While the global craze of Pokémon is coming nearer to its end, this doesn’t stop the fans to live their dream as Japan has still got it going with more and more Pokémon centers opened up in the recent years.
"What is a Pokémon center?" you might ask. Firstly, they are not those ordinary shops that we always see; they are huge. Secondly, being in a Pokémon center means that you can find thousands of varied Pokémon goods and merchandises along with other things that are not available at any other places, even online.
While there are 11 of them scattered all around Japan, these 3 Pokémon centers are the must visit for anyone, even if you’re not a fan.
1. Pokémon Center SKYTREE TOWN
Located on the 5th floor of the Soramachi shopping area at the base of the Tokyo landmark, it is the latest addition to the Pokémon centers. It is particularly unique, as it is the second largest center in the world and features exclusive Rayquaza (a side character in the animated series Pokémon) merchandises.
You will find quite a number of Pokémon statues here, so taking pictures is inevitable. You also might spend hours playing the arcade machines and looking for the right souvenirs to bring home.
Opening hours: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM.
Address: Tokyo SKYTREE TOWN Solamachi East Yard 4F, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 131-0045
2. Pokémon Center Yokohama
If you’re still around Tokyo, you might want to take the train up to Yokohama which is just 30 minutes away. It is one of the most popular spots for Pokémon lovers especially during the summer, as the city of Yokohama is a host to the biggest Pokémon celebration in the world: the Pokémon Outbreak.
The celebration is a surreal one as hundreds of human sized Pikachus will take over Yokohama in the Minato Mirai district, performing adorable dances and marching in a way you can’t just take your eyes off. This year there are rumors saying that new characters will be added to the event and it will take off for a week during the hot month of August.
Opening hours: 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM.
Address: Landmark Plaza 4F, 2-2-1 Minato Mirai Nishi ku, Yokohama, 220-8172
3. Pokémon Center Kyoto
Who would’ve thought that the ancient city of Japan has its very own Pokémon center as well? Conveniently located in Kawarachi Shijo of Kyoto, the Pokémon characters here are gorgeously presented with features and themes associated with traditional Kyoto. You can find Pikachu dressed as maiko (a geiko apprentice, not to be confused with geisha) and objects of Pikachu and Ho-Oh (a legendary Pokémon) set in a way as if they are coming out of Pokémon World.
If you’re planning to get the cutest Kyoto-themed souvenirs for your friends and family, this is the only place that you can catch em’ all.
Opening hours: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM.
Address: 5F Takashimaya Kyoto Store 52 Nishiiru Shincho, Kawaramachi, Shijodori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, 600-8520
For more information on the locations of other Pokémon centers and small stores, visit the official website at http://www.pokemon.co.jp/gp/pokecen/english/.