Hobby Stores Revisited: Hobby Stations in Nagoya
Before Grand Prix Nagoya, I will be taking another look at all the Magic stores in Nagoya and offering new insights and information that I hadn’t done before. I hope that this more in depth look at these game stores helps MTG visitors to the city and allows them to find each place with the least amount of hassle possible. If you have any comments or suggestions on how to improve this article, please let me know.
Hobby Station is one of the biggest names in Trading Card games in Japan. They have stores in every major city in the country, and are also involved in many big events such as the Magic Market Open. They are one of the sponsors for Grand Prix Nagoya 2014, happening next week here in nagoya.
A Personal Perspective
I’ve now lived in Nagoya for almost 3 years, and have been shopping at each of their stores for almost that same amount of time. One thing I’ve learned is that no two stores are the same. Each store controls their own supply and demand, which means that the same card could be found at any of the stores in Nagoya, but the prices could be radically different. Each store’s buy prices seem to be uniform, but if you looking to buy Magic cards at Hobby Station, it’s definitely worth checking out all of them. Their stock always changes, and prices fluctuate. Each of the stores are bright and well lit, offer free playing space if you feel like playing a pick up game of Magic (as long as there aren’t any other tournaments going on at the same time), and the overall atmosphere of each store is welcoming.
Hobby Station also has a point card system, so that you can earn points towards Magic singles just by shopping there (I saved up enough to buy some modern cards and chase rares over the past few months). Overall, their selections aren’t as large as Magic speciality shops like Big Magic, but they should have the standard ‘chase’ rares you want, as well as a decent selection of modern and legacy staples from time to time. Speaking of cards, if you are interested in selling your cards to them, all you need is a photo ID such as a passport or foreigner card, so even if you’re just visiting from overseas you can make a nice buck from whatever you have in your binder.
Hobby Station Mei Eki
Hobby Station Meitetsu Eki is named this way because of it’s location near Nagoya station on the Meitetsu line. Out of all of the shops, it is the smallest Hobby Station in Nagoya, however it also has the best competition in town next to Big Magic. Every weekend you’ll find 20+ people playing standard there at their weekly Saturday tournament, with winners usually getting 2000+ yen in store credit.
- Phone Number – 052-452-8577
- Website – http://www.hbst.net/shop/meieki/
From JR Nagoya station, go to the Taiko Dori side. This is the side with Bic Camera across the street (if you can’t read Katakana, look for the big building with the names of many electronic companies on its side). It’s probably best to cross the street and get on the same side as Bic Camera. Turn left after crossing the street and walk down the main road AWAY from Bic Camera. You’ll pass a Denny’s on your right side. After a few minutes of walking you’ll see a stoplight with a Mini Stop convenience store at one of the corners. Take a right at this intersection and walk down to the next stoplight. You should pass both a Sukiya (beef bowl place) and a Lawson convenience store on your right. Once you get to that next light, turn right, and cross the street. Keep walking straight and you should see the tiny Hobby Station store on your left side. I missed it a few times at first due to it’s small size, so be careful. If you are on the same street as Animate, you need to go down one more block. Hopefully these directions will suffice, but if you need better ones, don’t be afraid to call the store.
As I stated before, Hobby Station Mei Eki has large Saturday standard events every week. This starts at 2pm. They also have Friday Night Magic every week from 6pm, and do both standard and modern formats. On Sundays you will sometimes find legacy or modern events here around 1pm, so check the schedule on their website for details. They also have a casual standard constructed tournament every Wednesday at 6pm.
Hobby Station Osu
I used to go to Hobby Station Osu a lot more, but recently they’ve been holding less and less Magic events. You’ll still find them hosting pre-releases and FNM, but since they stopped doing weekend standard, I haven’t gone there as often. One of the best things about Hobby Station Osu is the size of it’s play area. It can comfortably fit about 30 players for a big tournament such as a GPT. They also have a decent selection of cards in their cases, and their prices tend to be lower than the store near Nagoya station.
- Phone Number – 052-242-5252
- Website – http://www.hbst.net/shop/nagoya/
The store isn’t clearly marked from the outside since it’s part of a bigger store called Wonder Goo. There might be a shorter route, but the most direct route would be to come the same way as you would to get to Amenity Dream which is also located in Osu Kannon. Take the purple Meijo subway line to Kamimaezu station (if coming from Nagoya station, hop on the yellow Higashiyama subway to Sakae station, transfer to the Meijo line going towards Kanayama). I believe if you take exit 9, you will be directly on Otsu dori street on the left side of the road. Walk up the street for about 5 minutes, past Starbucks and the Osu 301 building until you see a 7/11 convenience store. At that next intersection you should see a tall arch with the words AKAMON DORI to your left. Take a left and walk down the street looking for the WonderGoo store on your right side (after about 3 minutes). Walk inside and go to the 4th floor where Hobby Station is located. From the station, this is probably a good 15 minute walk so bundle up if it’s the winter time.
A quick look at the schedule on their website shows that they have FNM every week from 6pm, a standard tournament on Sunday’s at 1pm, and a Modern tournament at 5pm. For those of you that don’t want to deal with the high level of competition at Big Magic on Sundays, Hobby Station Osu at 1pm is a good alternative. I’ve recently been going to the Modern event at 5pm as well, which usually gets 10-20 players depending on the week. Winner’s usually get a promo card from a previous FNM, but everybody gets a booster pack for their 300 yen entry fee. Not bad.
Hobby Station Sasashima
Hobby Station Sasashima is the newest Hobby Station in Nagoya. I opened about 4 years ago in the ever developing Sasashima area a few blocks from Nagoya station. There are tons of things to do besides Magic the Gathering if you decide to visit this branch, such as a game center, a live music hall that hosts Japanese/global artists from time to time, an IMAX theater, and more. They tend to have good prices on their singles from time to time, so it’s definitely worth checking out their stock if you don’t mind walking about 15 minutes from Nagoya station.
- Phone Number – 052-485-8577
- Website – http://www.hbst.net/shop/lavamonagoya/
The easiest way to get to Sasashima Hobby Station is to go to Nagoya station and take the JR Aonami Line (the line that goes to Nagoya Port). Sasashima Live (ささしまライブ) is the closest station to this shop. Once you arrive at the station from Nagoya, look to the left of the station and you should see a large building with a movie theater and, a 7-11 convenience store, and next to that is Zepp Nagoya (the live music hall). The shop is right next to these places, so if you can locate one of these landmarks you’ll be in good shape. Since I walked from Nagoya station (about a 15 minute walk following the Tokaido line then turning right under a bridge once the different lines branch away), I can’t say how long it is from JR Aonami Sasashima Station, but if I had to guess I’d say it’s about a 5 minute walk. There are a lot of wide open spaces between the station and this movie theater/entertainment building, so it’s kinda hard to miss once you get to the station.
The big pull for Sasashima Hobby Station is their Tuesday standard constructed tournament. There are no other events going on this day, so it’s the only place to play Magic if you have Tuesday nights off of work. They also have FNM at Sasashima. Both tournaments start at 6:45 pm, and one draw back to this is that they usually only have 40 minutes which means a lot of ties when control is popular. They do tend to have double digits most of the time though, and quite a few students from the nearby university play there as well.
Next time on Hobby Stores Revisted
Well, that’s one down! This weekend I’ll be traveling to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka prefecture for a Pro Tour Qualifier, so you’ll have to wait until Monday for my next installment. I’ll be covering more stores in Osu Kannon next time as a preview of my GP Nagoya afternoon tour of the city. I know a few of you have been asking for revised articles about the stores in Nagoya, so I hope this makes things a lot easier. Thanks for reading and I hope this post helps you to navigate your way around Nagoya next time you visit the city.