How to Find the Value of Japanese Pokémon Cards
July 05, 2023

How to Find the Value of Japanese Pokémon Cards

Pokémon cards are a fantastic way to enjoy the franchise, whether you are building fun decks for competitive play or collecting cards featuring your favorite Pokémon. You can find Pokémon cards in English and Japanese, but you may be wondering how to find the value of Japanese Pokémon cards, especially if you live in North America.

The cards found in the best Japanese Pokémon sets can often be more valuable than their English counterparts, including unique cards that never received an English release. Japanese booster packs also offer different drop rates, which may improve your odds of finding an ultra-rare card.

However, there is much to consider when appraising Japanese Pokémon cards. That’s why we’ve decided to use our experience as the best place to buy Pokémon cards Canada has to offer to create this guide to help you.

This guide will help you evaluate Japanese Pokémon cards, whether you are trying to sell cards you have already opened or looking for a fair price on a Japanese card for your collection.

Before we dive deep into valuations, let’s begin our discussion by exploring what makes Japanese Pokémon cards unique.

A Brief Introduction to Japanese Pokémon Cards

If you are a Pokémon anime, manga, or video games fan, you probably know that they are released in both English and Japanese. Just like those forms of media, the Pokémon trading card game also features both languages.

Japanese Pokémon cards contain different graphical features than English cards, offering a visually distinct way to show off your favorite Pokémon. Japanese cards are also often cheaper in the Western world due to a higher demand for English cards in those markets.

Japanese cards offer tons of value, even if you are just learning how to start collecting Pokémon cards.

The Unique Appeal of Japanese Pokémon Cards

One of the most rewarding parts of collecting Pokémon cards is finding novel artwork highlighting your favorite Pokémon or characters from the anime, manga, or video games.

In the trading card game world, Japanese cards offer a fresh new design perspective compared to English cards. Japanese packs feature some of the best alt art Pokémon cards around, including exclusive releases for Japan.

The design intricacies of Japanese cards may be hard to discern at first glance, but those differences help set them apart. For example, Japanese cards are smaller than English cards by roughly 0.2 inches.

While most English cards feature a yellow border, Japanese cards contain silver frames, which can change the aesthetic of a card entirely. Japanese cards may also have different holographic patterns. Therefore, Japanese cards are an excellent choice for any collector.

Japanese cards may also feature different gameplay attributes than their English counterparts, though most competitive formats only allow for single-language decks.

The Importance of Appraising Your Japanese Pokémon Cards

Accurately assessing the value of Japanese Pokémon cards is an essential skill for any collector. Proper valuation allows you to make better-informed decisions when searching for new cards and prevents you from losing value when selling cards.

Appraising your cards can also help you identify any valuable cards you may have overlooked in your collection. Japanese booster sets can contain ultra-rare cards and even cards never released in the West, so doing your research is vital.

There are many things to consider when valuing your Japanese Pokémon cards, so let’s switch gears and discuss those factors.

Factors Influencing the Value of Japanese Pokémon Cards 

English and Japanese Pokémon cards can fluctuate in value due to several factors. Japanese cards often vary wildly, especially when alternate art or domestic exclusives are involved.

Properly weighing these factors can help you make the most out of your collection, especially if you are hunting for rare cards. You’ll want to consider things like the rarity and exclusivity of your card, what type of condition it is in, and market trends in the Pokémon card economy.

Japanese Pokémon cards can differ from English cards in all these categories, so let’s dive into why that is the case.

Rarity and Edition

Japanese Pokémon cards are released in a different manner than English cards. Each language of Pokémon cards contains exclusive cards for their market. Several cards are released in limited quantities or only for promotional events. Japanese booster boxes are smaller than English ones, which may affect the number of cards you find on the market.

Additionally, some Japanese releases come out months ahead of English releases, which can temporarily spike the prices of new cards. If you are looking to invest in cards for resale, buying exclusive Japanese booster boxes can be an excellent way to cash in on the initial higher valuation.

Condition of the Card

The condition of your Pokémon cards also plays a massive part in their valuation. Japanese Pokémon cards are slightly more durable than their English counterparts, despite being thinner, and this can raise their value to collectors. Pokémon cards in mint or near-mint condition, with little to no signs of damage, are significantly more valuable.

Keeping your Pokémon cards in good condition is especially critical if you plan to keep your collection for the long haul. Cards released 20 years ago are less likely to be in excellent condition, causing well-preserved cards to rise in value over time.

Demand and Market Trends

Japanese Pokémon cards carry a unique value in the Western world. Mixed-language decks are not allowed in many competitive play formats, which can cause Japanese cards to be valued cheaper than English cards in many cases.

The durability of Japanese Pokémon cards also generally leads to more mint condition copies of common cards on the market, keeping their prices competitive. Therefore, many Japanese Pokémon cards are an excellent choice for collectors who are not as interested in the card-battling side of the TCG world.

On the flip side, Japanese-exclusive cards, ultra-rare holographics, and promotional cards skyrocket in value in the Western world.  The unique artwork found on these cards makes them extremely popular and highly valued.

Market trends for these cards can vary wildly, and it can take time to properly appraise Japanese cards while fully considering the demands of the Western market. Next, we’ll cover everything you need to watch out for when assessing the value of Japanese Pokémon cards, so read on for our tips!

How to Find the Value of Japanese Pokémon Cards: Step-by-Step Guide to Effortless Valuation

Appraising Japanese Pokémon cards can take some research, but it is well worth the effort. You’ll need to be able to decipher the features on your card to look for signs of rarity and authenticity. These features are especially important in identifying and avoiding Pokémon fake cards on the open market.

Several online resources, from price tools to Pokémon TCG communities on Discord or Reddit, can help you compare a card’s valuation to past sales or trades. You can also seek professional appraisal for the best results, especially if you have ultra-rare cards!

Identifying Key Features of Your Card

Pokémon cards were crafted to make determining rarity easy once you know what to look for. Every card has a symbol at the bottom next to a card number. Pokémon card rarity symbols have evolved over time, but here is a brief guide to help you identify your card.

  • Common cards feature a circle symbol in English and a “C” in Japanese.
  • Uncommon cards have a diamond symbol in English and a “U” in Japanese.
  • Rare cards feature a singular star in English and an “R” in Japanese.
  • Double-rare cards are one of the newest classifications with the release of Paldea-based sets. Many of these cards also feature “EX” in the title. You can identify them with double stars in English or “RR” in Japanese.
  • Ultra-rare cards are full-art versions of holographic foil cards with two shiny stars at the bottom. In Japanese, these cards are called Super-Rare and feature an “SR” symbol instead.
  • Secret-rare cards were recently re-classified to encompass three different classifications of card. These cards are divided into Illustration-rare, Special illustration-rare, and Hyper-rare. Secret-rare cards contain one, two, or three shiny gold stars, gilded borders, and full-art designs. 
  • Illustration-rares are called Art-rares in Japan, with an “AR” symbol, while Special illustration-rares are called Special art-rares, with a “SAR” symbol.
  • Hyper-rare cards are called Ultra Rare in Japan, designated by a “UR”  symbol with a full-gold design.
  • Pokémon Cards have gone through many classifications over time, and you can find other fan-dubbed rarities like Gallery V, Full Art, and Alt Art to describe different types of ultra-rare cards.

Many Double-rare or greater cards are visually distinct with striking holographic features, so if you pull any cards like that, you likely have a valuable one on your hands!

Utilizing Online Price Guides and Resources

Once you have identified the key features of your card, the next step is to utilize online price guides and resources to help you determine its value. There are many websites and online resources available that can provide you with up-to-date information on the value of Japanese Pokémon cards, including rarity, edition, and condition.

We also highly recommend Pokémon trading card game communities, many of which are free to join. We host a Discord community here at Danireon and love discussing rare cards in detail, so be sure to stop by with any questions!

Referencing Recent Sales and Auction Results

Another helpful strategy for finding the value of your Japanese Pokémon cards is to reference recent sales and auction results. By looking at what similar cards have sold for in recent auctions or private sales, you can better understand what your card may be worth.

You can find many of these valuations online or by consulting with other collectors or dealers who may have experience with similar cards.

Seeking Professional Appraisal for High-Value Cards

If you think you have exclusive or ultra-rare Japanese Pokémon cards, we highly recommend professional appraisal if you plan to sell. Professional appraisers can provide an accurate and unbiased assessment of your card's value, considering its rarity, edition, condition, and other vital factors.

Many professional appraises have their fingers on the pulse of the Pokémon card market and will be able to thoroughly explain why your card is valued the way it is.

We offer PSA submissions in Canada at Danireon, so reach out to us if you are interested in getting the most accurate price for your Japanese Pokémon cards, reach out to us!

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Valuing Your Cards

There are a few things to watch out for when valuing your cards.

First, many collectors often overvalue their cards due to sentimental value. This can lead to frustrations if you are trying to sell only to not find any suitable buyers. It is vital to check current market prices, as they can fluctuate over time.

You also need to make sure which set your card was released in. Older editions are usually more valuable than newer editions, provided your card is in great condition due to lower supply on the market.

Failure to seek out helpful resources like online tools and professional appraisals can also lead to overvaluation or undervaluation of your cards. Getting a fair valuation of your cards is crucial to ensuring you receive a fair price on sales, so be sure to do your research!

A Closer Look at Some High-Value Japanese Pokémon Cards at Danireon

Now that you have a good idea of how to evaluate Japanese Pokémon cards, the only question now is how to find new cards for your collection! Japanese Pokémon cards are an amazing choice for any collector, especially if you are hunting for rare art.

If you are in Canada or North America, there is no better place to find Japanese ultra rare Pokémon cards than right here at Danireon. We carry an inventory of over 20,000 cards, accessories, and toys, all related to the world of Pokémon and the trading card game.

From hard-to-find Japanese Pokémon boxes that will help you pull new cards months before a Western release to Toploader binders, the best binder for Pokémon cards, we have everything an aspiring collector could ask for.

We founded our company as an homage to the fantastic Pokémon trading card game, and we are so proud to have built a dedicated community of Pokémon and TCG fans across Canada and North America. We always welcome new fans and experienced battlers alike to join our discord server or stop by our Ottawa-based store.

In addition to a diverse selection of Japanese cards and boxes, we also provide professional appraisal services and even purchase cards with a constantly-evolving and easy-to-use buylist.

Danireon is the best place in North America to buy, sell, or appraise Japanese Pokémon cards, so browse our site if you want to appraise a card!

Final Thoughts on How to Find the Value of Japanese Pokémon Cards

Japanese Pokémon cards offer a unique way to experience the world of Pokémon cards. Many Japanese cards can be more affordable than English cards due to their higher supply on the market, while the rarest Japanese cards can be extremely valuable for resale.

You’ll want to weigh the rarity of your card, what condition it is in, along with market supply and demand for the best valuation. Remember that vintage Pokémon cards in great condition are often quite valuable, and you can reach out for a professional appraisal for the best results.

From VMAX Pokémon cards to Pokémon Charizard cards, Danireon is Canada and North America’s #1 home for all things related to the Pokémon trading card game. We carry sealed Pokémon cards, including Japanese booster sets and accessories, and we even buy rare cards ourselves.

We’ve also cultivated a compassionate and helpful community you can find on Discord or Twitch that can help you navigate the exciting world of the Pokémon TCG. Our blog also features useful regular updates, including topics like how to ship booster packs for resale.

Reach out to our team today if you are ready to assess the value of your Japanese cards or if you are hunting for cards with unique art for your collection!