The reputation of Pokémon is not disputable anymore, and two decades after the first launch, these little Japanese monsters' success is yet never fading. The first duo of video games, inaugurating the saga, were released on the original GameBoy in 1996 and its success was so big that Nintendo, the original editor, had to create a specific company (logically called "The Pokémon Company") to handle the phenomenon.
Several generations of players and fans successively discovered Pikachu and his friends and got caught in the merchandising of the franchise brilliantly organized, sometimes up to become extreme collectors. Within this environment, several Pokémon stores have been inaugurated, more or less faithful replicas of the "centers" met in the games, and later on joined by only pure stores, even more prosaic.
Below is a list of these places in Japan:
|Nihombashi Tokyo||March 14, 2018||Takashimaya 5F||Giant center (1.314m2) + cafe|
|Ikebukuro Tokyo||April 25, 1998||Sunshine City Alpa 2F||Center|
|Tokyo Station||December 9, 2013||Character Street||Store|
|Tokyo Bay||November 22, 2013||Odaiba Lalaport 2F||Center|
|Narita Airport||April 29, 2015||Terminal 2 / 4F||Store|
|Yokohama||March 5, 2005||Landmark Plaza 4F||Center|
|Gotemba (Fuji)||August 29, 2015||Premium Outlet||Store|
|Kyoto||March 16, 2016||Takashimaya 5F||Center|
|Osaka||November 14, 1998||Daimaru Umeda 13F||Center|
|Kansai Airport||June 26, 2014||Terminal 1 / 2F||Store|
|Nagoya||October 11, 2002||Matsuzakaya 5F||Center|
|Tokoname||December 4, 2015||Aeon Mall 2F||Store|
|Hiroshima||June 26, 2015||Sogo 6F||Center|
|Fukuoka||November 1st, 2011||JR Hakata City 8F||Center|
|Oita||April 16, 2015||Amuplaza 3F||Store|
|Kagoshima||August 1st, 2014||Amuplaza 4F||Store|
|Okinawa||Mars 12, 2015||Hapinaha 1F||Store|
|Sapporo||March 6, 2009||Esta 9F||Center|
|Shin Chitose Airport||July 10, 2014||2F||Store|
|Tohoku||December 4, 2011||Sendai AER 3F||Center|
In February 2016 also opened Pokémon Center Online for online purchases.
We can find in each of these centers/stores hundreds to thousands goodies of all kinds: plushes, cards, DVDs, toys, stationary and other diverse accessories. Some are offered in form of limited editions, for example to celebrate the launch of a new store or game. Other (such as the Pikachu Mario plush) are exclusive to the store chain. Some local places even have exclusive goodies such as:
- Pikachu aircrew which can only be found at Narita;
- Pikachu Geisha which can solely be purchased at Kyoto.
The brand even opened a "Pokémon Stadium" (Expo gym for its original name) in Osaka in November 2015. Located on the site of the Universal Exhibition of 1970, it is a sort of indoor theme park. Count about 500¥ (~US$ 4.70) to enter and from 400 to 600¥ (~US$ 3.80 to ~US$ 5.60) to try each attraction.
Two other official stores opened internationally. One in the Rockfeller Center of New York, inaugurated in November 2001, transformed into Nintendo World Store in May 2005. As of the temporary store of Paris in June 2014, it opened only for 17 days.