If you're an avid skateboarder, The Mint is the place you want to visit. Opened in August 2013, The Mint is famous for being one of the few core skate-shops in Osaka (meaning owned and run by skateboarders).
Their shop is located on the hip streets of Kita Horie, just 5 minutes away from Yotsubashi station. When asked what kind of products are being sold at The Mint, owner Bug Barnes simply said "everything you need to skate". If you need your decks, trucks or wheels, they've got you covered. The Mint receives a mix of local and foreign visitors. Many of those foreign skaters visit looking for local brands like Lesque and Dorcus. The Mint houses both local and international product brands but the the best-selling items are The Mint's house products.
Bug Barnes, owner of the Mint has been skating for almost 19 years. After working with other companies back in his hometown (San Diego) creating skateboard graphics, he officially moved to Osaka 7 years ago. His decision definitely paid off. Gradually, Osaka seemed to open up more to skateboarding, and recently hosted one of the biggest skating events, the Adidas Away Days Team Tour just a few days back at the Grand Front Osaka.
The Adidas Away Days team tour visits different cities around the world and gets local skate-shops to build obstacles for the Pro Skateboarders who include skaters like Rodrigo TX, Nestor Judkins, Jake Donelly and Na-kel Smith. On 19 October 2016, the bare courtyard of Grand Front Osaka came to life with ramps, manual pads, quarter pipes and rails. Not forgetting the hundreds of people who came to watch. As music filled the streets, people of all ages flocked to the ring to witness the Adidas Pro skateboarders show off their skills.
For local skate-shops, it is important to constantly collaborate with other companies, whether it is skate related or not. The Mint has done an excellent job of producing collaborative work with bigger well-known brands like Pintrill, and even created artworks with French artist, Lucas Beaufort. You can purchase some of these collaborative works at their skate shop too.
Don't be a stranger, go check them out!