My husband, Elliott, loves Magic: the Gathering (MTG), and he was debating whether or not he wanted to play while we were in Tokyo. Elliott was actually a bit nervous since he does not speak Japanese, but I encouraged him to go anyway. He called and made a reservation to play during Game Day (Standard) at a shop called Mint Shibuya, a few blocks west of exit #3, Shibuya Station in Tokyo.

When we arrived, I noticed that this was a card shop with a bar! I don’t competitively play MTG, so I was glad that I had an option to hang out and have a few drinks. Their menu included some fun MTG themed cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic beverages as well. They had tables lined with playmats for your cards, and above is a layer of raised glass to place your drinks on.

The shop was cozy, and everyone was very friendly. There was enough table space to have about 6-8 games all at once. I noticed some folks were playing at the bar as well.

Elliott didn’t have much difficulty connecting with other players. Most of the locals at the shop spoke a little bit of English and also had some English cards. There were a few occasions where he needed the help of a translator, but other than that, everything went pretty smoothly.

There were also times where without speaking a single word, a card gets played and everyone who is watching will madly cheer. Everyone laughed together. Everyone cried together. It was like watching a sports game and the crowd goes wild when the home team scores.

Elliott almost passed up the opportunity to play MTG, because he was discouraged of the language barrier. But at the end of the day, it all worked out. He gained some new friends, a pen pal, and a newfound inspiration to play MTG everywhere we go.

Are you a MTG player, and have you tried playing internationally? If so, how was your experience? Do you think you’ll want to try it?

You can find pictures and more information about Mint Shibuya on their website.

Mint Shibuya
Telephone: +81 3-6277-5205
Japan, 〒150-0043 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Dōgenzaka, 2 Chome−29−18, 清水ビル
(Located on the 2nd floor)

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