The Idol and Monster Shop

Suddenly, you discover you have just too many monsters in your room! That collection you started when you were six has colonized every shelf and surface, leaving you nowhere to put the empty instant ramen cups that stack up during online gaming marathons. But what can you do? Chucking them in the recycle bin is unthinkable – some of those figures are valuable! If only you could sell them and use the proceeds to fund your new obsession, AKB48 collectible cards!

Enter the showcase locker shop!

Rent one of these clear-fronted displays, arrange the treasures you want to sell, and hope the right customer stops by to browse! I’ve seen these shops all over Tokyo, and they provide surprisingly accurate demographic snapshots. This one at Nakano Broadway is predictably stuffed with anime/manga goods and the collectible obsessions of adolescent boys. The one I saw at an obscure suburban shopping mall was a meatspace version of Etsy, featuring overly optimistic offerings of bead jewelry and other housewifely handicrafts.

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for
Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it…read more

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Published by Jonelle Patrick

Writes all the Japan things.

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