After getting settled in back in Tokyo there are still many things on my bucket list. One at the top was finding a good gem & mineral shop to get my fix. When it’s freezing cold, raining or snowing, going out and collecting minerals in the local riverbed or the mountains just isn’t in the cards. Last Friday the rain did me a favour though, when it’s raining we can’t work and so I had a day off. The rain just gave me the opportunity to go find some minerals.
I’d been following a Tokyo mineral dealer, Hori Mineralogy, on Twitter while living back in the States and knew he had a shop in Tokyo. So I turned on my keitai (mobile phone) navi, google maps, 1 1/2 hours to get there! It ended up taking over 2 hours though to go 40 kilometres though because I didn’t take the expressway. It wasn’t so bad though as I got to learn some new highways and backroads into the city.
Upon arriving I ran into a bit of a problem, parking. The owners had warned me on the phone that parking might be a challenge as the road was very narrow. I told them no problem as I’ve driven in Japan plenty of times and was use to it. That pole pictured above proved me wrong though as I backed into it while trying to park! Oops.
After my parking ordeal I walked upstairs to the shop お店. I was actually impressed when I opened the door and saw that the shop was a decent size, well organised, and full of treasures!
Before getting started I introduced myself to the staff, Mr. Inoe and after breaking the ice hey really became a wealth of information. Alerting me, even drawing a map, to a newly discovered benitoite occurrence just a few miles from my house, letting me know of several upcoming mineral shows and just educating me on the state of collecting and spots around Tokyo. I was under the impression there we no collecting areas around Tokyo.
After the niceties he showed me the flats & drawers containing Japanese specific minerals. Lots of quartz, schorl, beryl, topaz, nice specimens I wasn’t expecting to find at reasonable prices in Japan. There were also tons of tourmalines from Pakistan & Brazil, quartz sceptres from Japan and even a table full of meteorites. An excellent and diverse collection for the buyer to browse. They didn’t have any Japanese benitoite specimens unfortunately, but plenty from the Dallas Gem Mine in Cali. Their red beryl specimens were impressive too and I even found some hiding away deep in one of the flats that are now part of our collection! I ended up picking up a nice natrolite specimen and a quartz on hematite too.
Many thanks to Hori Mineralogy for their hospitality and the opportunity to visit their shop and pick up some specimens. If you are in the Tokyo area Hori Mineralogy is located in Nerima-Ku.
Toyotamanaka 4-13-18, Nerima, Tokyo 176-0013 Japan. 03-3993-1418 www.hori.co.jp
Also, we are opening our shop back up on Etsy, Rt395minerals so check us out. https://www.etsy.com/shop/Rt395Minerals