Pokémon Center

Pikachu’s official stores

Pokémon Center is the name given to the Pokémon official stores, set in Japan since 1998. With Pikachu being the main figure, the goodies' stores spread over the big cities of Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Sapporo, and more recently Kyoto.

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:

City Opening date Location Type
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$ 4.40) to enter and from 400 to 600¥ (~US$ 3.60 to ~US$ 5.30) 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.

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