Important Importables: Pokemon Centers

August 22, 2009 - 2:00 am 1 Comment

Hot Japanese Imports: Pokemon Centers

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS, Gear, Accessories, Audio, Books, Clothing, Comics-and-Graphic-Novels, Figures & Toys, Gear-Other, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Role-Playing

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Pokemon Center Tokyo LogoWondering where to stop the next time you’re vacationing in Japan? Perhaps a trip to a Pokemon Center is in order.

Even if you aren’t a fan of the series, which has become one of Nintendo’s most popular handheld franchises, it’s still a place worth checking out, if only for the awe factor.  You’ll see more Pokemon merchandise than you ever imagined, even things you wouldn’t have expected to exist.

This week in Hot Japanese Imports, we’re going to take a quick peek at these Japan-only locations. Perhaps, after reading, you’ll be interested in stopping by one when you’re in the area.

Pokemon Center Tokyo Area Map

Where are they?

Unfortunately, the Pokemon Centers are now a Japan exclusive. A Pokemon Center briefly existed in New York for four years, called Pokemon Center New York, but it was changed into Nintendo World in 2005. The Nintendo World store is still open though, and worth checking out if you’re near 10 Rockefeller Plaza.

All of the other Pokemon Centers are located in major cities in Japan. Their locations are as follows:

  • Pokemon Center Tokyo: Shiodome-Shiba Rikyuu, 1-2-3 Kaigen, Minato Ward, Tokyo
  • Pokemon Center Osaka: Umeda Center Building, 2-4-12 Nakazaki-Nishi, Kita Ward, Osaka City
  • Pokemon Center Nagoya: Oasis 21, 1-11-1 Higashi-Sakura, Higashi Ward, Nagoya City
  • Pokemon Center Fukuoka: Canal City OPA, 1-2-22 Sumiyoshi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City
  • Pokemon Center Yokohama: Landmark Plaza, 2-2-1 Minato-Mirai, Nishi Ward, Yokohama City
  • Pokemon Center Sapporo: Sapporo ANA Hotel, West 1-2-9 Kita-3-jou, Chuo Ward, Sapporo City

If you’re going to visit one, consult the Japanese Pokemon Center website first. It has an English language option and offers English language, easy to read maps with directions to each of the six locations. The map above is a sample of what they offer.

Pokemon Center Riolu plush toy stuffed animal

Identifying your local Pokemon Center.

It isn’t all that difficult to find a Pokemon Center store. For starters, the store’s name is almost always in English at all locations, so even if you’re unfamiliar with the language, you’ll be able to spot it right away. There will probably also be a pokeball symbol somewhat near the entrance or location.

Each location should also have their Pokemon Center logo proudly displayed. While each one has a slightly different design, all of the have Pikachu and a pokeball prominently featured. There will also be the name of that center surrounding the pokeball and two other pokemon on either side of Pikachu.

Also, in many locations, there will be an arch over the entrance, It will either say Pokemon, or perhaps the actual name of the location, like Pokemon Center Tokyo.

Pokemon Center DS Lite limited Pikachu Edition

What can you expect to find there.

Have you ever seen a Sanrio Store? Major malls throughout the US still occasionally have them. A Pokemon Center is pretty much the same thing. They might not all have the exact same items in stock, but the general atmosphere is the same. Everything in the store is Pokemon related. There’s candy, clothing, household accessories, stationary, food, plush toys and gachapon. The Japanese Pokemon Center website offers a quick glimpse at some of the products you’ll be able to find in the store.

Perhaps the main draw of the Pokemon Centers are the exclusive, Pokemon Center handheld consoles (GBAs or DSes). One of the most recent rare DS units is the Pikachu Edition DS lite. It was only available through a lottery system at Pokemon Centers, where people would enter in the hopes of having the honor of purchasing the yellow DS seen above that has Pikachu’s face in the bottom right corner of the lid.

Another limited edition DS was the Girantina Edition, which coincided with the release of Pokemon Platinum. It was a pure white DS lite unit, with a Girantina etched in silver onto the lid of the unit. The only people who could enter the raffle to win a chance to purchase this unit were members of the Daisuki Club, which means you had to have a Japanese address. So no visiting foreigners were able to enter to win this unit.

Typically, a limited edition unit is announced and released when a new game debuts. This means that, when the silver and gold DS remakes are released, there’ll likely be a new, limited edition DS as well.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports will review of Ooedo Senryoubako for the PSP.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports reviewed the movie Ponyo.

Site [Pokemon (Japanese)] Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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One Response to “Important Importables: Pokemon Centers”

  1. Mickey Bozarth Says:

    Yeah pokemon was insanely cool back in the day haha. Everyone used to play it. Blue was easily the greatest lol!

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