Tokyo, and Japan in general, is a Pokemon fan’s paradise. Endless Pokemon-themed things to do in Tokyo will keep Pokemon enthusiasts of all ages busy for days! Stay in a Pokemon-themed hotel room, attend the Pikachu festival, visit the Pokemon Cafe, and of course, play lots of Pokemon Go and more as part of this list of top Pokemon things to do in Tokyo.
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1. Visit All Five Tokyo Pokemon Centers
The top Pokémon activity for fans visiting Tokyo is to shop at one of the five Pokemon Centers that are located around the city. Tokyo’s Pokemon centers are in Nihonbashi, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Sumida (at Tokyo Skytree), Funabashi (at Chiba, Tokyo Bay), and Marunouchi (at Tokyo Station’s character street).
Pokemon centers in Tokyo aren’t just gift shops – they’re a whole Pokemon experience! Each shop features an impressive life-size statue of a Pokemon, be it Charizard at Pokemon Center Mega in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City mall, or Mewtwo in a capsule at the Pokemon Center Shibuya, a perfect photo opp for all Pokémon trainers.
Pokemon Centers are hands-down the best places to purchase Pokemon gifts and souvenirs in Tokyo, my favorite Pokemon thing to do in Tokyo! Stock up on your favorite Pokemon plushies of all sizes, Pokemon clothing, stationary and stickers, bento boxes and chopsticks, jewelry, Pokemon cards, and limited edition and collaboration items. The items available are different depending on which Tokyo Pokemon Center you visit, so be sure to check them all out if you have time.
Pokemon Center Tokyo DX at Nihonbashi has an adjoining Pokemon Cafe, which leads me to my next Pokemon-themed activity in Tokyo:
2. Eat at Tokyo's Pokemon Cafe
Eating at the Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo is a bucket list activity for Pokemon fans in Tokyo, and a fun experience for both kids and adults. The Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi neighborhood is one-of-a-kind, and the experience of eating here can’t be replicated anywhere else. Be sure to add it to your Pokemon Tokyo bucket list!
The Pokemon Cafe can only be visited with a reservation due to its massive popularity with both locals and tourists. Reservations are made available 31 days before the dine-in date, and sometimes sells out in minutes! If you’re one of the lucky guests who scores a table at the Pokemon Cafe, here are some things you can expect:
The interior of the Pokemon Cafe is homely and covered in starter Pokemon figurines. You might even get the chance to meet the Pikachu mascot! Pokemon fans in Tokyo will enjoy tasty meals, for example the classic Pikachu Plate which comes with Pikachu-shaped omurice (eggs on rice) on a Pikachu-shaped plate. Other seasonal meals have various Pokemon cutouts and decorations on them. Check the latest menu on their official website.
Of course the cafe sells collectible Pokemon plates and coasters to take home too, like Pikachu, Eevee and Snorlax, and Pokeball-shaped mugs and soup bowls. Don’t miss the Pokemon Cafe on your next Pokemon-themed day in Tokyo by making a reservation online here!
3. Visit the Pikachu Sweets Cafe in Tokyo
A solid alternative to having a dine-in meal at the Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo is visiting the Pikachu Sweets Cafe. This cafe is more like a coffee and Pokemon-themed sweets shop, and is a spin-off from the Pokemon Cafe. No reservations are required to visit Pikachu Sweets Cafe, making it a more straightforward and accessible Pokemon-themed activity in Tokyo compared to visiting the Pokemon Cafe.
At Pikachu Sweets Cafe you’ll find cute Pokemon-themed drinks, desserts, and snacks. Coffee comes with Pokemon latte art, smoothies and teas in colorful Pokemon cups, and cookies and cakes are shaped like everyone’s favorite Pokemon.
Like all Pokemon places in Tokyo, the Pikachu Sweets Cafe sells unique merchandise like Pokemon plushies and keychains as well. You can buy limited edition toys like Pikachu dressed up as a baker, and Pikachu and Eevee cup holders and reusable straws.
4. Spot Pokemon manhole covers (Poke Lids) in Tokyo
Tokyo and all of Japan is dotted with artistic Pokemon manhole covers, and spotting these beautiful artworks is a great Pokemon activity in Tokyo. The covers are designed by local artists, and sometimes feature scenery or cultural elements that are specific to the area where the Poke Lid is located.
Check out a map of them all at local.pokemon.jp and see how many Pokemon manhole covers you can find on your next trip to Japan! The Poke Lids are part of the Pokemon Local Acts initiative, which uses Pokemon to promote travel to regional parts of Japan. In addition to Pokemon ambassadors greeting guests during special events around rural Japan, specialized souvenirs that combine Pokemon and regional delicacies and trinkets are promoted by Pokemon Local Acts.
5. Go Thrift Shopping for Pokemon Gifts at Hobby Off and Mandarake
Brand new Pokemon merchandise sold in Japan cost a pretty penny, so you might be hard pressed to purchase more than one of your favorite dolls from a Pokemon Center in Tokyo. To get around this, consider going thrift shopping in Tokyo at secondhand goods stores for Pokemon merch!
If you don’t mind items that are gently used, thrift shopping for Pokémon goods is an awesome, budget-friendly Tokyo activity for Pokemon fans. Pokemon plushies, trading cards, video games, and more can be found at Tokyo thrift stores like Hobby Off (the merchandise version of the discount book store Book Off) and Mandarake. The prices you’ll see here are a steal compared to Tokyo Pokemon Centers, which only offer new products. You may also find rare, collectible, and discontinued Pokemon items when thrift shopping in Tokyo.
6. Shop Pokemon Collaboration Merchandise
Another limited edition Pokemon activity in Tokyo is shopping at stores which have ongoing collaborations with Pokemon. This Pokemon-themed thing to do in Tokyo will also require a bit of research ahead of time, however it’s common for one store or another to have an ongoing Pokemon collaboration in Tokyo.
Current examples at the time of writing include GU’s Pokemon winter clothing line (with cozy Pokemon pajamas, knitted sweaters, and sweatshirts available for all ages, including babies and kids) and Puma’s Pokemon sneakers collection. Perfect for your Pokemon Go Tokyo excursions! UniQlo, the parent company of GU, also often has Pokemon collaboration items. Check out UniQlo’s flagship store in Tokyo’s flashy Ginza neighborhood.
Other Pokemon-themed collaborations include Japanese beauty brand uka’s Pokemon nail polish collection, which can be found at their Ginza or Roppongi Tokyo stores.
7. Visit Limited-Time, Pop-Up Pokemon Exhibits
Tokyo is no stranger to limited-time or rotating Pokemon exhibits, which are often showcased as part of a larger display. Below are two examples of this fun Pokemon-themed thing to do in Tokyo which took place over the last 12 months. If you search special Pokemon events and exhibits in Tokyo before your visit, you may be pleasantly surprise to find similar pop-up displays or exhibits!
The Pokemon Fossil Museum is an exhibit rotating around different major cities in Japan that is part of a larger collaboration with Japanese archeological museums. Types of Pokemon that were inspired by fossils and prehistoric creatures (think Omanite, Lileep, Kabuto, etc) are on display. Information boards compare the Pokemon to the real-life creature (ammonite, sea lilies, trilobites) they were inspired by.
Pokemon COLORS exhibition was an interactive Pokemon exhibit which started in Ginza, Tokyo in 2021 and traveled to a number of other Japanese cities between 2021 and 2022. Colorful mini games and activities were set up for visitors that featured different types of Pokemon depending on the activity. Limited-edition artistic and colorful merchandise was also available for purchase.
8. Buy High-End Pokemon Jewelry for a special someone
For high-end Pokemon-themed gifts or souvenirs from Tokyo, check out the jewelry store U-Treasure’s Pokemon jewelry collection at their concept store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo (conveniently situated near the MEGA Pokemon Center at Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City Mall). U Treasure sells beautiful jewelry for fandoms including Pokemon, Demon Slayer, Evangelion, Sanrio/Hello Kitty, Harry Potter, Kingdom Hearts, Sailor Moon, and One Piece, just to name a few.
Most of the jewelry here are rings and necklaces, but some earrings, bracelets, and watches are also available. On their website you can search by Pokemon (Pikachu, Magikarp, Ditto, Snorlax, Gengar, etc) and even customize some orders to make them exactly to your taste. Because not every jewelry piece from every fandom is available at once, consider ordering your customized piece ahead of time for pickup in Tokyo.
For coupled-up Pokemon fans in Tokyo, U-Treasure even sells engagement rings with Pokeball diamonds. Buy your special someone a Pokeball ring holder too, which can open up to hold your Pokemon-themed engagement ring. Make your awesome Pokemon day in Tokyo the most special day yet!
9. Ride the Pokemon Monorail to Haneda Airport (may be discontinued)
Taking the Pokemon monorail to or from Haneda Airport to Tokyo is a great way to start a Tokyo trip for Pokemon fans! The monorail runs between Tokyo’s southern Haneda Airport and Tokyo’s Hamamatsu station. A regular Suica card can be used for travel on the Pokemon monorail.
Each of the monorail’s six cars has a different theme to it like ocean, forest, and sky, so be sure to wander through all of them! Pokemon are pictured on the outside as well as on the ceilings of each car, pertaining to the theme.
Here’s a bonus Pokemon-themed activity in Japan: Take the Tohoku Pikachu train (pictured below). This special train runs from Ichinoseki to Kesennuma station in Iwate and Miyajima prefectures. Every inch of the inside and the outside of this two-car train is covered in Pikachu, Pikachu-shaped meals are served on-board, and kids and even play with small and large Pikachu plushies on board. This train started running as part of a campaign to bring joy to children in the Tohoku area affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The Pikachu train departs from Ichinoseki train station, which can be reached from Tokyo on the Tohoku Shinkansen.
10. Join Pokemon Go Community Events
Tokyo (and all of metropolitan Japan in general) is a Pokemon Go paradise. Be sure to pick up a pocket Wi-Fi or a Japanese SIM card so you can play Pokemon Go during your next visit to Tokyo.
Take part in community events or hang out at large parks like Yoyogi Park in Tokyo to see just how many Japanese people of all ages enjoy this mobile game. Some players even have two or more phones with them to play Pokemon Go around Tokyo!
As the motherland of Pokemon, Japan and Tokyo have some of the best and most frequent events that Pokemon Go players can join. Check out the official Pokemon Go website and map to show community event locations for the best Pokemon Go experience in Tokyo.
11. Have a Pokemon Donut at Mister Donut (available seasonally)
Mister Donut is like the Japanese equivalent to Dunkin’ Donuts. Popping in to their sweet-smelling store for a Pokemon-shaped donut is a great Pokemon-themed thing to do in Tokyo.
Pokemon that have been featured as donuts in the past include Pikachu, Eevee, and Jigglypuff. Some donuts just take inspirations from the colors of the Pokemon, while others are shaped into their adorable faces. Mister Donuts are located all across the city, so it’s easy to partake in this Pokemon activity in Tokyo, and get an Instagram-perfect photo too! Check out their latest menu options online here.
Note: If you’re up for some ice cream, Baskin Robbins Japan (called 31) has also done Pokemon collaborations in the summer months. 31 serves up Pokemon cakes, ice creams, and even gave out souvenir Pokemon spoons!
12. Eat a Pokemon Beef-Don at Yoshinoya (available seasonally)
Yoshinoya is a family restaurant chain in Japan famous for its gyudon, or beef rice bowls. The restaurant started in Nihonbashi, Tokyo over 100 years ago, and through the years has featured a number of Pokemon-themed gyudon meal sets and sold Pokemon collaboration merch to customers as well. Pokemon gyudon are served in bowls that look like Pokeballs of various types (collect them all!) and each have a surprise Pokemon at the bottom once you finished all of your rice. You even get a Pokemon figurine souvenir too!
Keep an eye on the Yoshinoya restaurant menus, and you might just be lucky enough to be visiting when they have a Pokemon special menu. Collaborations in the past have featured Pokemon generations through the years.
13. Go to Pikachu Outbreak Festival in Yokohama
One of the greatest celebrations of Pokemon in Japan takes place just 30 minutes south of Tokyo in the port city of Yokohama. Pikachu Outbreak festival, or Pikachu Tairyou in Japanese, is a must-visit festival for Pokemon fans in Tokyo, and takes place over several days in the summer months of July-August. This celebration of Pikachu and fellow favorite Eevee includes parades, dancing shows, and other events that last all day. With over 1000 Pikachus parading together, you’ll never again see so many Pikachus in one place! Each Pikachu Outbreak has a different theme, keeping fans coming back each year for more.
Pikachu Outbreak in the past has been paired with a number of special Pokemon Go events too, such as appearances of the legendary Pokémon Mewtwo or other epic raid bosses. Two public spaces, the Red Brick warehouse district of Yokohama and the Cup Noodle museum park were dedicated to Pokemon Go during the festival. With advanced reservations Pokemon fans could also enter the Yokohama stadium for more Pokemon Go raids and to meet legendary Pokemon. Read about the 2019 version of the festival here.
14. Buy Pokemon sweets, cup noodles, and snacks at a Tokyo supermarket
Most large supermarkets in Tokyo have a few staple Pokemon-themed goods that make great, low-cost gifts and souvenirs. One favorite is the Pikachu cup noodle container, which also has Pikachu-shaped toppings inside.
In the snack or okashi aisle, you’ll likely find Pokemon cookies, rice crackers, gummies, and even rice seasonings. Just keep an eye out for everyone’s favorite Lighting-type Pokemon, who is almost always on the cover of anything Pokemon-themed in Tokyo!
Note: Pikachu cup noodles can be found in some convenience stores too. If you missed your chance to shop Pokemon goods in Tokyo, you can also order an array of Pokemon snacks and cup noodles from Amazon.
15. Play Pokemon Gachapon Machines in Tokyo
Tokyo is covered in capsule or gachapon machines, which require 100-yen coins to be inserted to win a random prize. Gachapon machines usually have a theme or show a set of potential prizes on the front. Pokemon fans in Tokyo can search for some awesome collectibles and limited edition trinkets at gachapon machines located all over the city.
If this Pokemon thing to do in Tokyo will be on your itinerary, check out the gachapon-only store in Ikebukuro. Visiting a capsule toy-only store is a unique and weird Tokyo experience where Pokemon fans are sure to find a special souvenir.
16. Stay in the Pokemon Room at the Mimaru Hotel in Tokyo
If you want your Pokemon experience in Tokyo to last the entire day (or several days!) consider booking yourself in the Pokemon room at Tokyo’s Mimaru Hotel in Ueno. Covered in Pokeball art and complete with a giant stuffed Snorlax plushie, Tokyo’s Pokemon-themed hotel room will delight fans of all ages.
The Mimaru hotel chain is known for being family-friendly, with rentable baby cribs and toys, as well as cooking electronics like takoyaki-makers and hot pots. The Ueno Mimaru hotel is featured on my list of amazing Tokyo hotels near the Yamanote line, and character rooms like the Pokemon room, the Hello Kitty room at the Keio Plaza Hotel, and the Godzilla room at the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku are on my list of Weirdest Hotels in Japan.
17. Watch a Japanese Pokémon movie in theaters
Pokemon movies are often playing on the big screen, whether they’re new movies or replays of old Pokemon movies. During your time in Tokyo, check whether any of the popular movie theater companies like Toho Cinemas, or United Cinemas are playing Pokemon movies. While they’ll probably be playing in all Japanese, you’ll probably still be able to tell what’s happening in the movie.
Check out what movies are showing in Tokyo movie theaters at this handy website: https://moviewalker.
18. Try a Pokemon claw game in Tokyo
Pokemon fans visiting Tokyo may be familiar with the claw/crane games or “ufo catchers” that can be found all around the city. With 100 yen coins, players can try to grab one of the toys in the machine. Needless to say with the popularity of Pokemon, claw games in Tokyo will have some awesome Pokemon toys up for grabs. Trying your hand at a claw game might mean with only a few hundred yen, you can score some large Pokemon plushies, Pokemon games, or other rare or limited edition Pokemon toys.
Find a large variety of claw games at Tokyo’s SEGA arcade centers, which can be found in Ikebukuro, Akihabara, and Shinjuku. Some larger department stores also have a game center area on the top floors with crane games.
19. Gift a Pokemon Tokyo Banana Set
Tokyo Banana is a famous treat in Tokyo, popular to give as a gift or take home as a souvenir. The “bananas” are banana-shaped sponges filled with banana-flavored custard cream, and popular with locals and tourists. Tokyo Banana has also create Pokemon-themed Tokyo Banana, a perfect item to take home for Pokemon fans in Tokyo. The sponge bananas have images of Pikachu, Eevee, and Piplup on them, and are either the original sponge (Pikachu) or made from a chocolate sponge (Eevee and Piplup) with the classic banana custard cream in the center.
Tokyo Banana can be found in Tokyo Station, in many Tokyo department stores and popup stores, and in both Haneda and Narita airports.
After the success of the Pokemon Tokyo Banana launch, the same company has recently also started making Pikachu and Eevee sandwich cookies. Pick some up during your Pokemon-themed day in Tokyo!
20. Buy Pokemon Manga at the Bookstore
Another Pokemon thing to do in Tokyo is shop for Japanese Pokemon manga, which are available in many bookstores around Tokyo. My favorite Japanese bookstore is Book Off, which has both new, used, and discounted books and manga available for purchase. Find Pokemon manga books, called Pocket Monsters or ポケットモンスター here (stock varies by location).
You might even score a box set of Pocket Monster manga, which are available for each Pokemon generation like Ruby and Sapphire, Sword and Shield, and X and Y. Note that Pokemon manga purchased in Tokyo will likely only be in Japanese and not available in English.
Kinokuniya is another popular Japanese bookstore chain. Here you may find full-priced Pokemon manga books, box sets, as well as other Japanese Pokemon-themed books like Pokemon encyclopedias, video game handbooks and cheat sheets, sticker and coloring books, and other collectibles. In fact, searching “Pokemon” or ポケモン in Kinokuniya Japan’s website returns 1,700+ results!
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Are You Prepared For Your Trip To Japan?
Be sure to check out my Japan home page for Japan travel information, insider tips, reading list, and must-haves for traveling to Japan!
- Book Your Flights – To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is key. I use both Google Flights for their low fare calendar, and Skiplagged, which uses airfare loopholes to get the lowest prices. For a trip to Japan, check flights to both Tokyo airports (Haneda, Narita) and to Osaka (Kansai).
- Getting Around Japan: Prepare your JR Pass and Suica transit card before you depart.
- Book Your Accommodation – Check out Booking.com for the largest selection of accommodation in Japan. Consider having a bit of fun at one of these Weirdest Hotels in Japan too 🙂
- Book Local Excursions – Don’t miss out on world-class experiences, like Teamlab Planets or Tokyo Disneyland, by booking tickets online now. Check GetYourGuide and Klook for fun experiences all around Japan.
- Stay Connected: Order a pocket WiFi for airport pickup if you’re traveling with family or with a large group. Solo traveling to Japan? Order a SIM card just for you.
- Buy Travel Insurance – It’s better to protect yourself from mishaps when traveling. Get a quote from World Nomads to see how much it’ll cost to get you covered!
- Pack Your Essentials – Check out my posts about Long Term Travel Gear, and Carry-On Luggage Packing Essentials.
- Read more on my Travel Resources page!