Hi Monika and Peppermint Mocha Mama,
Since you both asked the same question I decided to just do a quick post about how to read a Japanese Craft Book and how to order from Amazon JP.
Ordering from Amazon.co.jp these days really couldn't be easier. There are a couple of things that will make your life easier though:
1) Install Google Chrome : Google Chrome will identify that the page is in Japanese and will give you the option to automatically translate the page into English. Now it will still be broken English but you can figure it out pretty easily.
2) Amazon is also pretty smart as well, right above the wish list area there is a link that says "In English". This seems to internally trigger at least some of the text on the pages to be English. Bottom line though if you are a regular US Amazon customer just use muscle memory to place your order. The links are exactly the same and with Google Chrome most of the text is in English.
3) Once you have a couple of ISBN's of books that you are interested in, use the "Customers Who Bought this item also bought section" to look for other titles you might be interested in. Then you can do the look inside feature to see what the book is like inside.
There is also always the option of ordering from YesAsia if you don't want to fool with ordering from Amazon JP. -- Http://www.yesasia.com
So now the more pressing issue. How do you read a Japanese Knitting or Crochet Book?
Over the years a few people have asked me this question, I guess bottom line are you the type of knitter that would like written instructions for each row or are you comfortable kind of winging it with basic instructions?
I am a full believer that anyone can learn to do anything they put there mind to. Japanese patterns are basically all on one page and very concise.
1) They will tell you how many stitches to cast on
(0-1-1) Increase 1st on both sides on the next row(double sided arrow)
1# is the number of rows to knit
If the pattern does contain a specific stitch pattern there is always a clear chart drawn up and with Japanese Standard Stitch Patterns.
For Crochet Patterns you are on your own for if they are easy to read or not. Crochet still is so daunting for me. I really do not understand the concepts. There are so many crochet patterns that really interest me, but alas I am left wishing I had paid more attention to when my mother was trying to teach me. She on the other hand is an amazing crocheter, but she only does it from written text not charts.
Here are some Resources to help and guide you:
1) A JP Craft Book to learn about Japanese Knitting Symbols
There are a few other books in the series that I have written about.
2) ABC of Knitting
Japanese - English Knitting Dictionary - Priceless
3) How to read a Japanese Crochet Pattern
In 2008 she did a Japanese Cable Vest Kal and wrote about how to translate the pattern. An Excellent resource.