It's time to go back to Omiya.
My first baseball card shop experience in Japan wasn't a real card store at all. Instead, it was a tiny closet of a shop filled floor to ceiling with old toys and junk, with a small assortment of cards. You can read about some of my finds here. I made a return visit a couple months ago, and I am just finally getting around to showing you what I bought. How's that for a quick turnaround time?
There is something totally awesome in this post. You just have to wait, though.
I then went for the tobacco-style menkos, including trains, cars, and... is that the Thunderbirds?
I decided to call it a day after pulling down these two last cards. There are more menkos that I didn't go through, because I knew I could easily spend too much time and money looking through menko cards. My next visit (whenever that can happen) will probably focus on that, though.
As is my custom when I'm about ready to check out, I took another glance around the store. Tucked away in the back, hiding around some toys where nobody would find it, was a find of a lifetime.
Issued around 1949-1950, this is the Green and Red Stripes round menko set. This is designated as Horizontal Sheet 2, with a book value of $500! It features (in no particular order): Shigeru Sugishita, Chusuke Kizuka, Fumio Fujimura, Tsuguhiro Hattori, Masumi Isekawa, Noboru Aota, Osamu Mihara, and Tetsuharu Kawakami. The quality isn't 100%, but this was an awesome find. I paid nearly nothing for it, and it is the oldest Japanese card (er, cards?) in my collection so far. They don't get much older than this - all but 10 of the cataloged sets were released in 1947 or later. I'm super happy to have this. It's certainly the highlight of my collection, despite the poorer condition.
The shop I found this card at is located next to Omiya Station, across the small street from the East exit. It's nestled in among the cell phone shops and other tiny stores. I have no idea about hours, and selection is really limited. (If you read my first visit post, I found a small selection of Calbee cards and some other cards from baseball, soccer, and non-sport.) However, if you want some menkos, toys, or the experience of searching through piles of stuff for some random find, head out that way.