I miss US card shows. Dime and quarter boxes were great places to spend hours, looking for trade bait, type collection and awards cards, and fun stuff just for ... the fun of it. The National is a show I've never attended, though I'd love to someday, but even the local San Francisco mall shows were a high point of my weekends.
The only card show I know of in the Tokyo area, the exciting-sounding "Trading Card Festa!" was held in Hammamatsu-cho, just south of Shiodome and Ginza. The short walk from the station got me to the show just before opening.
Admission was 500 yen (about $5) and there was a small crowd waiting as soon as it opened. As with everything else in Japan, time matters - the small crowd quickly scattered to all the tables and it became difficult to find space to search boxes.
I'll review the actual show at the bottom; first, here are some of the cards I picked up.
Finally, as part of the 500 yen admission fee, visitors could watch a discussion with a couple former players - one at 1pm and another at 3pm. As you can see, this is former Lions superstar Hiromichi Ishige talking about his career and whatever else interested the viewers.
Most of the cards I bought above were from the Prime Time 100-yen box, as the rest of the dealers didn't have much of a selection of random cards I'd want to flip through. Box buyers could find slight to great discounts, and those into the latest stuff (including US card products) could pick up boxes here.
For $5, I think the money I saved on my card purchases (versus buying cards at a store) made it worth visiting, but I was hoping for more dealers. It would be great to see non-store collectors and dealers get together for an actual show (with, perhaps, stores from outside the Tokyo area) to bring a wider variety of cards to a show. I think the Osaka show was much better because there was more variety. I found lots of cards from prior years and other sports there, while this show was mostly about new products. And since the shows are dominated by existing stores, the prices weren't as good as are found at US card shows.
There were two other things I came home with, and I'll be showing you those in the upcoming week or so. So until then...