In Japan, Pokémon Booster Packs Are Way Different

In Japan, Pokémon Booster Packs Are Way Different

Japan’s Pokémon card release schedule is quite a bit different from the rest of the world and includes different expansion names, different cards, and more variations. It can be super confusing. In North America, we can rely on the good ‘ol , “11 Additional Game Cards” per pack with a code card. But Japan doesn’t have code cards, and they don’t have the “11 Additional Game Cards” per pack either. Instead, each set is different from the last, with packs sometimes containing 11 cards and sometimes containing only 4 or 5. 

How Many Cards in a Japanese Booster Pack?

With the exception of some special sets like Celebrations, we can rely on booster packs to have the same “11 Additional Game Cards” per pack as always. However, Japanese booster packs don’t always have this many cards in them.

Japanese booster packs usually only contain 5 cards. This is because Japanese sets are usually smaller, and do not contain energy cards, guaranteed rares, or guaranteed holos. 

A Starbirth booster pack

Some Japanese expansions come out in sets of two, for example, Single Strike Master (Ichigeki) and Rapid Strike Master (Rengeki) both being released side-by-side. By the time a release like this is printed in English, it is usually lumped into one big expansion such as Battlestyles

Single Strike Master (Ichigeki) and Rapid Strike Master (Rengeki) booster packs

How Many Packs in a Booster Box?

Regular Japanese booster boxes will contain 30 packs, with 5 cards per pack. This can change with special sets such as VMAX Climax, which contained 10 packs and 11 cards per pack. 

One cool perk with Japanese booster boxes is that they guarantee pulls. Each set has a different set of pull rates, as stated on the official Japanese Pokémon website. For example, some sets have a guaranteed secret rare per booster box. This is one reason why you might prefer a Japanese box over an English one. 

God Packs

Some Japanese Pokémon TCG expansions include a chance at pulling a ‘God Pack’. 

The name originates from Magic: The Gathering when Wizards of the Coast released a series of Greek mythology-themed sets. The last set released included the ultra-rare god pack, with the chance to pull 15 god cards.

Pokémon carries on the tradition with their own god packs. This is a booster pack with all 10 cards being ultra rares. When god packs were first introduced in 2019, the odds of finding open were 1 in 250. Now, the odds have increased to 1 in 600 with the most recent set.

God packs can be found in Japanese expansion only. 

This booster pack contains 5 cards

Weighing Japanese Booster Packs

Thanks to the implementation of code cards, English booster packs can no longer be accurately weighted to find the holo. However, Japanese booster packs do not have code cards, so can they be weighed?

Yes, Japanese booster packs can be weighed. Since Japanese packs have such few cards, no code cards, and no guaranteed holo, it is easier to weigh the packs. 

Final thoughts

Japan brought us the gift of Pokémon, so it’s hard to complain when they have much nicer and better quality cards. Their booster pack system is so much different than ours that there is a market here in North America for Japanese products. However, we have to be careful from whom we order if loose packs can be weighed. It would be smarter to go halfers with a friend and order a booster box.

Author: Oliver CopelandOliver has been collecting Pokémon cards for a long time. He had a crush on Misty when he was 10.