Pokémon Center (ポケモンセンター) is a Pokémon-exclusive retail store owned and run by The Pokémon Company. Originally opening in Tokyo in 1998, the Pokémon Center has expanded into opening additional stores in Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Yokohama, Sapporo, Sendai (Tohoku Center), Funabashi (Tokyo Bay Center), Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo Skytree Town, and Nihonbashi (Tokyo DX Center), Shibuya, and Osaka DX. There is only one known center outside of Japan today, which is located in Singapore, though for a time New York even had a Pokémon Center, but in 2005 was remodeled into a general Nintendo store, Nintendo World. There are also many smaller official shops, know as Pokémon Stores, scattered throughout Japan, typically in airports but in some other locations as well. Even if you don't live in Japan, the Pokémon Center has an official online shop and many middlemen are able to order goods for customers, thereby making purchase from the Japanese centers simple. For those wishing to avoid importing from Japan, the United States and South Korea have official online shops as well.
The Pokémon Centers are well-known for carrying a wide variety of exclusive merchandise not found in any other store, in addition to merchandise of a variety of brands. Special promotions and lotteries are also held for special limited merchandise, along with limited-time merchandise promotions of varying themes, known as Pokémon Center Collections. Merchandise from the Pokémon Center, especially of popular Pokémon, can often quickly become difficult to find and expensive once it goes out of stock.
Pokémon Center Mega TokyoEdit
The Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo (ポケモンセンターメガトウキョー) opened on December 12, 2014. This Pokémon Center was originally the Pokémon Center Tokyo, the very first Pokémon Center, which opened on April 25, 1998 in a building shared with Creatures, Inc. in Nihonbashi. The original location closed July 16, 2007, and reopened in a new building in Hamamatsu-chō on July 20, 2007. After 7 years of service there, the Hamamatsu-chō location closed on December 7, 2014, and the Pokémon Center moved to its current location in the Sunshine City Shopping Center located in Ikebukuro.
While the original logo featured Poliwhirl, Pikachu, and Charmander, when this center became the Mega Tokyo Center the logo featured Pikachu riding on Mega Charizard Y. However, as of right now, the logo features Pikachu riding on Zacian.
Pokémon Center OsakaEdit
The Pokémon Center Osaka (ポケモンセンターオーサカ) opened on November 14, 1998, making it the second oldest Pokémon Center. For the first twelve years of its service, this Pokémon Center was located in the Umeda Center building, and moved to its current location on the 13th floor of the Daimaru Umeda Building (connecting to Osaka main station) on November 26, 2010.
Though Meowth has been a special mascot for this store throughout the years, and until recently the logo featured Meowth, Pikachu, and Rowlet, it has now unexpectedly changed to Pikachu riding Zamazenta, presumably to mark the Osaka Center as the main counterpart to the Mega Tokyo Center. It should be noted that Meowth is now one of the mascots for the Osaka DX Center.
Pokémon Center NagoyaEdit
The Pokémon Center Nagoya (ポケモンセンターナゴヤ) opened on October 11, 2002. Opening originally in the Oasis 21 Shopping Center in Sakae, this Pokémon Center has moved locations twice since opening - on July 19, 2008, it moved to another location within Oasis 21, and on March 20, 2013 it moved to the 5th floor of the Matsuzakaya building in Sakae, where it is currently located.
The logo features Chikorita, Pikachu, and Scorbunny as the Pokémon Center mascots for this location, with Chikorita being the special mascot that has been featured on the store's logo since its opening.
Pokémon Center FukuokaEdit
The Pokémon Center Fukuoka (ポケモンセンターフクオカ) opened on November 1, 2003 in the Canal City Shopping Center in Fukuoka. On March 3, 2011, this Center moved to its current location, the 8th floor of the JR Hakata Station Building.
Torchic, Pikachu, and Grookey are the current mascots featured on this Pokémon Center's logo. Torchic seems to be Fukuoka's special mascot and has been on the logo since the store's opening, except during the Black & White era when Oshawott and Pansage were the mascots instead.
Pokémon Center YokohamaEdit
The Pokémon Center Yokohama (ポケモンセンターヨコハマ) opened on March 5, 2005. Originally opening in the Landmark Plaza Shopping Center in Minato Mirai 21, this Center moved to a different location in the same shopping center on October 10, 2008. However, on November 9, 2018, the Pokémon Center Yokohama moved again, this time to the 8th floor of the Yokohama Sky Building, in a shopping complex known as Marui City.
Being that Yokohama is a famous port city in Japan, this Pokémon Center often has promotions that feature a nautical theme. Fittingly, for many years Manaphy was one of the mascots of this Pokémon Center, but it seems that Turtwig is actually the mascot that has been around the longest - it is one of the current mascots alongside Pikachu and Sobble.
Pokémon Center SapporoEdit
The Pokémon Center Sapporo (ポケモンセンターサッポロ) originally opened on July 1, 2005. At first it appeared to only open during the summer, closing for a full year on October 2 of that year. It then closed for two years on October 29, 2006, and finally reopened for good on March 6, 2009 in the Sapporo Esta Building, 9th floor. On December 1, 2016, the Pokémon Center Sapporo moved to the 8th floor of the Daimaru Sapporo Department Store, where it is currently located. This store's mascot appeared to be Eevee for a while, and special merchandise promotions commemorating the store have featured the Pokémon. However, when it relocated in December 2016, Eevee was gone from the logo - instead Alolan Vulpix, Sobble, and Pikachu are featured.
Pokémon Center Tohoku Edit
The Pokémon Center Tohoku (ポケモンセンタートウホク) was originally opened on December 4, 2011, in Shop & Wonder AER on the 3rd floor in Sendai, Japan. From there, it moved to the Sendai Parco Shopping Center's 8th floor on June 20, 2017.
The Tohoku Center is a very special center - it was created in order to give back to the victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and give them, especially the children, a happy place they could escape to. This is the first center not to be named for the city in which it is located as well - the reason for this is because they wanted the center to express the region, since it was the Tohoku region as a whole that endured the earthquake in 2011, not just Sendai or any individual prefecture within the region.
In particular, Victini is this store's special mascot, as Victini represents victory, and they wanted that aspect to shine through this store to mirror how Tohoku triumphed over the effects of the earthquake in the end, and came back strong. The other mascots are of course, Pikachu, and Grookey.
Pokémon Center Tokyo Bay Edit
The Pokémon Center Tokyo Bay (ポケモンセンタートウキョーベイ) opened its doors on November 22, 2013. This Center has always been located on the 4th floor of the Lalaport Tokyo Bay Shopping Center and has not yet been relocated or refurbished.
The current mascots are Chespin, Pikachu, and Scorbunny. Chespin seems to be the special mascot of the store, since it was one of the original mascots alongside Inkay when the store opened back in 2013.
Pokémon Center Hiroshima Edit
The Pokémon Center Hiroshima (ポケモンセンターヒロシマ) opened on June 25, 2015 on the 6th floor of the Sogo Hiroshima Department Store. Like the Tokyo Bay Center, the Hiroshima Center has not yet been moved or refurbished. Before the Center, however, Hiroshima was a popular location for Pokémon pop-up stores.
Pokémon Center Kyoto Edit
The Pokémon Center Kyoto (ポケモンセンターキョウト) first opened its doors on March 16, 2016 on the 5th floor of the Takashimaya Department store in Kyoto. Not very long afterward, on March 16, 2019, the Center moved to a bigger location on the 2nd floor of the Suina Muromachi Department Store, also located in Kyoto.
The main mascot for the store is Ho-Oh, with a Pikachu riding on its back. This is fitting since Ho-Oh is from Johto, which is based on the real life region of Kansai in Japan, in which Kyoto is located.
Pokémon Center Sky Tree Town Edit
The Pokémon Center Sky Tree Town (スカイツリータウン) was first opened on July 6, 2016, in Tokyo Sky Tree Town's Soramachi, a Department store connected to the base of the tower, on the 5th floor. The Center moved on January 1, 2017 to the 4th floor of the same building.
Rayquaza is the main mascot for this Pokémon Center, since it of course is a callback to Rayquaza being found at the Sky Pillar in the Ruby and Sapphire games. Much like the Mega Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Kyoto Centers, there is a Pikachu riding its back in the logo.
Pokémon Center Tokyo DX + Café Edit
The Pokémon Center Tokyo DX + Café (ポケモンセンタートウキョーDX + ポケモンカフェ) were opened on March 14, 2018 in Nihonbashi. This Center, though having Tokyo in the name and being in the same building as the original Pokémon Center Tokyo, is a new store (the Pokémon Center Tokyo became Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo). Though there have been a few pop-up cafes, this marks the first official opening of a permanent Pokemon Café, which serves themed dishes based on promotions and various Pokémon.
Pokémon Center Osaka DX + Café Edit
The Pokémon Center Osaka DX + Café (ポケモンセンターオーサカDX + ポケモンカフェ) is a Pokémon Center that is located on the 9th floor of the Daimaru Shinsaibashi Department Store in Osaka that opened on September 20, 2019. This marks the second opening of a permanent Pokemon Café. Not much is known about the differences between the Tokyo and Osaka locations at this time, if there will be any at all.
Pokémon Center Shibuya Edit
The Pokémon Center Shibuya (ポケモンセンターシブヤ) is a Pokémon Center that is scheduled to open on the 6th floor of the Shibuya Parco Department Store in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo on November 22, 2019. This Center will be more interactive than other Centers - what this means yet we aren't clear of, but more details will soon follow!
Former Pokémon CentersEdit
Pokémon Center New York (2001 - 2005)Edit
The Pokémon Center New York opened on November 16, 2001, originally making it the third Pokémon Center at the time. Like its Japanese counterparts, the store featured exclusive merchandise not found anywhere else, including special New York-exclusive commemorative merchandise. And like the Japanese counterparts, the store had an online store anyone within the United States could order from. However, both stores' lives were short-lived, closing in January of 2005 to be remodeled into the general Nintendo store, Nintendo World. The website closed altogether; the reason stated was the wish to sell Pokémon merchandise exclusively through retail partners.
Pokémon Stores are smaller stores in Japan which sell Pokémon merchandise. These stores are typically located in stations and airports, though a few are located in areas that are less populated than bigger cities like Tokyo and Osaka. The mascot is always just Pikachu, stylized to fit the theme of the city or area it is in (i.e., Flight Captain Pikachu is Narita Airport Center's mascot)
The following is a comprehensive list of all the Pokémon Stores located in Japan - click the names to be linked to their Japanese pages on the official site for more information:
- New Chitose Airport
- Tokyo Station
- Narita Airport
- Chubu Airport
- Itami Airport
- Kansai Airport
- Aeon Mall Okayama
- Emiful Masaki Ehime
- AmuPlaza Oita
- AmuPlaza Kagoshima
- Department Store Riubou, Okinawa
- Aeon Mall Okinawa
Sadly, on March 1, 2020, the Outlet Oyabe Store closed its doors.
Pokémon Center Pop-Up StoresEdit
Pokémon Center Paris (June 4, 2014 - June 21, 2014)Edit
Pokémon Center Paris was the first ever European Pokémon Center, made in honor of Pokémon X/Y being based on France. This pop up store ended up being hugely popular to the point that all merchandise sold out long before the store was due to close, leaving fans with only the art gallery.
Limited merchandise was available to buy in comparison with permanent Pokémon Centers. This included a handful of plush (including the 1/1 starter plush), French trading cards, a Charizard mug, t-shirts featuring the starters and a few other smaller items.
Pokémon Center London (October 18, 2019 - November 15, 2019)Edit
Pokémon Center London was the second European Pokémon Center. It focused on the exclusive London City Pikachu range, as well as a second range for the Galarian starters, Sobble, Scorbunny and Grookey that previously went up for sale on the US Pokémon Center website. Other items included Sitting Cuties, large plush, a few Pokédolls, regular plush, trading cards, Nintendo Switch equipment and a small selection of Detective Pikachu goods. Upstairs, visitors could play a demo of Pokémon Sword and Shield and take pictures in front a large map of Galar, choosing photoprops of different Galar Pokémon.
Much like Pokémon Center Paris, Pokémon Center London included restrictions on items that gradually became tighter. In the beginning, people could purchase as many items as they liked, with a restriction of 1 item per person from the exclusive London City Pikachu range and 3 Sitting Cuties per person. After only one day, this decreased to just 6 items through the entire store, in addition to the existing restrictions.
Due to rapidly depleting stock, the store closed its hours from 10:00 - 22:00 to 10:00 - 18:00 less than a week after opening.
Pokémon Center OnlineEdit
There are three official Pokémon Center Online stores known at this time:
Pokémon Center Online - JapanEdit
March 21, 2001 - November 30, 2006, then February 16, 2016 - Present
The very first, the official online Pokémon Center in Japan! This online store was originally opened on March 21, 2001, and after 5 years of service closed on November 30, 2006. During that time, the mascots were Pikachu, Pichu, and Porygon 2.
After a decade had passed and online shopping became more of a normality, the Pokémon Center Online reopened on February 16, 2016. Because of this, Pokémon goods became much more accessible to those outside of Japan, as middle-manning services became more common, and able to order directly from the Pokémon Center Online.
Being that this is the Pokémon Center Online Japan, the website is in Japanese, and of course ships only within Japan at this time.
Pokémon Center Online - USAEdit
The official online Pokémon Center in United States!
(shipping within USA only) (English)
Pokémon Store Online - South KoreaEdit
The official online Pokémon Center in South Korea!
(shipping within Korea only) (Korean)
Though incomplete, there is a list of collections released by the Pokémon Center over at Pokémon Center Collections. Please note that it only covers Collections from the Japanese Pokémon Centers, and not the ones from any other country. Take a look!
- Official Pokémon Website (Pokémon Center Section) - Official information about all of the Pokémon Centers and Stores within Japan (Japanese)
- Pokémon Center Online (Japan) - The official online Pokémon Center in Japan! (shipping within Japan only - use a proxy to buy goods from here!) (Japanese)
- Pokémon Center Online (United States) - The official online Pokémon Center in United States! (shipping within USA only) (English)
- Pokémon Store Online (South Korea) - The official online Pokémon Center in South Korea! (shipping within Korea only) (Korean)