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The Joy of Collecting Mugs


Collecting Mugs : Perfect for Coffee and Tea Lovers

I've never been a collector of anything. I mean it's really not practical for someone like me, who lives in a cramped apartment in a city like Tokyo. Space is at a premium in this city and collecting anything that takes up space just doesn't make sense. When I first moved to my new apartment, I was forced to get rid of so many things so

starting a mug collection was the last thing in my plans.

My collection of mugs started in a natural way and it was never intentional. In the beginning I only had a few mugs in my cupboard which was adequate for my lifestyle and I really didn't need anymore. A nice cup of tea is the first thing I want in the morning and my mug gets a lot of usage throughout the day.

At the turn of the millennium, I made a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida where I spent one magical week frolicking from one theme park to another. There was a huge millennium celebration happening throughout the resort so as a memento of my visit, I purchased a mug, which I thought was the most practical.

Since then, I have been collecting mugs from all over the world. Whether it's from Starbucks or theme parks, on holiday and at craft fairs, if there's a mug I absolutely love, I buy it. Little did I know that I was on the road to becoming a mug collector.

*All photos taken by myself

Your Collection

mug collection

mug collection

How I Go About Choosing a Mug

So how do I go about choosing my mug of choice? It's quite simple really because it all comes down to preference. The collection is my personal collection so it's all about my aesthetics, favorite colors and anything else that catches my attention. There is an endless variety of mugs in the world so I narrow the choices down by making sure they are practical in that I can actually use them to drink coffee or tea out of it.

Starbucks in Japan always release seasonal mugs and I find myself looking forward to them. Every season brings a beautiful collection, but these days I will only buy one if it stands out in some way. I also look forward to the holiday mugs from Tokyo Disney Resort if I visit during that year. If it's a particularly amazing design, I would pay admission to the park just to buy the mug! It's crazy I know, but I'm like that.

I also buy at least one mug from a holiday destination, especially if it's my first time as a memento of my visit. Instead of just photos, these mugs become treasured objects that remind me of my visit to these exotic places.

Say I Love You with a Hand-Painted Mug

disney mug

disney mug

Mugs from the Disney Theme Parks

I have always been a fan of the Disney theme parks and as for the characters, I've always been particularly fond of Mickey Mouse with Minnie coming in at a close second. Let me tell you why.

During one of my first trips ever to Disney World in Florida, I was having a leisurely breakfast with my friend at one of the theme parks. As we went during the off season, it was a rather quiet morning at the Magic Kingdom. As I was minding my own business, concentrating on getting all the maple syrup onto my Mickey pancakes, I felt a tap on my right shoulder. I turned around expecting my friend who had gone to the restroom a few minutes ago. But instead, if was the Mouse himself beaming with the most happiest of smiles!

I felt a bit silly as I attempted to converse with Mr. Mickey but converse I did. We talked ( well, he gestured "Mickey Mouse style" ) for a few minutes until, lo and behold, Minnie comes along and joins in on the fun! They amuse me for a few more minutes until finally it's time to say goodbye. They each gave me a huge hug and went along their way.

Mickey and Minnie stole my heart that morning. I also realized that I had completely lost interest in my plate of pancakes.

Mickey Mouse Mugs

starbucks japan mug

starbucks japan mug

Beautiful Mugs from Starbucks

Starbucks has officially taken over the world! OK, I may be over-exaggerating but it can seem like it if you live in Tokyo. There's practically a Starbucks on every corner! In fact, there are over 260 Starbucks shops in Tokyo alone! And although I prefer neighborhood cafes that are dotted throughout the city, there's something about Starbucks that draws me in.

At one time in my life, I went crazy for those "city" mugs that they make but a few years ago, I was forced to get rid of a lot of them as they were just taking up too much space. Some of those mugs are huge!

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These days, I focus my attention on the fabulous assortment of seasonal mugs they come out with. Starbucks in Japan periodically come out with special-edition mugs which are exclusive not only to Starbucks Japan, but exclusive to just one store! Of course this only makes it that much more enticing for collectors like me.

*Photo of Starbucks Mug - Japan 2006 New Year Edition

Starbucks Mugs Collectibles

Other Mugs From Around the World

thailand mug

thailand mug

I have an intense passion for traveling and used to spend all my spare time and money on going to foreign countries. I still love to travel but with all the hassle of it all these days - the crowds, the waits, the numerous body checks, extra fees and fuel surcharges, etc - I travel a lot less these days. Still, I do manage a trip or two every year and probably will continue to do so until I no longer can.

I also have a couple of "high-end" mugs from the likes of Noritake, Royal Copenhagen and Hermes. Since my mother liked my Hermes mug so much I let her have it, which is why I don't have a photo of it. However I still have my Royal Copenhagen mug. I initially had a set of two, but I accidentally dropped and broke one during a drunken stupor.

Tell Me What You Think

starbucks christmas mug

starbucks christmas mug

Are you a collector of things? Tell us about your special collection! I would love to hear about them! All comments appreciated. Thanks for visiting!

Shinichi Mine (author) from Tokyo, Japan on November 09, 2014:

Thanks so much everyone for your thoughful comments.

LornsA178 I do hope you start writing again.

TerriCarr my tastes for mugs have been changing throughout the years, so that's interesting in itself. I used to love disney mugs with lots of characters. Nowadays not so much.

ecogranny coffee tasting parties, what a lovely idea!

Stephanie36 I do don't I? lol

TreasuresBrenda thanks so much for pinning. Appreciate it.

ladyguitarpicker I need a bigger apartment.

Elsie Hagley I do! I've slowed down though.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on October 14, 2014:

Nice collection of Mugs, you sure have many. I can count my mugs on my fingers. Thanks for sharing.

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on July 18, 2014:

I love your collection. I collect mugs but do not have as many as you do. I also collect old guitars, I need a bigger house. Beautiful.

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on April 22, 2014:

I think mugs are the perfect collectible for someone in a small space particularly because they are a collectible you can actually use.

Pinning to my Pinterest board, Coffee Shop.

Stephanie from Canada on April 21, 2014:

I thought I had a lot of mugs! Lol. I love your collection! :)

SofyBelle on April 16, 2014:

Oh my goodness, I'm sooo jealous!! I am a collector of mugs myself. At least twice a week my boyfriend will come home with a new mug for me from Starbucks and I have to get a mug almost every time that I go anywhere. It doesn't have to be a special occasion or anything. Any store that I go to, I always have to make a special visit to their mug section. Now that we have a daughter, I'm starting to get more and more mugs with her pictures on them, so those are the most important mugs to me.

You have such a beautiful collection of mugs!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on April 11, 2014:

I collect children's books. Some might say I collect books, period. I'm afraid I've had to curtail the collecting though. Once we moved from a typical three-bedroom/family room house to a two-bedroom apartment, then a one-bedroom apartment, I had to give up a lot of books. We still have way to many books for our bookshelves.

It is fun seeing your mug collection. You can have quite the fabulous coffee-tasting parties, yes?

TerriCarr on April 11, 2014:

I like a good sturdy mug with either a simple or beautiful design. I like some of the Starbucks mugs whe they are really strong and sturdy. But I generally don't like brand names on my mugs. Although if it would remind me of a great vacation, then I would make an exception.

Lorna from USA on April 09, 2014:

You have such huge collection of mugs, I wonder if you still have room for more in your apartment. :) I enjoy reading your lens as always.

Shinichi Mine (author) from Tokyo, Japan on April 07, 2014:

@flycatcherrr: I know what you mean. I promised myself never to buy another mug myself. Just no more space left.

Shinichi Mine (author) from Tokyo, Japan on April 07, 2014:

@Jerzimom: Thanks!

Shinichi Mine (author) from Tokyo, Japan on April 07, 2014:

@sousababy: Thanks so much sousababy! So good to see you.

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on April 04, 2014:

The mug is an issue in our house. Do you think there are junk mugs? The ones you show here bring the mug collection up a few rungs in my mind. We have too many company logo mugs which are not very exciting. The few Starbuck mugs we have are interesting because they are from different cities.

Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on April 01, 2014:

I enjoyed your collection and especially the Disney mugs (so nice). I like to collect Christmas ornaments from anywhere I travel. It's so much fun bringing them out every year at Christmas and enjoying the fond memories.

VinnWong on April 01, 2014:

Your...collection... is... so big! I love the Starbucks collection and the silver one with the coaster on your amazon module is to die for... oh my god I want one!