Inside Japan's Pokémon Centers: Ultimate Fan Destinations

by Tania Hidayat

Pokémon Center Kyoto Pikachu mascot

Imagine stepping into a world where your favorite Pokémon come to life. Now, you can immerse yourself in the Pokémon series with Japan's Pokémon Centers! These Pokémon Centers mimic the Pokémon shops featured in the games and on the show. At each Pokémon Center, fans can purchase an array of exclusive Pokémon items while learning more about recent game-related news. If you can't head to a Pokémon Center Japan location, you can still find fun Pokémon merch online at Sugoi Mart.

Let's explore these exciting Pokémon Centers more in-depth, including what kind of items to expect to see, where to find top centers and tips for visiting.

What Are Pokémon Centers?

Inside the Pokémon Center in Let's Go Pikachu

 

If you're familiar with the Pokemon franchise (owned by a team of companies: Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures), you'll know a Pokemon Center is where trainers take their Pokemon to heal. It's also a location where trainers can trade Pokemon or simply manage their collection. The real-life version of a Pokemon Centre is a Pokemon store that carries about exclusive merchandise featuring your favorite characters. From Bulbasaur to Pikachu, you'll find ample options for plushies, toys, and more. There are even interactive elements that allow you to become more immersed in the world of Pokemon.

The first-ever official Pokemon center opened its doors in Tokyo, Japan in 1998. Since then, the flagship store has moved to various districts throughout Tokyo, with its current location in Ikebukuro. Additional shops have also opened, with a current list of 20+ (including temporary and permanent shops) available for fans to explore.

Locations of Pokémon Centers in Japan

As mentioned, Japan is home to 20+ Pokemon Center locations. They are located throughout the country in major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and more. Below are a few of the main Pokemon Centers in Japan.

Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo

Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo featuring Pikachu and Mega Charizard Y

 

This Pokemon Center is a flagship store; it was the first official shop ever opened, and it remains a popular Pokemon store for fans. Its current location lies in Ikebukuro's Sunshine City Mall. Though it has moved multiple times over the years, it remains one of the largest Pokemon shops in the country. This shop is packed with an array of items, from Pokemon cards to plushies, Poké balls, and more.

Pokémon Center Okinawa

Pokémon Center Okinawa entrance featuring Pikachu and Arcanine

©2022 Pokémon. ©1995-2022 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.

This Pokemon Center Japan location is one of the newest offerings, opening in August 2022. It's inspired by Okinawa's natural beauty, incorporating a stunning design that's reminiscent of the city's nature views. This shop specializes in video content and Pokemon Card Games. You'll see displays at the front of the store featuring popular characters like Arcanine and Pikachu!

Pokémon Center TOKYO DX

Pokémon Center Tokyo DX featuring Snorlax, Pikachu, and Mew

 

This popular Pokémon store is tucked away in Nihombashi Takashimaya S.C., a famous Tokyo department store. One characteristic which helps distinguish this location is the appearance of an oversized Snorlax at the entrance to the shop. Visitors will find Mew and Pikachu sitting on Snorlax's shoulders as a fun welcome. This location is also next to the Pokemon Cafe, which features exciting Pokemon themed drinks, snacks, and meals!

Popular Pokémon Center Items

Rows of plushies in Pokémon Center

 

What makes a Pokemon Center a beloved destination for fans is the numerous Pokemon merch in stock, from plush toys to apparel, Pokemon cards, accessories, home decor, and stationery. As far as plushies go, nearly every character is available at a Pokemon store, from Lapras to Terapagos. For example, you may find the Pokemon Quaxly Unkempt Hair Plushie on the shelves, an adorable plush featuring Quaxly with messy hair. This playful plush perfectly demonstrates Quaxly's cute personality, leaving you with the ideal item for displaying in your Pokemon collection. You'll even find Pokemon characters in different forms, so you can easily pick your favorite.

Pokemon Quaxly Unkempt Hair Plushie

Introducing the Pokémon Quaxly Unkempt Hair Plushie, capturing the adorable charm of Quaxly with its disheveled locks! This plushie is a playful reminder of Quaxly's endearing personality, perfect for cuddling or displaying as a quirky decoration. Embrace Quaxly's unique style and let this plushie add a touch of fun to your Pokémon collection!

 

Material: Polyester

 

Size: 23 x 17 x 14 cm // 9.06 x 6.69 x 5.51 inches.

$54.99

Regarding apparel, options are available for various ages, from child to adult. Items are inspired by various Pokemon characters and come in an array of colors and funky designs. With the option to select shirts, shorts, coats, and more, it's an ideal destination for gifts for Pokemon enthusiasts. Throughout the year, limited-edition items are available in-store and stocked together for easy access. These shops also carry exclusive items that other stores don't have access to.

The Pikachu Moods Hungry Figure is an excellent option for Pokemon fans, as it features one of the most popular characters- Pikachu! Enjoy seeing the adjustable character diving into a platter of pancakes as a souvenir from the shop. Another must-have is the Pokemon Summer Days 2-Person Picnic Set, which includes kitchenware, utensils, and a basket decked out in an adorable Pokemon design. These are only a few of the offerings at the Pokemon Center!

Pokemon Fishing Bath Bomb Vol.2

The Pokemon Fishing Bath Bomb series returns with Volume 2! Just drop the bath bomb into your tub, pick up the included fishing rod, wait for a Pokemon to appear, and reel 'em in!

 

Discover which 1 of the 5 Pokemon you can fish out of your bath!

 

Dimensions (bath bomb): Ø7.5 cm / Ø3 inches.

$11.99


You can also expect to find items like this Pokemon Fishing Bath Bomb Vol.2 at the Pokemon Center, which comes with a fishing rod. As the bath bomb dissolves, you'll find one of five random Pokemon characters you'll need to fish out of your bath! Stay with the theme of self-care by exploring aroma diffusers like the Pokemon TeraCute Aroma Diffuser, part of the Pokemon TeraCute collection. This diffuser includes an adorable design with beloved characters like Pikachu and Mew. Use it to infuse your room with your favorite aromas, all while celebrating your love of Pokemon.

Pokemon TeraCute Aroma Diffuser

Introducing the TeraCute Pokémon Aroma Diffuser! Infuse your space with the soothing scents of Pikachu, Mew, and more adorable Pokémon pals. Bring a touch of whimsy to your home while enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy.

* Does not come with aroma oil *

 

Material:

- Top: Ceramic

- Bottle: Glass

 

Size: 8.5 x 5.7 x 5.7 cm // 3.35 × 2.24 × 2.24 inches

$39.99

Iconic Pokémon Characters Featured at Pokémon Centers

Pokémon Center Shibuya featuring Mewtwo

 

While many Pokemon characters are seen throughout each Pokemon Center in various merch forms, each store also has claimed specific mascots. For example, the Pokemon store in Fukuoka currently has Torchic, Grookey, and Pikachu as its mascots, while the Shibuya branch features a life-sized Mewtwo in a tube. This means any exclusive collections at this shop will likely include one or more of these characters.

You can usually distinguish the mascot for the shop based on the logo, which features an image of each mascot. Other common characters you'll see featured in the shops include Eevee, Charizard, and Snorlax. As a note, be sure to check the current mascots before heading to a particular center if you're looking for limited edition merch, as many stores have switched out mascots before.

Special Events and Attractions

Pokémon Center Pikachu plushie gift

 

One major benefit of visiting Pokemon Center Japan locations is their new product releases. These are often announced through exciting events that occur in the centers themselves. These events often include character meet-and-greets, promotions, and other exciting activities that will leave you plenty to chat about with fellow Pokemon enthusiasts!

These events are also the perfect time to explore interactive elements in the shops, such as a computer that allows you to find your top Pokemon choices or a scanner that inputs your outfit on Pikachu. The available experiences vary based on each store.

Tips for Visiting Pokémon Centers

Pokémon Center featuring Pikachu and Rayquaza

 

Use the tips below for the best experience when visiting one of the Pokémon Center Japan locations.

1. Arrive early to beat the crowds.

With the popularity of the Pokemon games and series, there will surely be crowds at each Pokemon shop. The best way to avoid crowds is by arriving before the shop opens. That way, you can get in quickly and get rung up quickly as well (assuming you find your items quickly).

2. Research the mascots before arriving.

If you have a particular character that you want to focus on during a visit, be sure to find a shop that highlights that character. That way, you'll have more items to select from during a visit.

3. Have an idea of what you want to purchase.

Depending on the shop, the sheer number of Pokemon items can be overwhelming. Before heading to a center, get an idea of the products available by checking out the online Pokemon Center shop. Then, you'll have a game plan for exploring the store.

4. Grab popular items as soon as you enter the store.

Certain items, specifically premium card packs, run out quickly at the store. It's best to grab your desired card packs upon arrival to avoid the disappointment of a sold-out product. While most popular items have a limit on how many can be purchased per person, they still fly off the shelves. If you can't get to a Pokemon store early in the morning, check out one of the larger shops, as they often carry more in stock.

Conclusion

Pokémon Center Sword & Shield

 

If you want to live out your Pokemon trainer dreams, visit a Pokemon Center in Japan where you can interact with exciting elements, add to your collection, and meet other fellow enthusiasts. Whether you prefer exploring trading cards or adding to a plushie collection, these centers have plenty of products to offer!

Pokemon PokeBall Teapot

Brew your tea with Pokémon flair using this unique Monster Ball teapot! Perfect for fans, this stylish teapot brings a touch of Pokémon magic to your tea time.

Material: Ceramic

Size: 21 x 13.2 x 10.6 cm // 8.2 x 5.1 x 4.1 inches

$84.99

Should you get the chance to visit a Pokemon Center in Japan, share your experiences through social media and tag @sugoimart! If you can't swing a Japan trip at the moment, shop online and bring the magic of Pokemon Centers home through the extensive Sugoi Mart Pokemon Collection. Here, you'll find Japan-exclusive Pokemon merch like the Pokemon PokeBall Teapot. This PokeBall teapot looks exactly like a real Monster Ball, allowing you to easily "catch" your favorite tea and brew it. This collection also features adorable plushies, starter trader card packs, booster packs, fun blind boxes, accessories, home goods, and more!

Want the latest updates on Pokemon merch? Click the following link (here) and enter your email to subscribe to Sugoi Mart's newsletter!


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Inside Japan's Pokémon Centers: Ultimate Fan Destinations

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