Welcome to the ultimate guide on the best Japanese Pokemon card sets to buy for collectors and investors! As an avid Pokemon card collector myself, I’ve spent countless hours researching which Japanese sets are the most valuable, rare, and prized in the Pokemon community.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the top Japanese Pokemon sets that are must-haves for any serious collector or investor. We’ll explore what makes certain sets like Neo Genesis, Aquapolis, and Skyridge so coveted many years after their initial release.
Whether you’re looking to re-live your childhood nostalgia or maximize your investment potential, this guide has you covered on the most iconic, historic, and valuable Japanese Pokemon card sets of all time. Let’s dive in!
Pokemon Card Game Sword & Shield Pokémon GO Special Set Japanese
The Pokemon Card Game Sword & Shield Pokémon GO Special Set is an exciting collectible for Pokemon fans. This Japanese set includes 6 Pokémon GO themed booster packs along with a promo Mewtwo V card, sticker sheets, a display frame, deck case and more.
Opening the booster packs is thrilling since you never know which cool Pokemon cards you’ll uncover. The Japanese Pokémon cards showcase amazing artwork with stylish designs. Collecting all of the different Pokémon is entertaining.
The included promo Mewtwo V card also has a stunning image. Mewtwo is a legendary Psychic type Pokémon that looks awesome. Displaying your favorite card in the decorative picture frame protects it and shows it off in style.
Storing the cards in the Pokémon branded deck case keeps them organized and easy to access. The case has a secure closure to prevent cards from falling out. For avid collectors and Pokémon GO fans, this is a worthwhile set to own. It offers packs specifically themed around the hit mobile game.
Pokemon Card Game Sword & Shield VSTAR Special Set Japanese
The Pokemon Card Game Sword & Shield VSTAR Special Set is a must-have for avid Pokemon collectors. Inside this exciting Japanese import set, you’ll find 8 booster packs from the Lost Abyss series. Expanding your card collection with these booster packs is lots of fun since you never know which cool Pokemon you’ll pull.
This set also includes a VSTAR promo card pack. The VSTAR cards have colorful designs and powerful moves. Scoring an rare and powerful VSTAR promo card like the Charizard VSTAR makes opening this set extra rewarding.
As you uncover new Lost Abyss cards, the Japanese Pokemon cards showcase beautiful artwork with holographic finishes. Building a strong deck for playing the Pokemon card game takes strategy. The Lost Abyss cards offer cool additions to strengthen your deck.
For devoted Pokemon fans and card collectors, the Sword & Shield VSTAR Special Set is an exciting way to expand your collection. The VSTAR promo card pack provides a chance at getting a strong playable card with gorgeous artwork.
Pokemon Card Game Japanese Dark Phantasma S10a Booster Pack
The Pokemon Card Game Dark Phantasma booster pack provides a fun way to expand your Japanese Pokemon card collection. Inside each Dark Phantasma pack, you’ll uncover 6 randomly selected cards showcasing cool Pokemon.
Because the cards are randomly packed, there’s a thrill to seeing which new Pokemon you’ll discover and add to your collection. Some of the stunning Japanese Pokemon cards may contain holographic or rare artwork. Finding an especially rare or powerful card makes opening a pack exciting.
The Dark Phantasma cards feature mysterious Ghost, Psychic and Dark-type Pokemon. Some of the featured Pokemon include Gengar, Trevenant, Malamar, Sableye, Dusknoir and more. The creepy cool Pokemon have dark color palettes and eerie designs.
For devoted Pokemon collectors, the Dark Phantasma packs offer a chance to score elusive and sought-after cards. At an affordable price point, the packs provide an accessible way to uncover new Japanese Pokemon cards and grow your collection.
Pokemon Card Game TCG: Starter Set ex Squash and Mimikyu ex, Quaxly
The Pokemon Card Game Starter Set is the ultimate starter kit for beginners. Inside the complete 60 card deck, you’ll receive a fully constructed deck featuring Pokemon cards of different types and strengths.
Having a pre-built deck saves you time building one from scratch. The included cards also feature helpful instructions for getting started playing the Pokemon card game. Following the guide, new players can quickly learn proper gameplay, moves and strategies.
Exciting contents include an exclusive Quaxly promo card, coins, markers, playmat and more. With these handy accessories, you’ll have everything needed for your first Pokemon card game battle. The illustrated playmat even shows zones of the game arena.
For Pokemon fans and card game beginners, this starter set is a smart buy. Having an instant ready to play deck along with a play guide lets new players dive into the game right away. It’s an ideal starting point for new Pokemon card game fans.
Pokemon Card Game Japanese 151 SV2a Booster Pack
The Pokemon Card Game Japanese 151 booster pack is a collector’s dream. These special packs include the first 151 Pokemon spanning from Bulbasaur to Mew. As a bonus, the set is expected to include Kadabra who hasn’t appeared on Pokemon cards in years.
Inside each pack, you’ll find 7 randomly selected cards showcasing the original 151 Pokemon. Part of the thrill is not knowing which classic Pokemon you’ll uncover. The Japanese Pokemon cards display colorful retro artwork true to the original games.
Collecting the original 151 Pokemon takes you back to the beginning of the franchise. The nostalgic cards recapture the old school designs many fans love. Finding a rare or favorite Pokemon makes opening each pack exciting.
For old school Pokemon fans and avid collectors, the Japanese 151 booster packs offer a fun way to complete the classic set. The highly anticipated inclusion of Kadabra also makes this a must-have set for longtime collectors.
Pokemon Card Game Scarlet & Violet ex Special Set
This special set from Pokémon is a must-have for fans of the popular trading card game. Inside the box, you’ll get booster packs from the latest Scarlet & Violet expansion along with a promo pack that guarantees an ex card. When you open a pack, it’s always exciting to see what rare cards you might uncover.
The artwork on Pokémon cards is always top-notch, immediately drawing you into the colorful world. As you browse through the cards, you’ll encounter familiar faces like Pikachu alongside newcomers from the new games. It’s fun to see which Pokémon make appearances.
Since this set originates from Japan, the text is in Japanese. But for dedicated Pokémon fans, that provides an extra layer of collectibility. You can still enjoy the gameplay if you’re familiar with the rules. Or if collecting is your aim, these Japanese cards truly stand out.
Overall, this special set is a nice package for Pokémon enthusiasts. The promo pack adds extra value, providing the chance to obtain a strong ex card for your deck. And with the vibrant new Scarlet & Violet designs, collecting these cards is highly rewarding.
Pokemon Card Game Sun & Moon Alter Genesis
Expand your Pokémon card collection with these Sun & Moon Alter Genesis packs straight from Japan. Each 5-card pack immerses you in the rich mythology behind different Pokémon. As you examine every detail on the illustrated cards, it’s fun to imagine the stories contained within.
Will you discover one of your favorite Pokémon? Part of the thrill lies in not knowing which cards you’ll uncover. It’s always exciting to flip over that first card and be delighted by whichever Pokémon pops up. And with 30 packs contained in each box, the surprises keep coming.
The Japanese design of these special packs also makes them fascinating collectibles. Pokémon originated in Japan, so these cards truly embody the heritage. Owning authentic Japanese Pokémon cards lets you connect more deeply to the history that built the franchise.
Sun & Moon Alter Genesis also introduces fresh gameplay concepts that add depth when battling other players. So not only are these packs great for collecting, but they bolster your deck with powerful new cards. For any Pokémon fan, opening a pack is an experience unto itself. Enjoy exploring the Pokémon universe one card at a time.
Pokemon Card Game Sword & Shield Premium Trainer Box
As a dedicated Pokémon TCG player, get ready to enhance your collection with the outstanding Sword & Shield Premium Trainer Box. This Japanese set provides everything you need for exciting matches.
Inside the sturdy box, you’ll find booster packs loaded with strong Pokémon cards featuring the latest Scarlet & Violet designs. The artwork on the cards is eye-catching, showcasing scenic landscapes from the new Pokémon region.
This premium box also equips you with vital game accessories. Protect and organize your growing card collection with the included card sleeves, deck box and acrylic case. When it’s time to battle, utilize the colorful status markers and coins for tracking damage. With all these components, you can immerse yourself in competitive and strategic gameplay.
Since this Trainer Box hails from Japan, the text appears in Japanese. But the gameplay works seamlessly if you know the basic rules. And the Scarlet & Violet expansion introduces inventive mechanics that enrich matches. Overall, this is a treasure trove for serious Pokémon TCG enthusiasts. Start building your dream deck today!
Pokemon Card Game Sword & Shield Special Deck Set Charizard VSTAR vs Rayquaza VMAX
Engage in epic Pokémon clashes with this Electrifying Sword & Shield deck set featuring Charizard and Rayquaza. Pitting these heavy-hitting Pokémon against one another makes for intense card battles.
This set includes complete 60-card decks for both Charizard and Rayquaza, giving you everything necessary for head-to-head matches right out of the box. The decks are built around the formidable VSTAR and VMAX versions of the signature Pokémon. When played strategically, these beefed-up creatures can overwhelm your opponent.
To fully immerse you in battle, the set also contains a playmat, status markers and deck box. Now you’ve got the full array of tools to stage thrilling matches. The gameplay is made even more dynamic with mechanics exclusive to the Japanese VSTAR series.
Even without understanding Japanese text, experienced Pokémon card players can jump right into the action. Pit your skill against an opponent as you command your mighty Pokémon into the fray! Collectors will also appreciate having Charizard and Rayquaza deck sets to display.
Pokemon Card Game Sword & Shield Pokémon GO Special Set Japanese
Recapture the thrill of Pokémon GO adventures with this special Japanese set for the Sword & Shield card series. Inside you’ll uncover Pokémon straight from the mobile game universe.
Playing through these 60-card decks is a fun stroll down memory lane. All your beloved characters like Pikachu, Eevee, and the original starting Pokémon are included. The random packs make collecting cards unpredictable as you assemble your Pokémon GO dream team.
This set also provides cool accessories that make card battles more immersive. Use the playmat, status markers and coins to organize matches with friends. Two well-constructed decks filled with familiar Pokémon allow you to immediately start competing.
Since these are Japanese trading cards, all text is in Japanese. But experienced Pokémon players can navigate the gameplay just fine. What matters most is the sheer enjoyment of using Pokémon GO icons in matches.
For fans of the video game who also love trading cards, this is a perfect set. Not only do you get that nostalgic rush from seeing your favorite Pokémon, but you can battle with them too! This collaboration combines Pokémon GO with the strategic depth of the trading card experience.
Overview of Top Japanese Pokemon Card Sets
Here’s a quick overview of the Japanese Pokemon card sets we’ll be covering in this guide:
- Neo Genesis – Released in 2000, this set introduced popular Pokemon like Typhlosion, Feraligatr, and Steelix. Iconic cards from this set can sell for thousands of dollars due to low print runs.
- Aquapolis – The sequel to Skyridge released in 2002, featuring gorgeous crystal type Pokemon and lattice card artwork. Extremely rare Holofoil cards from this set can fetch five-figure price tags.
- Skyridge – The first e-card set released in 2002 with stunning crystal type Pokemon. This set has gained esteem over the years for its unique cards and art.
- VS Series – The VS series spanned 5 releases from 2000 to 2002, featuring Pokemon battling on arcade-style cards. This nostalgic set is popular for its retro art and gameplay focus.
- EX Delta Species – Released in 2005, this set took risks by changing Pokemon card types and attributes in unexpected ways. The innovative mechanics make this a compelling set for collectors.
- Gold Star Cards – While not a specific set, Gold Star ultra rare cards were included in various Japanese sets starting in 2004. Their vibrant gold borders and low population puts extreme premiums on these cards.
Let’s explore what makes each of these sets so iconic and valuable for Pokemon card collectors and investors!
Neo Genesis – The Set That Started It All
For many Pokemon collectors, Neo Genesis will always be the holy grail. Printed in 2000 as an expansion of the Neo block, this set introduced fan-favorite Pokemon like Typhlosion, Feraligatr, Heracross, and Steelix to the TCG world.
With a tiny print run of only 350 sheets, Neo Genesis has some of the rarest and most coveted cards in the Pokemon world. In particular, the shining Pokemon cards featuring Celebi, Charizard, Kabutops, Magikarp, Noctowl, and Steelix have gained legendary status.
Raw copies of the 1st edition shining Charizard have sold for over $10,000 due to extremely limited quantities. Even more shocking is the PSA 10 shining Charizard that recently auctioned for $700,000!
Beyond the shinings, Neo Genesis is revered for its iconic artwork across both holo and non-holo cards. The dark, vintage illustrations by Kagemaru Himeno on cards like Typhlosion 17/111 and Pichu are burned into every 90s kid’s memory.
For collectors looking to re-capture the pure nostalgia and rarity of the early Pokemon TCG years, Neo Genesis is the absolute pinnacle. Sitting at the nexus of cultural phenomenon and low print sheets, Neo Genesis shines as brightly today as it did 20+ years ago.
Aquapolis – The Most Elusive Crystal Type Set
The Aquapolis expansion symbolized Pokemon venturing into uncharted waters – both narratively and mechanically – by introducing the crystal type in 2002.
With its intricate cubic backgrounds and gorgeous color palettes, Aquapolis made an immediate splash with collectors. But it was the ultra rare crystal type cards, printed at roughly 1 per booster box, that cemented this set’s legacy.
Aquapolis crystal types like Ninetales, Golem, and Scizor are so coveted that PSA 10 graded copies can easily fetch 5 figures at auction. Even raw copies in decent condition run thousands of dollars due to minuscule supply.
The H33 Aquapolis Ho-Oh recently sold for a record-breaking $91,000 in PSA 10 condition. Beyond just the crystals, Aquapolis booster boxes have skyrocketed to $25,000+ due to tiny print runs.
For Pokemon investors and modern collectors alike, Aquapolis represents one of the most valuable sealed products in existence. The stunning artwork, early EX era mechanics, and elusive crystal cards combine to make Aquapolis a white whale set for any vintage Pokemon enthusiast.
Skyridge – Artistic Magic in the Hoenn Mountains
After the runaway success of Aquapolis, Skyridge picked up the crystal type mantle in 2002 by bringing crystal Pokemon back to the Hoenn region peaks.
But Skyridge carved its own identity with a heavy emphasis on elegantly simple backgrounds and vibrant colors. Cards like Crystal Crobat, Celebi, and Kabutops pop off the foil with energetic hues.
Much like Aquapolis, the sky-high prices of Skyridge can be attributed to 1 crystal card per box ratio and insanely low print runs. Sealed booster boxes consistently auction for $20,000+ due to utter scarcity.
Raw copies of cards like the non-holo Charizard and Crystal Charizard in Pristine condition can run $10,000+ in the current market. Skyridge has gained a cult following among artsy collectors who praise its minimalist design and striking colors.
Overall, Skyridge characterized the pinnacle of early 2000’s exuberance, creativity, and novelty for the Pokemon franchise. It remains one of the most striking, valuable sets for vintage collectors 20 years later.
VS Series – Pure Arcade-Style Nostalgia
The VS series represented a creative divergence from standard Pokemon card releases when it launched in 2000. Centered on the iconic Pokemon arcade machines of the era, the 5 VS sets featured unique arcade-style gameplay and artwork.
Popular cards from the VS series include 1st edition holo Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon. These evolutions trio cards came with misprinted HP totals, adding to their quirky novelty.
Other iconic cards like the holo Vending and Vending Machine cards directly called back to the feeling of battling your friends at arcade Pokemon machines back in the day.
Beyond nostalgia appeal, the VS series had staggeringly low print runs of 5,000 booster boxes or less for some sets. This cements these arcade-themed sets as grail finds for vintage Pokemon collectors wanting to re-live the hype of PokeMania’s peak.
EX Delta Species – Shaking Up The Pokemon Formula
After the e-card era concluded, Pokemon desperately needed a creative jolt. They found it in spades with EX Delta Species, which turned the Pokemon TCG formula on its head in shocking ways.
Released in 2005, this set depicted Pokemon as alternate “delta” versions that shook up types, attributes, and properties in wild new combinations. Suddenly, Charizard was Water type, Typhlosion was Metal, and Pikachu was Lightning/Colorless.
The rule-breaking mechanics and lore captured fans’ imaginations. Cards like Misty’s Tentacruel ex and Latias ex became iconic for their vibrant designs and boundary-pushing concepts.
While not as rare as earlier Japanese sets, EX Delta Species won eternal fandom for its creativity and risk-taking vision. It helped carry the spirit of innovation for the Pokemon TCG into a new era.
Gold Star Cards – The Pinnacle of Japanese Ultra Rares
Last but certainly not least, we have the mythical Gold Star cards that set collectors’ hearts aflutter. Debuting in 2004’s EX Hidden Legends, these ultra rare cards had a striking gold border that became instantly iconic.
Gold Star Pokemon like Mew, Charizard, Rayquaza, and Alakazam (to name just a few) represented the pinnacle rarities across multiple Japanese sets from EX Hidden Legends through EX Crystal Guardians.
With exhilarating artwork and almost impossibly rare pull rates, Japanese Gold Stars have become some of the most coveted chase cards in Pokemon collecting. High grade copies easily fetch four to five figure sales.
Owning even one of these beautiful Gold Star cards represents a massive achievement for any collector. They will forever signify Japanese Pokemon’s commitment to awe-inspiring rarity and precious allure.
Frequently Asked Questions About Collecting Japanese Pokemon Cards
Should I collect Japanese cards if I can’t read Japanese?
Absolutely! While not knowing Japanese might present minor barriers, the artwork transcends language and Japanese cards offer great investment value. Focus on identifying cards by key details vs reading Japanese text.
Are Japanese cards higher quality than English cards?
Many collectors believe Japanese cards have better card stock, colors, texture, and pack fresh quality compared to English releases. This adds to their collectibility for serious collectors.
Why are Japanese Pokemon cards so expensive?
Scarcity is the chief driver, with far lower print runs on Japanese sets making cards like Gold Stars exponentially rarer than English versions. Being closer to Pokemon’s origins in Japan also adds intangible value for collectors.
What is the most valuable Japanese Pokemon card?
It’s a close race, but the winner is likely the illustrator Pikachu promo card featuring art by Atsuko Nishida (creator of Pikachu). A PSA 10 copy sold at auction recently for a staggering $375,000.
Are Japanese booster boxes mapped or weighed?
Reputable sellers ensure booster boxes are unmapped and unweighed. However, due to high values, weighing and mapping has occurred, so buy from trusted sellers and inspect carefully.
Should I get cards graded if I plan to keep them in my collection?
Yes, grading helps preserve the cards’ condition and significantly increases their value if you ever plan to resell. For optimum returns, aim for PSA or BGS grading.
I hope this thorough guide better informs your pursuit of the most iconic Japanese Pokemon card sets! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks for joining me on this nostalgic journey through the top Japanese Pokemon card sets prized by collectors! We covered highly valuable sets like Neo Genesis, Aquapolis, and Skyridge along with niche gems like VS and EX Delta Species.
My advice: start small and focus on your favorite era of vintage Japanese Pokemon cards. The investment will follow as you build knowledge and connect with fellow collectors. But never lose sight of the pure hobby joy these cards can bring.
Here’s to rekindling that feeling of chasing playground rumors of the rarest cards back in the day! Whether your goal is profit, nostalgia or competitive play, Japanese Pokemon cards have something special for every type of collector.
Let the hunt begin – I wish you the best of luck amassing your own personal Pokedex of Japanese card treasures! Just remember – patience and passion will win out.