Of course we made our first beeline to a Pokémon Center less than 24 hours after arriving in Tokyo.
We visited Mega Tokyo quite a few times during our stay in Tokyo, but nothing beat our first time there! After spending 15 years dying to visit a Pokémon Center, it was almost quite emotional finally being in one.
These big fellows, and the rest of the 20th Anniversary merch, were still fairly fresh. It was nice to see it all in person, especially when these gigantic plush would have been too expensive to ever dream of importing! I did manage to get one back to the UK, though...
Pokémon Centers were giving away shiny Ho-Ohs as celebration of Kyoto's opening. These posters everywhere were lovely.
Other than Pokémon Centers, there were a lot of other goodies to find in secondhand stores. This Mandarake in Akihabara had their entire storefront filled with glass cabinets of Pokémon merchandise from the original games up until present day. I spied a lot of rarer items...
Including the Ho-Oh and Lugia zukan! I felt immensely glad that I already have Ho-Oh... while that isn't the worst price I've ever seen on them, it would have been a third of my spending money dropped in one go!
After two weeks in Tokyo, we were off to Osaka. We stumbled across Pokémon Center Osaka as soon as we got off the train...
Things were quick to be moved and changed in the Pokémon Centers and Stores in Tokyo, so it was really nice to see some ORAS promotional material and merchandise around in the other cities we visited.
I picked up a Ho-Oh Tretta coin while in Tokyo and finally got a chance to use it at an arcade machine here. It's a really fun game! For 100 yen you got to battle and catch a Pokémon, which then popped out as a Tretta coin for you to keep. I'm kind of glad I ran out of 100 yen coins after three plays because it was quite addictive!
I'm not usually into fast food but I was tempted into buying KFC because of a promotion where you could buy a figure that clips onto the straw of your drink. Little did I know, Japanese KFC is actually the most delicious thing ever. Thanks, silly promotion! The figure was random but Chespin has been growing on me a lot recently so I'm glad I got this little guy.
The next day, we went to Kyoto. The promised day.
It's no joke when I say that I cried when they announced Pokémon Center Kyoto. Ho-Oh is my favourite Pokémon of all time, and seeing that it would be getting it's own Pokémon Center a few days after I arrived in Japan was just... too much. This is one of the first times I can think of that Ho-Oh got something that Lugia didn't! No longer in the shadow of the more popular mascot!
To be honest, Kyoto was the smallest and least impressive Center we went to. It's also a shame that no actual Ho-Oh merchandise was made, as beautiful as Maiko Pikachu is! But I can't say I'm disappointed, because I got to see my baby's own Center and beautiful statue. :')
Here's a video I took of it!
A selection of the merchandise available, the majority of which is exclusive to Kyoto.
Even the tray to put your money in to pay at the cashier was the best, ever, because of the logo. Did you know that the Kyoto logo is the only Ho-Oh other than the random Jakks plush that is smiling?
Behind the cash registers was this gorgeous artwork.
One cash register that was closed had this sign, which I found cool because it had the Kyoto logo without the text, which I didn't see anywhere else. You can see Ho-Oh's lil feet!
(The staff found it pretty amusing that I was literally just taking photos of every single thing, at least my mediocre Japanese skills managed to cover "sorry, I just really love Ho-Oh")
Cute statues of the starters! I somehow missed Chikorita, but you can see her in the video above. The whole Center was very Johto themed, and was playing music exclusively from Gold & Silver.
There was like, one Lugia on a wall, but man Lugia you get everything just give me this one moment
Onwards to Hiroshima! It's a beautiful city that I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Japan.
And like Osaka, it had a far larger selection of merchandise than Tokyo.
These cute new plush released while we were there.
Clefairy is one of my guilty Gen 1 favourites. The one weak link in my "I only like cool badass Pokémon" facade.
More cool things I'd never hope of seeing in stock in Tokyo!
There was a game you could play for 300 yen, which was essentially a massive pinball table, where the slot your ball landed in correspended with a prize. I wasn't initially going to play, but after seeing riolulz do so and win a really cool magnetic whiteboard, I went for it. I was initially sad that I didn't win a whiteboard, but look how cool this picnic mat is! The staff were so happy and excited about us playing, and high fived us. It was the best 300 yen I spent.
Here's a silly story. As I was paying at the cashier, I noticed some stacks of these A4 leaflets behind the counter. I had no idea what they were, only that they were maybe something to do with an in-game giveaway they were doing at Hiroshima. I managed to ask "hey, what is that Mega Bakuuda... thing... over there?" in broken Japanese and the staff guy grabbed some for me! He then agreed with me that Mega Camerupt is very cool.
Back in Tokyo during our final days, I spotted some cool displays (and cookies!) at the Skytree, which is getting it's own Pokémon Center soon! How exciting.
During our last visit to Mega Tokyo, I also spotted that they'd set up a small Ho-Oh display. Nice one, Mega Tokyo!
Alas, our trip drew to a close. As our plane drove round to the runway at Haneda airport just before we took off, we went past the ANA Pokémon plane! A nice fairwell.
And now, a gets post I may never top.
Here are most of the Pokémon things I bought! Minus Kyoto merchandise and a few other things.
I had never owned a Kuttari plush before now, and I fell weak to their charm. Then we also have some MonColle, a Pokkén figure (I won Pikachu in the lottery but with some help I traded it for the Champ), some Choco Egg figures, and some location specific straps! Pikachu on an airplane is from Haneda, and the Eevee was a lovely gift from a friend from Sendai.
I really like Zygarde, so I'm glad I managed to come away with a few figures of it! I since pulled the Zygarde Core figure from a Choco Egg I brought back, so now I just need the matching Snakey Snake for that cute little set.
I really love this mug! It was left over in Mega Tokyo from the XY launch... XY is super special to me, so I'm glad I found it.
I was also excited that the Steven Stone promotion was still around. This post card set is really nice, I bought it with the intention of maybe framing the manga style ones?
Steven Stone stationary! I'm going to leave myself motivational post-it notes. Not buying more stationary is my only regret.
Some beautiful ORAS trading cards, they had a Ruby set and a Sapphire set.
And here's the best card in the set. I found the Camerupt PokéDex figure in a random secondhand store, and couldn't leave him there.
Pressed souvenir pennies! From Mega Tokyo, Tokyo Station, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. And a randon Groudon who looked cool.
And here's my Kyoto haul! I wouldn't have bought this much had I not been there - as beautiful as the designs are, the Ho-Oh involved in them is minimal! I do adore the little PokéBall Vivillon in Maiko Pikachu's hair pin too though, Pokémon Center Paris was the first time that it was available so I have a soft spot for it! Maiko Pikachu really embodies the two times I travelled to other countries just for Pokémon.
The plush are very beautiful - the Kyoto exclusive is on the right. It's essentially the exact same plush, but it's cute because it matches the other Pikachu which
These tea cups were one of the two more expensive items, the other being a beautifully boxed folding fan that I ultimately didn't buy. I'm glad I got these! I'm just going to have the internal battle on whether or not to actually use them to drink tea.
Here are the normal versions of the charms and pins...
...and these are the exclusive versions. The clearfile sets also had similar normal (standing) and exclusive (sitting) versions.
Okay I lied, here's the one thing that actually had Ho-Oh on, a very nice logo pin.
If you spent more than 4000 yen at Kyoto, you received the small charm on the left. I believe any spend got you one of the postcards on the right, so of course I bought my things in two lots so I could get two to display both sides...
This Pikachu on the left was a lucky find in Nakano Broadway! It's a very old monthly Pikachu from 2005, which I had seen a few times on the community a while ago but was always too late to. So here we are, two Ho-Oh themed Pikachus, more than 10 years apart!
Snacks! Japan has a wonderful omiyage tradition in that specific areas of Japan have their own trademark foods and snacks that you would typically buy for family, friends, and co-workers if going on a trip. But hey, I bought these for myself.
These are from Kyoto, and contain 8 matcha rusks.
The box is really pretty!
The rusks themselves are delicious, different to anything I've ever had before! They're like hard pieces of bread, covered in matcha flavoured sugar.
I was happy to find a lil Ho-Oh on the packaging too.
These Momiji Manjyu were from Pokémon Center Hiroshima.
Manjyu are delicious soft cakes filled with a typically sweet filling.
You can get Manjyu all around Japan, but Hiroshima and Miyajima are known for their maple leaf shaped ones! There were three red bean, one chocolate, and one cheese flavoured in the box. I left the cheese one until last, assuming it would be filled with cream cheese! But nope, it was straight up cheese. That's when I discovered Manjyu don't always have sweet fillings. It was... alarming.
As a big fan of the Pokémon manga (Pokémon Special in Japan, or Pokémon Adventures as it's released in English), I was really excited to hear about the art book being released. Pokémon Centers ran a special promotion where you could receive a clearfile when purchasing the book. I was a little sad that I missed the dates for Gens 1-3, but was still excited to choose one from Gens 4-6... except that the staff member just gave me all three? You were only meant to receive one, I think! I'm on the hunt for the other three now...
Here was another lucky find in Nakano Broadway. These large clear posters were only available if you pre-ordered and bought ORAS at release from a Pokémon Center. The corresponding art book from this promotion is stupidly rare and expensive, so I was surprised to find these! As much as I like Steven Stone, I really adore the other poster. The art work is gorgeous, and just feels so... Hoenn.
And here's my last, ridiculous, final purchase. I will be forever grateful that our airline gave us some extra luggage allowance out of the blue, otherwise this guy would still be sat on a shelf in Tokyo. He's massive and lovely and I'm glad I managed to get him! He's the size of a small child!
Wow, what a long post. Thank you for reading this far, if you did! I'll have some surplus sales up soon (including all of the Lugia Pikachu items from Kyoto), and also some more Ho-Oh Pikachus arriving soon from the second half of the Kyoto promotion!