Well, I am not sure where I should begin….it has been such a great experience!
We had never been in Japan before, so this was the perfect excuse to do some tourism as well as work. This is what we did:
We arrived to Tokyo the 1st of June, after a 11.5 hours flight from Perth, Australia. Luckily, Tokyo is just one hour ahead from Perth, so we didn’t get any jet lag.
After arriving to Haneda Airport, we took the limousine bus to the hotel. I know it sounds very posh, but it is just a normal bus that goes from the airport to Shinjuku Station and to a wide range of hotels. If you ever go to Tokyo, this is one of the best ways to get from the airport to the hotel. It is cheap (around $12, whereas a taxi might cost you $60 or more!), fast, and you can buy the tickets at the airport.
Since our arrival at the airport we started to realize that in Japan you feel like all is going smoothly. Is it true? Well, keep reading!
The 3rd of June was the first of two set up days and many dealers were rushing about to get their shipments!
The TIMA Mineral show was opened to the public from the 6th to the 10th of June.
The 5th was also opened, but only for dealers and mineral professionals like museums, etc. So we had some days before the show to get to know Tokyo. We visited the Imperial Palace and its gardens, walk around Marunouchi and Ueno areas and ate some some incredible tasty sardines in Shinjuku! So far so good!
It took us two days to get everything ready for the show. We had to set up the minerals in the glass show case and table they had prepared for us, write the prices, put some more lights… Of course it wasn’t only mineral work: we also had time to go out for lunch and hang around Shinjuku and buy all the neccesary stuff we needed for the show. It was our first mineral show ever, so we forgot lots of things!
We discovered Tokyu Hands, where you can buy almost anything. There we bought plastic bags, japanese plugs, multiple conectors or some clamps to hold the lights inside the glass show case! Honestly, anything to need, go there!
Another very usefull shop is the 100 yen shops. There are many of them in Tokyo, and you can get lots of things for around $1. We bought a notebook, stickers for the prices, a calculator…
We would like to thank you all awesome TIMA stuff, as they are very professional and at the same time, very friendly. Specially Akiko who had to deal with Juan about the kind of lighting used at the show!
Our space was small, just one table, but enough for us. It was in a good location near the entrance of the main hall. Moreover, we felt like in our own country due to so many people around us speaking Spanish! Among them, we conversed with Alfredo Petrov, who speaks a fluently Spanish after many years working as a geologist in South America. He brought a nice selection of rare mineral specimens to the fair.
Probably around fifty percent of the material offered at the fair consisted in gems, lapidary material and jewellery, being the rest mineral specimens of different qualities. We could highlight the quality of a few mineral dealers like Wayne Leicht from Kristalle and Hatsudai-Aisekikan, both with fine quality worldwide minerals.
There were also a few sellers with magazines about mineral collecting, books, guides for beginners collectors, etc.
We brought with us mainly minerals from the famous fluorite localities of Asturias, Spain: La Collada, La Moscona and Emilio Mine, plus some other specimens from Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
During the fair many of our young and not so young Japanese Twitter followers visit us and we enjoyed chatting with them face to face! It was great to know you! Thank you for your support!
Almost each day we alternate the mineral fair with some extra activities like visiting the Oedo Antique market where we found some nice fossils and a few minerals!
What we missed is a mineral market held in Iidabashi Tokyo at the same time that TIMA fair. Iidabashi is not far from Shinjuku, the suburb where TIMA fair is held.
Now we are back in Australia and we feel that we have to go back to Japan next year… So see you then!
Juan Fernandez Buelga