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
Do you have a collection of some sort?
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
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.
My Fabulous Disney Mug Collection - Disney mugs from the Disney parks from around the world!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mickey Mouse Mugs
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!
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
Fantabulous Starbucks Mug Collection - My small but precious collection of Starbucks MugsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Starbucks Mugs Collectibles
Other Mugs From Around the World
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.