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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pokemon Center in Japan

There are many fun and exciting things to do in Japan. One of the stops I need to make when I'm in Japan is to a Pokemon Center. There are many across Japan, each store having its own special items from the region along with standard item in every store. The Pokemon Center is my chance to stock up on Pokemon merchandise that you can't get in any of the stores in America, or anywhere else for that matter. Last year, the Pokemon Center has made it available for people to purchase their merchandise online which you can check out here (please note that the website is still very limited in what you can buy). These items are of a greater quality than any other place that has Pokemon merchandise available. For me, that would be Toys R' Us and their selection is nothing compared to the Pokemon Center. Not only to purchase items, but to just step into a Pokemon Center is an experience if you are Pokemon fan like me. The store just takes your breathe away with all it has to offer. Let's just say most of my spending money for Japan goes to the Pokemon Center, and I'll show you why.

The newest Pokemon Center in Kyoto, Japan.
First let's talk about the stores themselves. There are some stores that are bigger than others. I have not visited every store in Japan yet, but the biggest one I've been to is in Osaka, Japan, located in Umeda Station. The smallest one I've seen is in Kyoto as you can see from the picture above. The reason that some may be smaller than others are because of their locations. Many Pokemon Centers are in malls, with a few exceptions such as stations and the airport. Pokemon Centers are usually in a shared space with other stores. Even so, they do a great job at utilizing their space. The stores are easy to navigate yourself through as the store is organized well. Many times, the merchandise will be split into categories instead of by items if the season calls for it. When I went to Japan back in November they had many themes going on in the store such as Christmas, Villains, Mario Pikachu, Snow Season, and Masquerade Party. All of these themed items were separated from the other merchandise in order to easily locate items that were only going to be available for a limited time.
Snow Season themed merchandise.
The Pokemon Center caters to all Pokemon fans of any age when it comes to the merchandise they are selling. The stores are mostly plushies, from tiny to huge. The newest games are always available to purchase at the store but please be aware that the games only work for the Japanese systems. Some of the more unique items that you would probably not find in your home country are items such as wash cloths and kitchenware. My husband and friends are big fans of collecting bowls and cups from the Pokemon Center. I love to buy stationary when I'm in need of some, so there are notebooks, folders, pencil cases, and planners to purchase too. And if you're shopping for a friend and having a hard time figuring out what they want you can always go the Japanese way and buy them food. In Japan, it is a popular choice to bring back some kind of food as an omiyage or souvenir. The Pokemon Center has many tins of cookies to choose from that make great souvenirs, and once your friend finishes the cookies they can keep the tin to re-purpose.
Pokemon kitchenware: bowls, cups, and bento boxes.
Before ending this blog post, here are the items I purchased in Japan, in November. I love plushies, and especially Vulpix if you couldn't tell. And then I also got myself a planner that is ditto themed. The planner is very nice but is in the Japanese format so it took time getting used to (they start their week on a Monday, not a Sunday).
My 2016 Pokemon Center haul.
Thank you for reading my blog! Please check out some of the other topics I've talked about previously if you're interested in Japan. I hope you enjoyed this post though because Pokemon is very special to me since I've grown up with it and it has literally made me friends with people who I would probably not have been friends with otherwise.

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Thanks again, and see you in the next blog!