Tokyo Mineral Show 09 presented by Planey Co LTD
December 10 - 14, 2009
Kristalle made their first appearance at the Tokyo Mineral Show this December with Lois and Robbie representing the team. We are always at the show in June sponsored by TIMA so this was a new adventure at a very interesting time of the year in Tokyo. While cold (compared to the near monsoon June weather) there were sunshine days and even a rare view of Mt. Fuji from the hotel room on the 26th floor!
This show, in it's 22nd year, is located in the Ikebukuro District of Tokyo at Sunshine City, which is a four-block complex of shopping and entertainment. The Sunshine 60 building, one of Asia's tallest buildings, anchors the center as well as the Bunka Kaikan building where the show is located. Sunshine City includes a planetarium, aquarium, 60th floor observatory, Ancient Orient Museum, The Japan Traditional Craft Center, Metropolitan Art Space and Toyota Amlux which is a five floor car showroom with a designer studio and virtual driving simulator. One hardly has to leave this area - everything is there!
Show set up began on Wednesday for over 250 dealers on two floors of the Bunka Kaikan Building.
Excited invited guests arrived on Thursday afternoon for a preview which lasted until 7:00 pm. On Friday morning the general public began lining up to buy tickets an hour before opening.
The line was so long that a staff member carried a sign so that new arrivals could locate the end. The lines lasted well into the afternoon on both Friday and Saturday.
The aisles were crowded with enthusiastic mineral and fossil collectors checking their show guide and Japanese Fleischers. We were pleased to see so many women and young knowledgeable collectors attending the show. There was a great variety of material but certainly fossils remain the items of most interest in Japan.
Marcus Origlieri of Mineral Zone joined us in our booth and his end table offered a great variety. Unfortunately, he had no 'takers' for the 1.25 million Yen price tag for the his entire table. Better luck next year Marcus!
Something we had not seen before were some very interesting Feldspar var Albite crystals from Nepal. Marcus brought our attention to these specimens but we neglected to get the name of the dealer who brought them to the show.
The second floor featured the Special Exhibits.
Located between the show and our hotel was a very large 4 floor shopping mall with 60 restaurants, 120 clothing, shoe and jewellery stores, a wine bar, flower shops, and food markets. Every time we lost our way we discovered new and interesting treats like ice cream and dessert crepes. I wonder what we will find next year!
On the streets surrounding the hotel were multistorey buildings with game parlours where the equivalent of 5 dollars could bring you hours of entertainment.
Small restaurants were abundant on the many walking streets where you could eat with the locals at reasonable prices. Imagine sushi for three people for less than thirty US dollars! The only difficulty was knowing what you were actually getting when you ordered by pointing at pictures or plastic replicas of the food. It didn't really matter because everything was delicious and well prepared. One evening Lois and Robbie were quite surprised by what they were served when they thought they ordered grilled scallops. Buildings were 5 to 10 stories with a different restaurant on each floor. Just get in the elevator and check out each floor until you find a restaurant that suits your taste.
Tours were available when you have free time. We especially enjoyed a half day tour with a stop at a pearl gallery with a presentation about pearl growing; the Sumida River Cruise; and a visit to the Asakusa Kannon Temple, with the Hozo-mon Gate and shopping district. It also included drives through several other districts in Tokyo.
We also had time to visit one of the local shopping districts with quite an assortment of food, clothing, shoes, and more.
Kristalle will be back again in 2010 – there’s still more shopping to be done!