The new iPad made its debut in Tokyo's Ginza district to lines exceeding 500 people, according to Japan's Nikkei news service.
The Apple store in Ginza had about 450 people waiting while a nearby Softbank outlet had about 70 people in line, said Nikkei.
One 20-something male buyer in Ginza said he was looking forward to watching movies on the iPad's new high-resolution screen. And a teenage male said he wanted to use it for both study and games.
Lines began forming two days before sales, according to a ZDNet report.
The ZDNet post made some not-so-auspicious comments, however, about the new iPad.
"It felt like a much larger tablet then its predecessor, and far heavier too," said ZDNet's Hana Stewart-Smith.
And maybe more ominously, she said this: "What surprised me most was the heat emanating from the device. In the ten minutes or so that I had to play around with it, I noticed that it became very warm, very quickly, making me wonder how comfortable it might be for long term use."
The stores opened their doors at 8 a.m. Tokyo time.