Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Card Stores in Japan Update: Mint Akihabara; with the MAJOR HITS

My card store visiting routine has become that - a routine. I have a specific route now I tend to follow while searching for new releases and just looking for cards. I start in Akihabara at the Mint/Yellow Submarine store, grab lunch at the kebab place down the street, and then walk to the Kanda Mint store to look for parallels and cheap sets. Then it's a short subway ride to Takadanobaba to my favorite store (Quad Sports) for any more singles I might buy that day. Occasionally I make it to Ikebukuro.

So when any of those stores change their stock, I notice. Mint Akihabara has always had a limited stock, but it seems like now they're mostly keeping it to some oddballs and old Calbees, and current-year releases. This does mean they have super-low clearance prices throughout the year on full sets. Most of my "hits" come from this store, as the common hits tend to be priced lower here than anywhere else.

On a recent trip, in fact, I bought three autographed cards:
 This is from a set essentially issued by the Lions, though it was manufactured by another company. I should note this is an on-card autograph, unlike the BBM ones.
 It's numbered to only 121, his jersey number.
 Next, for half the price of a pizza, I have a mascot-signed card.
 This one is from the 2013 "Our Friends" mascot set, and is numbered to 120. I still am not sure who signs these cards. Is it the person who plays the mascot? I assume so, since I think the mascots sign autographs sometimes and the team would want them to be consistent.
 Finally, a nice sticker autograph of Daisuke Maeda.
This card is also numbered to 120.
On a separate trip, I got this awesome patch card from Akihabara too, pretty cheap (by Japanese card price standards). So if you want a good deal on current pack-based BBM cards, Mint Akihabara is still a good choice. But if you're looking for specific cards or older releases, you're better off sticking with Mint Ikebukuro or Quad Sports.


  1. Does this mean Wrappers was closed on Sunday?

    I remember that kebab place - that was good. Thanks again for taking me there.

    I understand what you're saying about Mint Akihabara now. For most of what I'm looking for (singles for set building), it's not the place to go, but there are other good reasons to go there.

  2. Ryan, thanks for commenting on my blog. I would be happy to trade with you. Although my priorities are soccer cards, I am interested in lots of Japanese pop culture - from Godzilla to toys and figures.

  3. NPB: yeah, Wrappers used to be closed on Sunday but it is now open seven days a week. There's a second floor with a hobby shop and what sounds like slot car racing that's quite noisy. I'm glad you like the kebabs, too!

    Chuck - I'll get with you soon, then - I can get Japanese soccer cards and plenty of toys and figures!