Hobby Stores Revisted: Advantage
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.
Today I’ll be covering a few of the other stores in the Osu Kannon area of Nagoya. If you’ve checked the links on my MTG Stores in Japan tab already, then you’re probably aware that the Osu area is the heart of Magic the Gathering culture in Nagoya. It’s where you’ll find most players on any given day of the week, at all times of day. After looking at their website, Advantage (previously Fireball) seems to be a Nagoya only shop, however it might be part of a larger network of shops around the area as it seems that TCG Shop Phase does cross promotional events with them from time to time.
A Personal Perspective
I found the first Advantage more recently than most of the other stores in Nagoya, thus I haven’t had that much experience playing at it or with the staff, but the experience I do have at it has been positive. The staff are very friendly and quick to help you when you ask for it. Their prices are very competitive, beating out stores like Yellow Submarine and Big Magic most of the time. However, their stock isn’t as expansive as Big Magic’s is. They have buy lists at both store locations, but if you trade your cards in at the main location near Kamimaezu station, you can actually get more money if you use it as credit in the store. This sort of thing might be common in stores overseas such as in the USA, but in Japan it is rare. I recommend checking out the trade values of their cards first whenever you decide to sell something. When you combo competitive prices with high trade in values, you get some of the best deals in town (I traded in 2 Temple of Deceits for a 900 yen Goblin Guide a month or so ago!).
Their point card system is different than Hobby Station (which gives you a point for every 100 yen spent). In order to earn points at Advantage, you have to spend at least 500 yen. Every 500 yen gives you a stamp, and after 30 stamps, you get 500 yen off. Not a great payoff in the end, but if you’re saving money, it doesn’t really matter. If you want trade your cards in here, make sure you bring in a photo ID like a passport, foreigner card, or Japanese driver’s license.
Advantage’s main store is a little unassuming. It’s a few blocks away from the main street on a quiet block OPPOSITE of the Osu Kannon shopping area. However, don’t let it’s location fool you. Advantage Kamimaezu is one of the best places in Nagoya to play Legacy and Modern. As I said above, they are also pretty competitive with their buy prices, and from time to time you’ll find some good deals on eternal format cards as well. The store also has the distinction of having one of the smallest play areas in the city. They can only fit a total of 16 people for any given tournament. It makes the store rather personal and intimate I think. I’d also like point out that Advantage is one of the only places to do midnight pre-releases in Nagoya as well (Game Saloon and Chikusa Phase do it sometimes too I think). I’ve made it a tradition of mine to do every midnight release there since Theros came out. I look forward to doing many more since it’s within biking distance to my apartment.
- Phone Number – 052-242-3711
- Website – http://tcg-advantage.com/wordpress/
FROM NAGOYA STATION: Take the yellow Higashiyama subway Line to Fushimi Station, then transfer to the blue Tsurumai line going towards Akaike (or Toyota). The second stop should be Kamimaezu station. Get off the subway and head towards exit #2. Once you reach street level, you should see a 7/11 convenience store on your left side. Continue walking straight and take a left at the first small street you come to. Go straight for about a block and you should see the building on your RIGHT side. If you see a school, you’ve gone too far. Use the picture above for reference.
FROM KANAYAMA STATION (JR Tokaido line): From Kanayama transfer to the purple Meijo subway line going towards Ozone and get off at Kamimaezu station. From there, follow the above directions after you use exit #2.
Other than the pre-releases and Game Day events, there aren’t many other standard/limited format tournaments at Advantage. This is where you go to play Legacy and Modern. Every Thursday night around 6pm there is a 3 round Legacy tournament, and their Friday Night Magic format of choice is Modern (starting at 6pm I believe). They sometimes have other events going on, so check Wizard’s event locator for those dates.
Advantage Osu is a small shop at the end of one of the major shopping streets in Osu Kannon that connects to Akamon Dori. It can be easily overlooked if you’re not careful. The store came into existence just over a year ago, but it’s already become an important stop for most MTG players in Nagoya shopping for cards. Just as I mentioned above about the Kamimaezu store (within walking distance of each other, maybe 10 minutes?), their prices are very competitive and they must be in order to compete with Hobby Station Osu and Yellow Submarine just across the street. The stairs up to the shop are located just to the left of the Bubble Tea shop you see in the picture.
Once you’re inside the store, you’ll notice how compact it is. There are some standard format Magic cards on the wall, and some modern/legacy format ones in the case. They also have a very large amount of bulk rares from various sets located on top of the eternal format case if that’s your thing. They have buy lists here near the register, but I would recommend just using it to measure prices rather than to sell there. Taking the 10 minute walk to the other store could net you more than a few hundred extra yen in trade in value. Advantage Osu leans towards the standard format more I think, so if you’re looking for older cards swing on over to the Kamimaezu branch. They also don’t have any space for tables, so you won’t find any play space at this location. I recommend it for the great deals you find there from time to time.
- Phone Number – I couldn’t find one, and there is no listing on Wizard’s locator for it.
- Website – Same as above
Just as it was with the other stores in Osu Kannon, to get to this store head to Kamimaezu station. You can get there on the blue Tsurumai line from Kami Otai or Toyota City, or if you are coming from Nagoya station you can take the Higashiyama Subway line to Sakae and transfer to the purple Meijo line going towards Kanayama (It’s two stops away from Sakae on the Meijo line). Once you are at Kamimaezu station, take exit 9 to street level and keep walking straight. Right out of the station you should see an electronics store on your left side, and if you keep walking you’ll see a Starbucks on your left as well. You’re now in the heart of the Osu area. Keep on walking straight for another 2 blocks or so and you’ll come across a 7/11 on the corner of an intersection with a large red gate right next to it. This is Akamon Dori. Take a left and walk straight for about a block and when you get to the entrance to the shopping arcade, look up and you should see the shop on the 2nd floor above the Bubble Tea shop like the picture above.
Next time on Hobby Stores Revisited
We are less than 4 days away from Grand Prix Nagoya now. The weather is looking to be beautiful this weekend, perfect for spending 2 days in doors ^_^. I’m sure some of you will be arriving in town this week sometime to explore the city, so be sure to check back every other day for new posts about the stores in this area. I’ll be talking about Amenity Dream and Yellow Submarine in my next article, and I’m hoping to have it out tomorrow. I also plan on writing some tips on playing in a Limited Grand Prix that I have learned from playing in GP Kyoto and GP Yokohama last year, as well as how the current format has been shaping up.
I also want to remind everybody that I am still doing a tour of the Magic stores in Nagoya on Friday before heading to the GP event hall, and we will be meeting at Kanayama station around 11 am by the exit closest to Asunal and Mr. Doughnut. Please try to arrive around 11 am or before, because we will be heading out around that time in order to keep on schedule. If you can’t meet us at Kanayama, feel free to meet us at Kamimaezu station by the ticket gates around 11:45 or so. I hope to see you come out!