Magic the Gathering Stores in Japan
This will be a page devoted to the nerdy but popular card game by Wizards of the Coast. It will focus on shop locations in major cities, experiences, prices (both for buying and selling), and events to name a few things. If you have ideas or questions about anything, or want me to cover something in a future blog post, please leave me a message here!
I am also looking for contributors to this website. If you live close to a few hobby shops or card stores and want to share them with others who might be living nearby, please get in touch with me here and I will be more than happy to feature your articles on this website. Take some pictures, write down information about the store and directions on how to get there, and also write down your impressions and opinions about the place. It would be great to have a network of MTG gamers around Japan.
Interacting with Staff
Going into a store in a bigger city isn’t as hard as you think. The stores in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo areas always have a good number of foreign customers coming and going (especially during GPs), but in smaller cities things feel a bit more personal, especially if the stores is the only one around for miles in each direction. Staff will usually say iirashimasei (いらっしゃいませ/Welcome to the store）when you enter the store, so don’t be alarmed when they say this to you. 99.9% of the time you can walk around a store in peace and walk out, but if looks like you’re actually in need of help and want to find something, the staff in the smaller stores might come up to you and ask what you’re looking for (なにかおさがしですか？/nani ka ohsagashidesuka?). If that happens you can say what you want in English or show them a picture and they should be able to help you find it. They’ll ask you to wait (しょうしょうおまちください/shoshomatchikudasai）and if their search comes back negative they’ll apologize and say they don’t have what you’re looking for and apologize (すみません。そちらはございません。/Sumimasen. Sochira gozaimasen).
Another situation you might run into is that you see a card locked away in a box or shelf and you want to either check it out or buy it. In this case, you should go up to the cash register or grab somebody on staff and ask them politely to get a card for you. You can do this by saying “Sumimasen. Showcase kudasai/すみません。ショウケースください。
You can also go up to the staff and ask for something you want. One way to do this is to use the card’s name, the other is to show a picture of the card in question. The most direct way to do this is to say “(card name)がありますか？ ((card name) ga arimasuka?) You can then follow this up with How much ((card name) wa ikura desuka/（＿＿＿）はいくらですか？）Once you make your decision on what cards you want to buy and go up to the register, they’ll ask you if this is all (kochira de yoroshidesuka?/こちらでよろしですか？）to which you can say yes (hai/はい) or no (iieh/いいえ).
If you’re looking to sell some cards while you’re over here in Japan, you can also do that but if you’re visiting from another country you’ll need a Passport to do so. If you’re currently living in Japan, you’ll need some form of ID like a foreigner card or driver’s license. Some stores will have their buy list prices posted somewhere on a wall, but other times they’ll have to check up the cards online and give you a price (and in some rare cases you have to have the staff check how much they can offer you which is time consuming if you have lots of cards). To start, say that you want to sell a card, and you want know if they buy cards at the store (card wo ooritai desu. Kaitori wo shitemasuka?/ カードをうりたいです。かいとりをしてますか？）. You’ll most likely have to fill out a form with your name and address, and while the form is in Japanese, if you ask what each blank means the staff should be able to help you.
If you’re making a big purchase or selling a lot of cards, it might be worth it to ask about a store’s point cards. Sometimes if you buy enough or sell enough, you can get points to use for a free card. Even if you’re just visiting but plan on spending a decent amount of cash, that can easily translate into a free $5-10 card. Not every store has one, but it doesn’t hurt to ask “point card ga arimasuka?/ポイントカードがありますか？”
But of course if you’re looking to play Magic the Gathering in Japan, the most important question to ask the staff is when they have Magic tournaments, as well as what formats they support at the store. You should start off by asking about the tournaments by saying “MTG no taikai ga arimasuka?/ MTGのたいかいがありますか？” then following it up with when “itsu desuka?／いつですか？”, what time “nanji desuka/なんじですか” and if they don’t say it, what format (nan no format desuka?/ なんのフォマトですか?).
NOTE: Closed stores can still be viewed, but have a line through the link to denote the change.
- Hobby Station Osu No. 2 and Card Company/TCG 193 Osu – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2016/08/13/nagoya-mtg-stores-hobby-station-osu-no-2-and-card-companytcg-193/
- Phase (Chikusa) and Card Brunch (Kanayama) – https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/japanese-mtg-player-archetypes-and-hobby-profiles-ii/
- Amenity Dream (Osu) – https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/hobby-shop-profiles-in-japan-i-nagoya-part-1/
- Hobby Station (Osu) – https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/hobby-shops-in-nagoya-iv/
- Big Magic (Yaba-cho) – https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/things-are-darkest-just-before-the-dawn-another-japan-hobby-store-profile/
- Mishimaya (Ozone) – https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/hobby-store-profiles-iii-nagoya-part-3/
- Hobby Station (Sasashima Live, Near Nagoya Station) – https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/attack-of-the-pod-people-and-playing-in-the-rain-off-the-beaten-path/
- Yellow Submarine (Osu) – https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/new-hobby-store-opening-and-the-mutating-metagame/
- Hobby Station (Meitetsu Eki) – https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/the-wrap-up-the-final-nagoya-hobby-store-profile-and-current-metagame/
- Advantage and Omocha Hayakawa (Kamimaezu and Rokuban-cho) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2012/09/12/off-the-beaten-path-magic-store-profiles-around-nagoya/
- Hobby Station (Yagoto) and Phase (Aratamabashi) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2012/11/10/off-the-beaten-path-magic-stores-around-nagoya-yagoto-and-aratamabashi/
Hobby Saloon (SEE Game Saloon) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2013/03/11/magic-in-the-wild-west-hobby-saloon/ Game Saloon – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2013/10/31/gaming-cowboy-hanging-out-at-the-new-saloon/
- Trading Card Game Shop 193 – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2013/06/26/the-193rd-card-shop/
Prinny Club Kanayama – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2013/09/05/dood-its-a-new-card-shop-in-nagoya/
- Card Labo (Mei Eki) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2012/12/23/sneaking-in-a-new-hobby-store-profile/
- Advantage (Osu) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2013/04/09/dragons-maze-first-reactions/
- Card Brunch (Motoyama) and
Card Company“TCG 193 Osu (Osu) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2015/04/17/nagoya-mtg-stores-card-brunch-motoyama-and-card-company-osu/
LIST OF WEEKLY TOURNAMENTS IN NAGOYA
Nagoya has standard Magic tournaments almost every day.
— MONDAY: Card Brunch Kanayama, 6:30
— TUESDAY: Hobby Station Sasahima, 6:45 pm, Yellow Submarine Osu 6:30
— WEDNESDAY: Hobby Station Mei Eki, 6pm
— THURSDAY: TCG 193 Mei Eki, 6:45 pm
— FRIDAY: 6pm, FNM, Various locations, 8 pm & 11 pm Prinny Club Kanayama, 6pm Draft at Big Magic
— SATURDAY: Hobby Station Mei Eki, 2pm, C-Labo 1pm (sometimes)
— SUNDAY: Big Magic, 11 am. Usually a booster draft after standard tournament (3:30 or later depending on number of participants at the standard event), Hobby Station Osu 1pm
There are also Frontier, Legacy, and Modern events held around town during the week.
— Thursday: Advantage Kamimaezu, 7pm (Legacy), Card Brunch Kanayama 6pm (Modern)
— Friday: Hobby Station Mei Eki (modern) 6pm, Amenity Dream Osu 6pm, Advantage Kamimaezu (modern and legacy) 7pm, Prinny Club Kanayama 8pm
— Saturday: TCG 193, 7pm (Legacy), Hobby Station Osu 1pm (Legacy sometimes if there are enough people), Hobby Station Osu 5pm (Frontier)
— Sunday: Hobby Station Osu, 5pm (Modern, 16 people, 300 yen), Big Magic 4pm (Frontier)
There are also modern, legacy, EDH, and vintage events about one time a month at Big Magic and Amenity Dream as well. Check the “Magic the Gathering” tab on the top of my website to get more information about the locations of these stores.
- Smile King (Kariya) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2012/10/16/magic-stores-off-the-beaten-path-hamamatsu-and-kariya/
- Master’s Guild –
- Card Labo – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2012/10/16/magic-stores-off-the-beaten-path-hamamatsu-and-kariya/
- Master’s Guild Hamakita – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2013/08/22/magic-stores-in-japan-masters-guild-2-0/
- Master’s Guild Hamamatsu, TCG 193, Duel King – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2015/02/12/shizuoka-mtg-stores-tcg-193-masters-guild-2-5-and-duel-king/
- Amenity Dream, Yellow Submarine, Card Labo – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2012/02/20/kyoto-is-more-than-just-temples-and-tea-it-seems-more-store-profiles/
- Ikebukuro area – Amenity Dream, Big Magic, Yellow Submarine, Hobby Station – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2014/10/22/tokyo-mtg-stores-ikebukuro/
- Hareruya and MINT – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2014/10/31/tokyo-mtg-stores-hareruya-and-mint-shibuya/
- Akihabara Area – (Radio Kaikan) – C-labo, Hobby Station, Yellow Submarine, Big Magic – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2016/04/26/magic-the-gathering-stores-in-japan-tokyo-akihabara-part-1-radio-kaikan/
- Tokyo MTG and Akihabara Area part 2 – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2016/05/05/magic-the-gathering-stores-in-japan-tokyo-tokyo-mtg-and-akihabara-part-2/
- Yellow Submarine and Hobby Station – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2013/11/14/mtg-stores-in-chiba-prefecture-yellow-submarine-and-hobby-station/
- Fireball, Yellow Submarine, and Card Labo (Fukuoka City and Kitakyushu) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2013/10/25/southern-hospitality-mtg-stores-in-and-around-fukuoka-city/
- Yellow Submarine, Card Pal, Dragon Star, Big Magic, Amenity Dream, Hobby Station (Nipponbashi) – https://thejapanhobbyist.com/2015/07/01/osaka-mtg-stores-the-magical-land-of-nipponbashi/
Some of these posts are a little old, so if you need some clarification or have questions about the stores, please let me know.
I’d also like to post a link to a useful article I did for those people who are new to competitive Magic. It’s up to date with the Return to Ravnica Block, and will be updated in the future depending on if the metagame changes.