    The diapers they used in the hospital where my son was born had that color change wet strip, and it was so helpful, but they aren’t available commercially.

    Plus, I want him to be the coolest baby on the block in Japanese diapers!

    Thanks in advance for the info,
    Amanda and Nathan

  14. Lots of stores out in town carry diapers, Big One also carries the Merries, and I actually bought my last package of diapers(Merries) at the Makeman! We switched to Merries after we ran out of Huggies overnights and they’ve kept our daughter dry without leaks through the night.

  15. For people who are looking to buy diapers in bulk; I had been ordering from when both of my kids were in diapers. I always got free shipping from them and I think the one time I had to pay it was only $5. I would buy 2 big boxes (150 per box)of pampers once a month and they would take about a week to get here. I did the math back then and I ended up saving a lot(as opposed to buying them in small packages on base here) Its a good option if anyone misses buying bulk or misses certain brands they don’t carry here. Disclaimer* its been about a year since I have bought from Drugstore so Im not sure if anything has changed!

  16. In the states they had a Pampers Feel N’ Learn. They had a liner that would let the child be able to fill when they were wet (They came out about 4 years ago). They were perfect for my son. I was mad when I found out that they don’t have them here when we were potty training our daughter.

  17. As far as potty training goes…Pullup diapers on base are under $10 (I want to say $9.29) for 29 (size 2T-3T) and they also have the wetness indicator on them. I used them for my daughter, who is almost done being potty trained, yay! You can usually get a coupon for $2 off, which makes them $7.29 for 29! What’s the price like for the Torepanman style diapers? I really need to get out and see what kind of stuff is out there for kids and babies – the base offers so little in the way of variety!

  18. Great post, Kaho! I love using the Merries. I discovered them at the “White Rabbit” store (i’m sorry, I can’t recall the Japanese name) where they’re less than 900 yen for about 50 size M diapers – much better deal than the Pampers cruisers. And didn’t realize the stripe was a dryness indicator. Now I’ll use that in addition to the “how mushy is my kid’s diaper?” test.

  19. Thanks so much Kaho. I have just entered the world of poopy diaper changing and have been learning which brands I like and which I don’t like. Never realized there were so many options…Easy Ups? Cruisers? What have I gotten myself into???

  20. Great info!!! Thanks so much Kaho!! I never thought about buying diapers offbase. The drug 11 place is the one with the little baby in the picture right? I think there’s one of those down 23 off of Kadena’s gate 3? I’m going to have to check it out. Also, I’m really bummed out. I have been searching near and far for companies that would ship diapers over here to APO addresses but still haven’t found any. I guess will only ship to you if you live out in town here:( I even tried to snag a couple of cases (unopened of course) on ebay but that didn’t work out in my favor either. I miss buying diapers in bulk. They’re so expensive!

  21. Thanks Kaho! I am going to try all of these! I’m excited to find cheaper diapers for the baby since I’ve found the Exchange brand to leak explosive newborn poops. And for my toilet trainer in progress, I think the torepanman and oyasumi man sound perfect! Do you know if these are available at other stores or if there are other drug eleven locations?