Pokemon (and especially Pikachu) was one of my first tastes of kawaii and being able to visit an actual Pokemon Center is still a bit of a thrill. You might not find Nurse Joy there but there are lots of special products and you can often get exclusive downloads and Pokemon if you bring your DS.
With Pokemon’s ever-growing fanbase (and the Pokemon Go craze), new and fancier stores are popping up across Japan. I visited the branches in Ikebukuro and Hiroshima as well as the mini store in Tokyo Station. They do all sell quite a similar range but each have their own giant figurines.
While any non-fans will be bored to tears, there’s plenty for Pokemon fans of all ages, whether you’re a fan of the trading cards or the most kawaii plushies. There are also some super cool gashapon with everything from pins and keyrings to build your own mini gashapon machines.
If you’re a Pokemon fan, you definitely need to visit and it’s worth a stop for the curious as such a big part of Japanese and global gaming. If you’re looking for gifts for a friend or family member, you can’t go wrong with anything here.
How to get there
Pokemon Centers can be found at Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City mall, Tokyo Station’s Character Street, LaLa Port Tokyo Bay and at the Sky Tree, as well as in Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka. They’re a big deal just now so are usually well signposted.
Last updated: 20 August 2016