Tokyo is the perfect hub for Pokémon fans, whether you prefer roaming the streets playing Pokémon Go or hitting up all the Poké-hotspots in town, including the Pokémon Centers, stores and themed café. Thanks to the release of ‘Detective Pikachu’, Pokémon’s first live-action film featuring Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the titular character, Pokémon fans in Tokyo have a lot to look forward to. Here are just a few fun things to do in the capital to help you become a better Pokémon trainer.
Hungry? Head over to Tokyo’s permanent Pokémon Cafe, where you can order from a limited-time ‘Detective Pikachu’ menu. Available until the end of June, this adorable menu features characters from the movie in various food and drinks, from character lattes to a Pikachu macaroni and cheese. Oh, don’t forget to take a photo before you dig in.
After having your fill at the Pokémon Cafe, pop by next door to the Pokémon Center and stock up on all sorts of Pokémon merchandise, from plushies to cards and other memorabilia like skincare and kitchen gear. You know what they say – gotta catch 'em all...
Serious fans can even tie the knot, Pokémon style. Pikachu-themed weddings are available through a wedding planning company called Escrit, which hosts various locations in Tokyo and around the country, even Okinawa. Expect everything from Pikachu table décor to Poké Ball macarons and even a three-tied Pikachu-yellow wedding cake.
This year’s Uniqlo UT Grand Prix design competition was themed after ‘Pokémon’, where entries from around the globe compete to be turned into a line of T-shirts. 24 designs were chosen in total and you can check out the winners here. However, just after the results were announced, a discrepancy surfaced with two of the T-shirt designs as they had been previously used for merchandising, which went against the contest rules.
While the grand prize winner plus one other finalists have been disqualified, you can still shop from the remaining 22 designs. These designs were judged by a panel of experts including Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president and CEO of The Pokémon Company; Ken Sugimori, the managing director of Game Freak Inc.; and Nigo, Japanese designer and creative director of Uniqlo UT. These Pokémon T-shirts go on sale online and in stores starting June 6.
If you prefer something a little more dressed-up, you may want to try designing your very own Pokémon shirt. A project started by custom-shirt ordering site Original Stitch, fans can pick from 151 fabric choices, each featuring a different Pokémon character. The website allows you to mix and match your patterns and colours to make an original shirt. To order one, visit here.
Tokyo is an otaku paradise, and you can bet your bottom dollar that there's a goldmine of collectible trading cards scattered throughout the city. For your Pokémon card fix, head to Mandarake, the subterranean shop in central Shibuya which has an entire section dedicated to collector cards. Expect rare finds along with more Pokémon memorabilia throughout the store.
Okay, this one is not technically in Tokyo proper, but how could Pokémon fans miss out on this family-friendly festival dedicated to their favourite yellow character? The annual festival returns to Yokohama's Minato Mirai (only 45 minutes from Tokyo Station) this August 6 to 12, promising more than 2,000 life-size Pikachu, live performances, parades and more. Plus, there will also be a special Pokemon Go event in conjunction with the festival.
Stock up on Pokémon ice pops
A classic Japanese frozen treat that can be found at most convenience stores, Gari Gari is getting a Pokémon makeover this season with a special lemon flavour, in line with Pikachu's obvious colour, of course. The popsicle comes out just in time for the animated flick 'Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution', which is set to hit theatres on July 12.
There will be two different box designs to choose from, while the actual treat is named 'Otona no Gari Gari kun' or 'Adult Gari Gari kun' as it features a more 'grown-up' flavour that is slightly less sweet and contains hints of bitter lemon peel. Make sure to check your stick after eating, as you could win a small 'Gari-Poké Pouch'.
Surprise, surprise, Tokyo even has a venue for Pokémon Go players to mingle, trade and battle each other. Called the P-Go Izakaya Genkinokakera, this izakaya is a casual space for players to meet up over food and drinks, and, of course, play a little Pokémon Go together. It also helps that there is a Pokéstop and gym in the vicinity – so you don't even have to leave your seat to get in on a raid. Moreover, the izakaya also offers phone chargers and free wi-fi to keep you at maximum game capacity. Some of the food is even Pokémon themed. Check its official Twitter page for menu and events updates.