Sunday, June 30, 2019

Card Of The Week June 30

Inter-league play wrapped up last week and once again the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks were the "champions".  This is their eighth title in the 15 years that there's been inter-league play in NPB.  Nobuhiro Matsuda was named Inter-league MVP - here's his card from this year's Calbee Series One set (#007):

Like many NPB players, Matsuda has a little schtick he does after hitting a home run and being congratulated by his teammates.  I should probably do a post some time with as many players as I can find whose post home run routine has been captured on cards.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Baseball Women

I thought I'd do a real quick post showing off some cards I got of professional women baseball players who were featured in BBM's "Venus" sets for female athletes ("Real Venus" from 2009 to 2015 and "Shining Venus" starting in 2017). 

This first card is a 2013 BBM Real Venus card of knuckleballer Eri Yoshida when she was with the Ishikawa Million Stars of the Baseball Challenge (BC) League.  I bought it at the Mint Odawara store. 

2013 BBM Real Venus #05
The other cards Ryan had picked up for me a few months back when the 2019 Shining Venus set came out back in January.  There were five card from the set I was interested - two cards each for Kyoto Flora players Nami Okumura and Minami Takatsuka and one card showing both of them:

2019 BBM Shining Venus #01

2019 BBM Shining Venus #02

2019 BBM Shining Venus #04

2019 BBM Shining Venus #05

2019 BBM Shining Venus #94
I should point out that neither player is actually still with Flora - they both joined Saitama Astraia last winter.

I'm a little amused that BBM labeled Okumura's first card as her "Rookie" card since she appeared in both the 2016 and 2018 Epoch JWBL sets but this was her first appearance in a BBM set (to my knowledge anyway).  Minami appeared in the 2015 BBM Real Venus set.

By picking up these cards (well, by Ryan picking up most of them) I've now gotten all of the baseball player cards that appear in BBM's "Venus" sets.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer Releases

It's been about five weeks since I did a round up of newly announced sets and there's a bunch that have been announced since then:

- BBM released information on their last three "comprehensive" team sets.  According to Card Fanatic's schedule, the Eagles set will be out on July 11th, the Dragons set will be out on July 18th and the Hawks set will be out on July 25th.  All three sets will have a base set of 81 cards which has been the standard size for BBM's "comprehensive" team sets since 2015.  The Eagles base set will have 69 cards for the manager and players along with three subsets - 3 "Newcomer" cards, 4 "No Surrender" cards and 5 "Meet The Target" cards.  There are also 30 (I think) insert cards spread over five sets - 9 "Never Say Die" cards, 3 "1st Round Draft Picks" cards, 3 "Rising" cards, 3 "Tough Enough" cards and 12 "Phantom" cards.  Autographed cards are also available.  The base set of the Dragons set is made up of 69 manager and player cards, 1 checklist card, 2 "combo" cards and 9 "D's Emblem" cards.  There's 30 insert cards split among 5 sets - 9 "Prime Time" cards, 3 "Blue Label" cards, 3 "Vintage Arms" cards, 3 "Chart In" cards and 12 "Phantom" cards.  Autograph cards are available for this set as well.  The Hawks base set breaks down to 69 cards for the manager and players, 3 "Spring Big Deal" cards, 6 "Get Over" cards and 3 "Fresh Prince" cards.  Like the other two sets there are 30 insert cards available but in this case they're split among four sets - "Elevated" (9 cards), "Closing Bell" (3 cards), "Specialized" (6 cards) and (of course) "Phantom" (12 cards).  The Hawks set also has autographed cards available.  As I mentioned the other day, BBM has announced that Carter Stewart will appear in this set - I do not know if he will simply have a "regular" player card or if there will be an insert or autographed card available for him.

- BBM announced their two annual sets for the cheerleader/dance squads for several of the teams.  The sets are called "Dancing Heroine" and the first one ("Hana") is due out this weekend while the other one ("Mai") will be out on July 27th.  Both sets will have a base set of 89 cards.  Cheerleaders and/or dancers from nine teams are included in the sets - Lions (bluelegends), Hawks (Honeys), Fighters (Fighters Girl), Marines (M * Splash!!), Eagles (Tohoku Golden Angels), Swallows (Passion), Giants (Venus), Dragons (Chia Dragons) and Tigers (Tigers Girls).  The Buffaloes (BsGirls) and Baystars (diana) squads are not included in the set for some reason (and the Carp don't have cheerleaders or a dance squad).  Apparently there's no duplication of the cheerleaders between the two sets although I don't know if that means that all of the members of the squads are included between the two sets.  There are autographed and "cheki" cards available for both sets.  I think there are parallel versions of the base cards but there are no insert cards.

- 2nd Version, BBM's second "flagship" set (or second half of their "flagship" set) will be released on August 7th.  The base set for it looks pretty much the same as it has for the last four or five years.  There's 216 "regular" player cards (18 per team), 36 "1st Version Update" cards (3 per team), 36 "Cross Sunrise" cards (3 per team, continuing the subset started in 1st Version), 12 team checklist cards (that I would bet are going to feature mascots because BBM is that damn predictable) and an as yet unknown number of "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards featuring various Japanese celebrities (and horror movie characters as Sadako is making her fourth appearance on one of these cards).  There are three 12 card insert sets (1 player from each team) - "Franchise Builder", "Young Core" and "Phantom".  The "Phantom" cards are serially numbered to 25 (I assume the ones for the team sets are as well but it's not mentioned on the webpages for the sets).  There are memorabilia cards available for Koji Chikamoto of the Tigers and Ryosuke Tatsumi of the Eagles along with a wide variety of autographed cards.

- Epoch's eighth "Rookies & Stars" "comprehensive" team set of 2019 will be released on July 6th and will feature the Carp.  The base set has 69 cards - all "regular" player cards.  I think the rookie cards have two different parallel versions available.  It also has three serially numbered insert sets - Masqued Black, Masqued Red and Gem.  These are apparently Epoch's answer to BBM's cross set "Phantom" insert cards as they've been included with all their "Rookies & Stars" sets this year.  The set also has autograph and memorabilia cards available as well as autographed memorabilia cards.

- Epoch is apparently making an annual set out of their Pacific League Rookies set.  This is a box set that includes cards for all the non-ikusei picks for the six Pacific League teams from last fall's draft.  Each box contains 46 cards - the complete 44 card base set plus one serially numbered parallel card (ether a gold or hologram foil facsimile autograph card) and one serially numbered authentic autographed card (either silver or hologram foil).  Unopened boxes are retailing for 9400 yen (around $88) and will be out on August 10th.

- Epoch's latest ultra high end set is a "Stars & Legends" set dedicated to the Hawks.  This is a combination active/OB player set that appears to be tied into the Hawks' 30th Anniversary of their move to Fukuoka.  The base set contains 32 cards - 14 of which I think are active players.  Each box retails for 14,400 yen (~$135) and contains only four cards, two of which are autographed cards.  There are also Holospectra insert cards as well as the serially numbered Gem "cross set" insert cards.  The set will be out on August 24th.  (And as far as I can tell this set will not include Carter Stewart.)

- Hits (or Yes) has announced another "Used Ball Card" team set, this time for the Hawks.  Like the previously announced sets for the Baystars and Swallows, this set has a base set of 81 cards but apparently only includes 16 players (which does not include Stewart).  There are a variety of parallel and authentic autographed cards available with the set.  It will be released on August 10th.

- Yesterday Dan Skrezyna tweeted out information about the latest KBO set from SCC.  This is the first set for 2019 in Korea and apparently came out in the last week or so.  The set contains 300 total cards although 100 of those are autographed cards.  The 200 card base set is split among normal (90), rare (50), holo (30), signature (20)  and rookie (10) cards.  Boxes retail for W24,000 (~$21) and contain 30 packs containing five cards each.  6/30/19 UPDATE - Dan says that the base set is really just 190 cards as the 10 rookie cards are short prints.  He has a friend who opened 3040 boxes of cards and got just 5 rookie cards.

Thursday, June 27, 2019


I wasn't really looking for Calbee cards too much on the trip - I was more concentrating on finishing some BBM sets and getting more obscure issues at the card shops I was visiting - but I did end up picking up eight.  I thought I do a quick post showcasing what I got.

I only picked up two relatively recent cards, both Dragons related.  The first is Tyrone Woods from the "League Championship" subset from the 2007 Series One set.  The back of the card has the scores from all the 2006 Dragons regular season games.  I can't remember for sure but I think I bought this card at either Coletre or Mint Ikebukuro.

2007 Calbee LC-4
The other one is from the 2010 Series One "Team Stats" subset.  It shows Kazuyoshi Tatsunami's retirement ceremony from the end of the 2009 season.  The back of the card shows the team's roster and stats for 2009.  I picked this card up at Mint Ponyland in Nagoya.

2009 Calbee TS-02
I picked up a card from one of Calbee's oddest sets at Mint Umeda in Osaka.  In 1998 Calbee issued a set of "CD" cards that were available by redeeming "Lucky" cards.  These were oversized die-cut cards that came in a plastic case about the same size as a CD case.  Here's the front and back of the card outside of the case:

1998 Calbee CD #CD-16

1998 Calbee CD #CD-16 Back
Here's what the card looks like in the case.  Unfortunately the case got cracked while in my suitcase for two weeks.

The remainder of the Calbees that I got were all from the 1970's.  I picked up this card of 1973 Tatsuhiko Kimata from Mint Ponyland for 2000 yen:

1973 Calbee #69
I paid about 490 yen for this card of Osamu Higashio from the 1973/74 set at Biblio in Tokyo:

1973/74 #Calbee #319
This card is from the 1976/76/77 Calbee set and features Mitsuhiro Adachi of the Hankyu Braves.  I'm pretty sure the picture is from Game One of the 1975 Nippon Series against the Carp.  I'm not quite sure what store I bought this at or how much I paid for it - I think it was Mint Ikebukuro but I'm not positive.

1975/76/77 Calbee #255
This 1977 Calbee card shows Shigeo Nagashima and Masaichi Kaneda when they were the managers of the Giants and Orions respectively.  What's really cool about this card is that Calbee very rarely included cards of anyone in a Lotte uniform prior to 1985 (since Calbee and Lotte are rival snack companies) so a Calbee card of Kaneda is very rare.  I'm pretty sure I got this at Mint Ikebuburo for somewhere between 1000 and 2000 yen.

1977 Calbee #145
The final Calbee card I'm sharing in this post is the most interesting one.  I picked it up at Mandarake, a vintage toy store in Nagoya for 2700 yen.  It's from the 1979 August Best set and depicts Yoshihiko Takahashi of the Carp.  When you see it you'll see why it's interesting:

1979 Calbee August Best #6
I had never see a Calbee card with a border like that on it.  Neither Engel nor the Calbee Collector website make any comment about the "August Best" set looking like this - they both indicate that the cards in that set were the standard borderless photo cards.  Sean and Ryan hadn't seen anything like it either but since I got it Sean discovered someone selling a card like it on Yahoo! Japan Auctions for 5000 yen.  The auction claims it was a Hiroshima only regional issue.  Sean also pointed out that the text on the front of the card celebrates Takahashi's 33 game hitting streak that ended on July 31, 1979 - 33 games is still the longest hitting streak in NPB history. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Trip Overview Part 2 - Day 2 - Sendai

I had what may sound like an odd choice as my first destination for Sunday, May 26th in Sendai - I was heading off to Yagiyama Zoo.  The zoo is located west of the central part of the city in a hilly area overlooking the city.  It was a hot, hazy morning - I wondered if on a clear day you could see all the way to the ocean.

The zoo has the usual collection of animals - I saw elephants, giraffes, rhinos, penguins, zebras, monkeys and flamingos - but I was at the zoo looking for something else.  And over by the hippos, I found what I was looking for:

You’re probably asking yourself - what’s a statue of Babe Ruth doing in a zoo in Sendai?  As it turns out before there was a zoo on this site there was a ballpark called Miyagi Prefecture Yagiyama Baseball Stadium.  This ballpark hosted the fourth game of the 1934 Major League Tour of Japan on November 9, 1934 in which Ruth hit his first two home runs on Japanese soil.  The statue was erected in 2002 to commemorate this.

After finishing my visit to the zoo, I headed across town to Miyagi Prefectural Stadium (which has a corporate name that I’m not going to use until the company sends me a check), home of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.  After all these years of being a fan, I was attending my first ever regular season NPB game as the Eagles were taking on the Orix Buffaloes that afternoon.  It was “Women’s Day” and the ballpark was packed.

The pregame festivities featured a dual first pitch ceremony from Nijika Ishimori and Akane Moriya, members of the idol group Keyakizaka46.  I think these were the only people I saw throwing out the first pitch of a game who might show up on a BBM First Pitch Ceremony card for this year’s 2nd Version or Fusion sets.  Here’s the video from PLTV:

In the game itself, Orix took an early lead in the top of the second on a solo home run from Yuma Tongu (yet another player in the Japanese Collegiate All Star cards in Panini's 2019 Stars & Stripes set)) but the Eagles answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.  They added a single run in the fifth to extend their lead to 3-1 and then finished their scoring on a solo home from Toshiaki Imae in the seventh.  Yuki Matsui came on in the top of the ninth and struck out the side, notching his 13th save in the Eagles 4-1 victory.

I had a great time at the game.  The two guys on either side of me were very nice to me, especially considering I can’t speak Japanese at all.  The guy on my left was there with his wife (I assume) and gave me a jet balloon to shoot off during the Eagles “Lucky 7” at the bottom of the seventh inning.

The guy on my right was there by himself.  He spoke a little English and asked me what brought me to Sendai.  When I told him I was there just for baseball and I described some of the rest of my itinerary, he laughed and said I was “baka”.  I told him that’s what my wife said too.  I was amused that he sang the Buffaloes fight song at the top of the seventh - we agreed it was a good song for a bad team.  At the end of the game he gave me a victory jet balloon to launch.

Here are the highlights of the game from PLTV:

I walked back to my hotel from the ballpark.  It was about a mile and a half walk but I figured I still got back sooner than I would have if I’d tried to fight the crowd heading for the closest subway stop.  I relaxed in my room for a little bit then took a walk to the Mint Sendai store, just on the other side of Sendai Station from where I was staying.  After that I grabbed some dinner and collapsed back in my room.  I wanted to get some rest as I’d be catching the Shinkansen back to Tokyo first thing the next morning.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Carter Stewart

It was big news last month when Carter Stewart, the Atlanta Braves top draft pick from last year, signed a six year deal with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.  Stewart was the eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft out of high school but failed to come to terms with the Braves. 

I was fortunate enough to be at the Hawks game on June 2 where the team introduced him to the Fukuoka Dome crowd at the beginning of the Hawks "Lucky 7".  His official introduction was at a press conference the next day.  He's been working out with the Hawks farm team ever since although he has not appeared in a game yet.

I've been asked about Japanese baseball cards for him.  There's actually one out already - there's an Epoch One card for him from the press conference on June 3rd.  A couple of these have made their way to Yahoo! Japan Auctions and from them I can see that the print run for the card was only 326 which I think is surprisingly low.

BBM announced their annual Hawks team set this past week and the promotional material for the set says it will include Stewart.  That's the only BBM card I know for sure will be issued for him this year although I would expect that he'd either have a card in the 2nd Version set in August or the Fusion set in November (or possibly both). 

Other than that - your guess is as good as mine.  There's a couple sets that I expect be released in the fall that he could show up in - Calbee's Series Three, BBM's Rookie Edition Premium and Genesis sets - but nothing I feel he'd definitely show up in.  Of course it'd entirely possible that BBM or Epoch will release something else this year that has him in it.  I also would not be surprised if he showed up on another Epoch One card before the season is over, especially if he made an appearance with the ichi-gun Hawks.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Card Of The Week June 23

I wanted to share an oddball card I picked up on the trip.  I got this 1998 card of Yoshinobu Takahashi at Mint Ponyland in Nagoya:

Here's what the back looks like:

I knew I had seen either this or a similar card before but it was driving me crazy trying to figure out where.  I finally did a search for "Tokyo Dome" on This Card Is Cool and found that five years ago Ryan had discovered a similar card of Atsushi Kataoka of the Fighters.  He says that these cards are part of a 4 card set (2 Giants and 2 Fighters) that both celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Tokyo Dome and promote a card show in December of 1998 (or were given away at it).  The cards were meant to be paired together so the other Giants card (which I assume is #D-01) shows the other half of the Tokyo Dome.  I'm curious who the other Giant was - I'd guess Hideki Matsui but it might be someone else.

UPDATE - Did some looking around on Yahoo! Japan Auctions and found someone selling all four cards:

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Epoch One Cards

Along with the trip overview posts I also wanted to post (brag) about the cards I picked up while I was in Japan.  I'll start with the Epoch One cards I got.

Epoch One is Japan's version of Topps Now.  Epoch makes cards available on their website for purchase for three days.  Each card costs 500 yen which includes shipping.  Like the Topps Now cards, the print runs for the cards depend on how many orders they get for the cards.

I learned two new things about the Epoch One cards while I was in Japan.  The first is that unlike Topps, which appears to put all the new Topps Now cards they are selling up at once at I believe noon Eastern time daily, Epoch doesn't have a set time they announce their cards.  They announce them at apparently random intervals.  This is difficult to notice from the US East Coast since the cards get announced in what for me is the overnight hours when I'm asleep but you can tell this is the case by looking at the time remaining for cards on their site - the cards don't all expire at the same time.

The second (and much more interesting) thing is that Epoch One cards are relatively easy to find in card shops in Japan, especially Mint stores.  I remember seeing them for sale at Mint Shinjuku, Coletre, Mint Ikebukuro, Nagoya BITS, Mint Hiroshima and Mint Chiba but other stores had them as well.  "Commons" are generally 600 yen but cards that are in more demand run higher.  The most I personally paid for one was 1000 yen (Akira Neo) but I'm pretty sure I saw some in the 2000-2500 yen (although off hand I couldn't tell you what those cards were - it wouldn't surprise me if one of them was for Kotaro Kiyomiya).

I brought home 14 Epoch One cards, 8 from 2018 and 6 from 2019.  I bought all of the 2018 cards and one of the 2019 in shops.  Ryan Gluesing had ordered the other 2019 cards for me directly from Epoch.  Here are the 2018 cards:








I picked up the Sakamoto and Yasuda cards for the uniforms in case I ever update my uniform posts again.  The Dragons draft pick cards I picked up just to have the absolutely first cards for these players - they came out two months earlier than BBM's 2019 Rookie Edition set.  Each card was 600 yen except the Neo (1000 yen like I mentioned) and the Umetsu (800 yen).  I saw the Neo selling for 1200-1500 yen at other stores but I got it relatively cheaply at Coletre.

Here are the 2019 cards I got:






The first Batista card and the Sakamoto card commemorate the last home run of the Heisei Era and the first home run of the Reiwa Era respectively - this Batista card I bought at Mint Hiroshima for 600 yen.  The Akashi card shows him in the middle of his backflip after hitting a sayonara home run against the Buffaloes on April 25th.

Ryan gave me the second Batista and the Kawashima cards in their original packaging direct from Epoch.  They were delivered to him in an individual big black envelope for each card.  Each card was packaged in a penny sleeve which was then placed in a top loader and finally wrapped in a clear bag.  Here are photos I took of the two envelopes and their contents (and hopefully I've obscured Ryan's address):

UPDATE - I remembered something I wanted to mention after I posted this.  I was expecting that there'd be several Epoch One cards issued for games I attended in Japan as all but one of the games I went to featured at least one team that Epoch was issuing these cards for (everyone except the Buffaloes, Eagles and Baystars).  I was kind of disappointed to discover that there were only three cards issued, all of which featured Tiger players!  I've asked Ryan to get them for me.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Trip Overview Part 1 - Days 0-1

I apologize for not writing much in the week and a half since I got back.  I've been busy with work and other things (been to two more baseball games since I've been home) and I've been struggling to figure out what and how I want to write about the trip.  I think the posts will end up falling into three categories - an overview of the trip (which will take several posts), posts for each card shop I visited and posts on the cards I brought back.  I'll start the overview here.

On Thursday, May 23rd I flew from Baltimore to Toronto and then on to Tokyo.  I arrived at Haneda Airport on the afternoon of May 24th and after waiting in several different lines at the airport (going through customs, picking up my rental wifi device and picking up my JR Rail Pass) I headed to my hotel.  I was staying at the Nippon Seinenkan Hotel which is located across the street from Meiji Jingu Stadium.  I got to my hotel almost 24 hours to the minute after leaving my house.

There was a game between the Swallows and Dragons going on at Jingu that night and if I had gotten a room on the "Jingu side" of the hotel I'd have been able to watch it.  Unfortunately my room was on the other side of the hotel.

After checking into my room and freshening up a little I went out to look around a little and get something to eat.  I walked down the street to the Swallows team store to see if they were selling any baseball cards.  They weren't but the Family Mart on the ground floor of the hotel had this display of Calbee packages up:

These were all Series One packs and since I already had the complete set I didn't buy any chips.  Still it was good to see they were available.

I checked out of the hotel relatively early the next morning.  The lobby of the hotel is on the eighth floor of the building and has a great view of Jingu Stadium:

There's actually four stadiums visible in this shot.  From left to right is the Olympic Stadium (still under construction), Jingu Seconday Stadium, Jingu Stadium and Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium.  There was a Rugby game with the Japanese National Team scheduled for the next day and apparently a number of the players were staying at my hotel - I had briefly spoken with one the night before.  He was from Fiji originally and had attended college in New Zealand so he spoke English very well.

I had some running around to do that morning.  I was planning on attending the two Tokyo Big 6 college games at Jingu starting at 10:30, going to Shinjuku for a little bit after the games and then taking the Shinkansen up to Sendai that evening.  I needed to do something with my suitcase for the day.  I considered leaving it at the hotel while I was at the college games but I didn't want to schlep it to Shinjuku afterwards, especially since I'd have to find a locker for it in Shinjuku which might be difficult in the late afternoon.  I decided to go to Tokyo Station and store it there, since I'd be catching the Shinkansen from there.  Going to Tokyo Station would allow me to take care of getting my tickets for the Shinkansen as well.

I had an unpleasant surprise when I got to Tokyo Station however - all of the storage lockers were unavailable.  The President was going to be visiting in the next couple days and as a security precaution no one was allowed to store luggage at Tokyo Station or any of the nearby stations for the duration.  I decided that since I'd be going to Shinjuku later I'd head over there now and find a locker which is what I did.  I then headed back to Jingu Stadium - my running around took me roughly 90 minutes to get back to where I had started from.

The first Tokyo Big 6 game was between Meiji and Hosei and was one of the best games I saw the entire trip.  Meiji built a 3-0 lead over the first six innings.  Starting pitcher Masato Morishita didn't allow a hit until the top of the sixth.  Hosei tied the game in the top of the eighth though on a three run pinch hit home run by Seiichi Nakamura and went ahead 4-3 in the top of the ninth.  With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Meiji first baseman Makoto Kitamoto hit a solo home run to tie up the game at 4.  Since the Swallows were scheduled to play at 6 that evening the college games were not allowed to play extra innings so that's how it ended.

The second game was between Rikkio and Tokyo and wasn't nearly as interesting.  Tokyo has traditionally been the doormat of the league and this year was no exception - they went 0-10 on the spring season.  Rikkio starter Seiya Tanaka threw a complete game, defeating Todai by a score of 4-0.

Meiji defeated Hosei the next day to clinch the Tokyo Big 6 championship.  Morishita ended up being voted MVP of the league and Tanaka came in second.  I was pleasantly surprised to realize that both of them appeared in the Japanese Collegiate All Stars cards from the 2019 Panini Stars & Stripes set:

2019 Panini Stars & Stripes Japanese Collegiate All Star #5

2019 Panini Stars & Stripes Japanese Collegiate All Star #7
After the games were over I headed for Shinjuku.  I stopped off at Mint Shinjuku, my first card shop of the trip.  I'll write about them in a separate post.  After leaving the shop there was a landmark there I needed to see:

Despite the poster this is not a promotion for the new movie - it's a permanent fixture.

I had a scary couple minutes when I went back to Shinjuku Station to pick up my suitcase - I couldn't find the locker I had stored it in!  I had a receipt that told me the locker number but I couldn't find it.  After wandering around for about 20 minutes I finally asked the man who was running the left luggage stand who explained to me that the locker I wanted was in the South Concourse while I was in the East Concourse.  He showed me how to get to the other Concourse and I was able to quickly find the correct locker.  Once reunited with my suitcase, I headed back to Tokyo Station in time to grab some dinner before catching my bullet train to Sendai.  It was about 10:30 that evening before I checked into my hotel in Sendai, putting an end to a long first day in Japan.