It's a bit sad to say that one of the reason I've been able to get back to blogging is that I didn't make plans for my New Year's vacation. I had considered going to Vietnam or spending time taking trains around Kyushu, but in the end my plans were to have no plans.
That's not to say I've done nothing. Vacation for me started on the 28th, but the 25th and 26th of December were spent in Nagoya. I blew my Christmas budget at the monthly card show and a couple card shops on the first day, and spent Monday having my usual fantastic time at Nagashima Spaland. Seriously, I love that park. I could live at that park.
My actual vacation week has been spent generally walking around, exploring the Tokyo area. I went out to Yokohama, took self-guided walking tours around Tokyo Station, Minami-Senju, Arakawa, and Nippori, and spent one day in Utsunomiya. And there have been a few stops at card shops, too, generally browsing but also picking up my Time Travel set.
On January 2nd, I met up with Zippy Zappy, which has become sort of an annual tradition. I give him a tiny package of generally worthless cards, and he unloads a ton of stuff on me. It's really not fair.
I'll get to his great stuff in a few future posts, but first, let's look at the card shop pickups from that day.
Both of the sets above came from Mint Ikebukuro as part of a New Years sale. Coletre was closed, so after Zippy Zappy met up with me we headed to the Shinjuku Mint store. That's a store I visit maybe twice a year - if I dig I can usually find some good cards but as you'll see I didn't buy a single Japanese card there.
Zippy and I hopped a train back north, checking to see if Quad Sports was open. The shop has no website, so the only way of knowing (other than calling, but we didn't think of that) is to show up. They were closed for the holidays, so we went back south around to Shibuya, to the high-class Mint location there. They have a bar, so you can have a drink while busting boxes. Shibuya Mint is the high-end store of the chain, though prices are about the same.
I've also seen actual relics inside the shadowbox for some of these cards, and many of them have beautiful patches. And they cost a fortune. So for now I'll just take the foil signatures.
That was it for my purchases with Zippy Zappy, but I went home with a backpack full of stuff. What did he give me? You'll just have to wait.
Until then, enjoy this picture of my first Taco Bell in Japan. It's across the alley from the Shibuya Mint location.