Tokyo Pokemon Center through the years

10 years ago by in Japan Archives Tagged: ,

My visits to Tokyo usually include a trip to the Pokemon store (officially titled "Pokemon Center Tokyo"). I like the original Gameboy games a lot, my kids loved the card game (this has waned a little recently) and they have a healthy interest in the Pokemon merchandise.

The Tokyo store opened in 1998. It used to be based close to Nihonbashi; just a short walk from the Yaesu exit of Tokyo Station.

This shot was taken in 2004.

In 2005 the store was remodeled and got a new front.

30 minutes waiting line – before you can enter the store.

Here’s the line, opposite the store.



Got to buy them all.

In 2009 I returned to the store after a hiatus of some years. Took the familiar walk from Tokyo station, to discover to my shock that there was no smiling Pikachu awaiting. Just an ugly gray role shutter.

I first though they had gone out of business (but found it hard to believe this license to print money had ran that much out of steam), but luckily there was a sign posted with directions to the new location.

I was so disoriented when I found the store had moved that I forgot to take a picture. This one I stole from Google Maps street view.

The new store pictured here is located near JR Hamamatsu-cho station, which is on the Yamanote line, three stops from Tokyo (when going clock-wise)

More info can be found here.

In general, Tokyo is no stranger to shops closing or moving. It’s always good to check in advance if anything has changed between visits!