I was pleasantly surprised on this trip to Nakano. I had been once before but all the stores were closing since I arrived a bit late, so I wasn't exactly sure what I would find. It's easy to compare to Akihabara, and I expected about the same - shops selling capsule toys and figurines, gaming cards, comic books, etc. I saw enough of those in Nakano, but there are also several shops which feel almost like they're run by collectors looking to clear out their extra stuff.
If you are interested in random pop culture items from the US and Japan, keep your eyes open.
Will AKB48 cards be bundled together and sold cheaply ten years from now? For those of you who don't know, AKB48 is a J-Pop mega-group with several spinoff groups and tons of merchandise. There are probably over 200 current members between all the groups, though AKB48 is the "major leagues" while the other groups are simply farm system groups, and only a few members are actually famous.
These sorts of oddball non-sport/pop culture sets are great to find. I saw, but didn't buy, plenty of other random non-sport issues - most of them being menko cards. And speaking of menko cards, I'll be bringing you a nice selection of menkos in my next post!