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

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Japan Card Stores (2014 Update): Mint Yokohama

Mint Yokohama just celebrated its 15th Anniversary and it is now the only store in town.

Located just a few minutes' walk from Yokohama Station, for those in the area it's pretty convenient. They have a pretty good selection of the usual suspects. Of course, they'll have current packs and boxes for major sports releases in Japan and abroad, including a very large soccer collection.
 Lots of singles are in stock for baseball and soccer. They have some older Calbees, though their inventory isn't exactly extensive. Current releases are busted for singles and are found on the counter, though being located very close to the BayStars home stadium, the store draws a lot of BayStars fans. So singles for BayStars players are found in a separate section, generally away from the rest of a particular set's cards.
They also separate out the star and rookie cards into other boxes, which makes set building and type collecting difficult at this store for older issues. I'll have to spend a good bit of time going through those player boxes to hopefully randomly find inserts I want... and those boxes are labeled in Kanji, so finding particular players is difficult for those who don't know the language.

Because I didn't really look much in those boxes, I can't tell you for sure what's inside yet. I'll have to update this post sometime when I get more details.
 As I mentioned, Calbee isn't terribly extensive, though I was able to find one card for my Giants at Vero Beach subset from the 1975 set. (500 yen/$5)
Prices are fairly standard for Mint locations - 60 yen (~$0.60) for base cards (including the three BBM singles above) with prices increasing from there. Japanese packs are close to retail price; inserts usually start at 300 yen ($3). This location does have a "clearance" bin of sorts, with discounted inserts from a few releases. For beginning collectors you can usually find something good at a decent price, but if you're looking for specific cards, you'll probably be out of luck. I found a bunch of Calbee Star Cards in there the last time I visited. The Ovation card above was part of a full set (except for the SPs) that I bought on sale for only 500 yen ($5). Some team sets are this cheap, including a small selection of opened box sets.

I haven't tried English at this store yet. It's on my "to do" list for my next visit. They didn't try English with me, though, speaking only Japanese. I understand enough to get by without English, which makes testing this a bit tough! As for customer service, Japanese store clerks are generally very polite, and card store employees left me alone until I was ready to purchase, after which they were as I'd expect here.
The store itself is located down a small side street. From Yokohama Station (seen at the bottom of the image above), take the west exit and turn right. Follow that one-lane road "straight" (it curves a bit to the left) under the freeway/over the river, and continue straight to the first stop light. There is a Sukiya restaurant (すき家)on the right here; Mint is on the opposite corner in the YTU Building, second floor. There's a Lawson convenience store on the first floor. The "YTU" sign is on the corner pillar, and the Mint logo in red is seen on that pillar. Please note that if the image above disappears, the store might have closed or moved. Please leave a comment or send an email if that is the case.

The store is open seven days a week 11:00-20:00 with no regular holidays. Phone: 045-316-1710; Japanese address: 神奈川県横浜市神奈川区鶴屋町2-20-1 YTUビル2階. Store's homepage (in Japanese).


  1. Gorgeous! I need a few base cards to finish my 2014 BBM Rakuten Eagles set. If I sent you a list, think you could find them cheap?

  2. If you ever find any cool Shima or Norimoto cards, I'm your trade buddy!

  3. View From the Skybox: I can pick them up for you, but it depends on what you mean by cheap. Base cards run about 50 cents each at the cheapest around here, though there are very few that cost more.

    Do you mean Motohiro Shima and Takahiro Norimoto? I can probably find a decent number of cards for them if you want to work out trades. Do you have any of their cards already? Let me know what you have (or want specifically) and I can work from that!

    Please send me an email and I'll see what I can find this weekend, because I'm going card shopping on Monday.

  4. I miss going to Mint Yokohama every week and claiming every trip would be my last, only to go again in a matter of days.

    1. Yeah I think you spent about $10,000 there in about a year...

  5. I am totally fascinated by your "Giants at Vero Beach" subset. Please tell us more. As an American based Dodger fan/collector it's something I would love to see.

  6. Actually, I think it was NPB Card Guy who had details on this first (for me) a couple months ago. See this post. Once (if) I get the subset completed I'll post all the cards and more details (probably rehashing NPB Card Guy's details) on the blog. It's slow going though.

  7. I had a pretty good experience at this store, despite not actually finding anything I was looking for. The two guys working at the store when I was there spoke a little English and really tried to help me out.