Do you have a plan to visit Japan? If so, I would recommend visit TRADING CARDS & CARD GAMES SHOP MINT (Hereinafter “MINT”) shop map at the link; http://www.mint-web.co.jp/pdf/englishmap.pdf
It is easy to find many travelers in Tokyo and other large cities in Japan. Regardless of purpose of the trip – Business or personal – we can have lots of chances to visit MINT shops in Japan where Japanese trading culture have been grown up. Tokyo MINT shops are located in convenience location and each shop have its own features; One great example is MINT Shibuya where you can buy boxes and a glass of beer at same place. Even though you are very busy at the business trip, you will be able to find at least one MINT shop near your hotel in Tokyo.
There are 21 MINT shops in Japan and 6 in Tokyo; Shinjuku, Shibuya, Akihabara, Kanda, Ikebukuro, and Tachikawa.
Introductory collectors may feel easy when they visit MINT shops. Most shops in this world are majorly operated by the owner, but MINT shops have young and kind managers who can explain features of trading cards. There are various boxes and single cards in each shop. One more differentiated thing is MINT’s policy on single cards sales. Most shops do not buy from their customers, but they do consignment only; MINT shops buy cards from customers and sell cards to other customers directly. We know price negotiation is a slice of collecting and we enjoy it. However, when you find a single card to die for, you will have to buy it for a price on a label. And then, you may feel the policy is quite reliable and gives us clear process. Also, you can find some boxes will be on a sale. I bet it will be a nice experience to bust NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) boxes from BBM and Epoch.
If you do not have enough time to visit MINT shops during your trip or do not have any plan to visit Japan where collecting culture are developed, you can still buy some products internationally at Mint-mall; http://www.mint-mall.net/ Order process are written in English at http://www.mint-mall.net/shop.php?shop=C0000004&name=saleguide and Paypal is accepted.
MINT is a host of many card shows in Japan. They host two large show per year and the venue location have been in the downtown. Yes, that was the first experience for me as well. Going back to winter, 2013, one of my role as a Beckett employee is finding new customers in Japan and I had been to the 2013 winter card show hosted by MINT. I do not speak Japanese language, but can understand some letters since they have some similar expressions with Korean. Fortunately, my phone was connected to the internet and Google translator helped me to meet MINT managers who speak English. This meeting was quite informal, but Beckett’s relation with MINT has been made with that short conversation. Finally, Beckett team including president met with MINT managers again on last year and we are now looking for opportunities for cooperation.
Furthermore, Magic The Gathering users can buy box/single at the MINT shops and MINT Shinjuku offers a nice place for the gaming along with its own team named “Team MINT Tokyo”. (Have you heard about Juicy Honey cards? Take a look on it at MINT website)
To sum up, MINT is one of the best place for beginners and high-end collectors as well. Trading card museum, VIP trading card Gallery, YouTube MINT TV, Event report pages will catch your eyes’ as well and can get in touch in with MINT at Twitter and Facebook as well.
Single cards’ prices have been increased a lot in the past years and grading is a kind of mandatory thing for value-creation method of high-end cards. Besides, collectors can refer/buy Beckett magazines at the stores. Yes, both MINT and Beckett want to make Gem-MINT cooperation in many ways.