Where to shop for Pokémon cards in Osaka
If you’re heading to Japan soon but can’t make Tokyo, then you may just find a little slice of Akihabara’s TCG shops hidden away in the heart of Osaka. Read on to discover the Best Pokémon card shops in Osaka.
Osaka is well-known for its modern architecture, the lively nightlife and hearty street food – but did you know there’s plenty for the Pokémon card collectors too? A short walk from Namba station is the city’s bustling entertainment district, bursting with arcades, flashing lights and shops full of gaming memorabilia are far as the eye can see.
Delve a little deeper into this bespoke corner of Osaka and you’ll find an area known as Nipponbashi (Den-Den Town) – a trading card haven for Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic the Gathering and seemingly every other TCG series ever created. If Akihabara is the home of anime, then Den-Den Town is truly the home of TCG – all the better for you PSA 10 fans out there! .
The main area of Den-Den Town is largely confined to what seems to be like a square, surrounding you with every piece of shiny card you could ever need. However, when it comes to specifically Pokémon cards, there are a few shops that stand above the rest. Here are Braysh Gaming’s top three:[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc4Ax_iXSVc[/embedyt]
Nipponbashi (Den-Den Town): best Pokémon card shops in Osaka
Torejaras! is set on two floors and filled to the rafters. However, don’t be confused, the sign for this shop is actually in Japanese and despite it’s cluttered layout, it’s no jumble sale.
Amongst the scattered boxes overflowing with the likes of Digimon plushies and Sailor Moon key-rings, stands a single cabinet saved specifically for PokémonTrading Card Game. Whilst Torejaras! didn’t have the largest collection of Pokémon cards, it certainly had some hidden gems.
When it came to new and recent cards, most card shops in Den-Den Town had you covered, but when searching out old, rare and valuable cards, the hunt was a little trickier. It was here in Torejaras! that not only did I find a very reasonably priced Japanese Base Set Charizard, but also an incredible No Rarity (Japanese 1st edition) Base Set Zapdos. Getting them out from behind the glass cabinet was a task all of its own, with the lady behind the register insisting I filled in a form to denote which cards I wanted – again, don’t be confused!
Both cards bought here were in great condition, and having sent them both to be graded at PSA upon my return to England, they both hit a very satisfying PSA 8 when graded. It’s never easy to find cards like this, and for this reason, Torejaras! just makes the list.
We’re stepping things up a bit here. Dragon Star is one of two shops in Den-Den Town to have a vast array of Pokémon cards, new and old. The vintage card hunter in me was very excited – scanning this small shop wall-to-wall.
What Dragon Star lacks in shop size, it more than makes up for in stature. Glass cabinets high upon the wall are filled with Gold Stars, Shining Pokémon and much much more. Whether you’re after a VS series Karen’s Umbreon, itching for a Delta Species Charizard or need to complete your Full Art Supporter collection with the Masked Royal (limited to 100 pieces after a 2017 tournament) – they were all spotted here!
It was here in Dragon Star that I picked up the likes of a Shinng Tyranitar, Shining Mew and the “Nintedo” error Ancient Mew cards, amongst the most elite of all Pokémon Trading Cards. Once again, they were sent to PSA for grading, but this time I’m keeping the grades a secret and pointing you in the direction of my latest PSA Returns video on YouTube! It’s definitely one to grab the popcorn for.
Big Magic. Big is correct and Magic is beyond question. Not only is it the best card shop in Den-Den Town, but quite possibly the most well-known worldwide.
Big Magic is famed for its rows of vintage cards, retro boosters and nostalgic accessories filling up the empty spaces (there’s a back wall filled entirely with hanging Pokémon play mats). Most collectors will find themselves coming for the single cards and walking out with pockets full of Big Magic Mystery Packs!
Located right on the corner of one the area’s high streets, you won’t miss the huge “Big Magic” sign staring into your soul and pulling you through its doors. There isn’t really a right or wrong place to begin, but Big Magic seems to be one of few card shops with a “Wanted” list – buying the cards you don’t need for a good price including common or uncommon cards (whatever’s popular at the time is usually “Wanted”). It’s a great way to boost their own stock, whilst giving a little back to the community.
As always, there’s a huge selection of the latest and greatest cards. Even on the release day of a new set you’ll find the display cabinets complete with full play-sets of cards just released and ready to go into your next deck. Of course, there’s more than your standard booster-fresh cards to choose from.
Big Magic has one of most comprehensive offerings of Pokémon Trading Cards in Japan. The first thing I noticed in the vintage cabinets towards the back of the shop were mint condition Gold Stars in the form of Celebi and Suicune, accompanied with sealed Gold Star Jolteon and Vaporeon. You can instantly tell that there’s something special in store here.
Moving a little further along the cabinet and you’ll discover more Gold Stars, More Shining Pokémon and even the odd Masaki Alakazam waiting to be found. Big Magic dedicates two large glass cabinets to Pokémon’s oldest and rarest cards, and doesn’t even stop at Japanese cards, as an English mint condition shadowless Gyarados was seen gazing up at me.
Big Magic is an unrivalled Aladdin’s cave of endless wonder. This sense of wonder in compounded with its illustrious Mystery Packs – exchanging 1,000 yen for anything from a regular holo card to a Secret Rare Double Colorless Energy! These packs can be somewhat infamous and are certainly for the high-rollers.
And there you have it – three shops that will not disappoint when visiting Den-Den Town, but here are a few more tips:
If you’re searching for something new and recently released, then don’t forget to shop around. All of the card shops should have a solid selection of the newer stuff, and each shop has it’s own price tag, so don’t settle for the first card you see as you could save a few yen elsewhere!
Also, the card shops here are very honest. Quite often, you will see a yellow label on cards that are slightly damaged – and you’re always welcome to perform your own ‘quality inspection’ before committing to buy anything (a respectful gesture that goes a long way in Japan, especially when looking for that mint vintage item). In return, show your own respect and don’t try to haggle any prices and perhaps learn a few polite words. Simple words such as “hai” (yes) and “arigatou” (thank you) come in handy more than you would think. It’s all part of the Japanese shopping experience!
Have you been to Osaka, or perhaps you’re planning a trip soon? I’d love to know what your favourite places were and what you think to my guide. I’m also more than happy to answer any questions you may have!
Happy card hunting!