Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Card Shops In Japan: Mint Ikebukuro

Please check my "Card Shops in Japan" page before planning a trip to this store to verify that it's still where it was when I visited.

After Ryan and I visited Coletre we next headed to Mint Ikebukuro which is located just about five blocks to the south along the same street.

Somehow I had forgotten to take a picture of the outside of the store when we got there so I'm sharing a photo I took the first time I went there back in 2013:

There are actually two separate Mint stores at this location.  The first floor store shown above sells mostly soccer and idol cards.  I've looked around here a little but never really seen anything I was interested in.

There's a doorway into the building itself to the left of the first floor store that leads to a staircase and elevator.  If you go up to the second floor you'll find the other Mint store which has a wide variety of baseball cards.

This is one of my favorite baseball card stores in Japan.  They carry a lot of singles from sets going back to the 1990's so it's a great place to do set building.  The singles for each set are more or less in order by card number which makes it very easy to find cards.  They also carry a selection of older menkos and Calbees.

When I was there with Ryan I picked up a number of singles for the 1998 BBM set and the 2003-06 BBM Rookie Edition sets.  I also bought some Epoch Rookies & Stars singles from 2018 and 2019 along with several 2018 Epoch One cards and a 1977 Calbee card with Shigeo Nagashima and Masaichi Kaneda.  I spent a total of 7340 yen.  I came back a couple weeks later and bought some 1996, 1997 and 2000 BBM singles for another 2760 yen.  I paid cash both times but the store does take credit cards.

The store is very well organized and it's pretty easy to find things.  It has been remodeled since my first visit in 2013 and it seems a bit roomier now.

The black shelving unit in the center of the room holds the singles for the Japanese baseball card sets.  The other white shelving unit holds boxes and packs (on the side facing the cash register) and complete sets.  The boxes in the shelf to the right of the Ichiro jersey hold MLB cards (I think).  The display case on the wall to the left of the jersey holds hits - autographs, memorabilia cards and rare parallels.

There's a glass cabinet on the wall on the right of the cash register that contains the vintage cards.  You can see the menkos and bromides in this photo and I'm pretty sure this was where the old Calbees and the Epoch One cards were as well.

I want to mention that there's also a gaming card store on the second floor of this building just across the hall from the Mint store.  I thought this was once another Mint store but I'm not sure that's true.

Here's a map showing the first floor store.  If you're coming directly from Ikebukuro Station you'll want to leave the station via the East Exit and head down Green-Odori, following the signs to the Sunshine 60 building.  The directions will tell you to make a left turn and head towards the elevated expressway in the distance.  When you see the ABC Mart building on your right, turn right and walk down about half a block - you'll see the store on your left.


Fuji said...

Great review! If I ever cross the Pacific, I'd love to check out this shop. I like how everything is clean and organized.

Sean said...

Ah, that showcase with the menko looks nice.

If a guy (say me) had just one card shop he could visit on a weekend business trip to Tokyo where he can duck out of meetings for about 2 hours and he wanted to get some old Calbees, would this shop be the best of the ones you saw?

NPB Card Guy said...

Hmm, I would defer to Ryan for the definitive answer to that question. It's certainly a decent store for that but I think the most old Calbee's I saw in Tokyo were at Biblio in Jimbocho.