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:
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.