Nintendo's taken notable strides in recent times with its online services and the eShop, particularly in the area of improving convenience for those buying download games when away from their console. In North America it's now possible to buy a decent collection of games via the company's official website in the region, while in multiple territories some retail games can be bought ahead of time to pre-download onto hardware.
It's the former functionality - of buying a game online for it to download automatically to your system - that's now being rolled out a little more in Japan. A Miiverse post has confirmed that you can now buy DLC for Mario Kart 8 from mariokart.tv in Japan - this is the web service that allows you to view replays, check statistics and more for the racing game. The site is pushing the DLC at the moment, and under the relevant information is a link to an eShop web page similar to those seen in North America; as always you need to be logged in with your Nintendo Network ID to use it. This particular option to buy MK8 DLC is only in Japan so far, however, with the link returning a regional error elsewhere.
The same Miiverse post also provides a minor update on the progress of the Animal Crossing x Mario Kart 8 DLC, stating that it's due in late May with development in its final stages; May has always been the target month for release.
On the eShop web integration front this seems like another small step forward for Nintendo upping the convenience of shopping on the store. We'll see how quickly this rolls out to the West, and the end-goal is surely to have a fully-integrated eShop online that links to our consoles - matching equivalent services such as those with PSN.
Thanks to Benson for the heads up.