A few years ago, the world was swept up in the storm that was Pokemon Go, changing the face of mobile gaming forever. While the Pokemon Company is Japanese, the other developer of the game, Niantic, is American. What that meant for Japan was that the game released in Pikachu’s homeland a lot later than in a lot of Western countries. That just gave time for the hype to build up even more for Japanese Pokemon fans, and predictably, the game eventually released to massive success in Japan.
While the Pokemon Go craze has died down quite a bit since the initial wave, it still remains very popular in Japan. But despite having several Pokemon Centres and even a Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo, what fans didn’t have was a place to buy Pokemon Go-specific merchandise. Last autumn, though, that all changed with the opening of the world’s first (and currently only) Pokemon Go Shop called Pokemon Go Lab! And what better place to have it than Ikebukuro, already an otaku and Pokemon fan hot spot?
Pokemon Go Lab Info
|Location (Ikebukuro)|| Address |
2F, 3-1-1 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0013
Nearest train line(s)
|Cost of Admission||N/A|
|Hours of Operation|| Sunday-Saturday|
10:00 - 22:00
Pokemon Go Lab might not be that big, but it doesn’t have to be. What it does have caters directly to what Pokemon Go players want! Half of the store is dedicated to merchandise, with goods related directly to the mobile game available for the first time in Japan. These include hats and t-shirts with team logos to show your allegiance when you’re out battling, along with phone cases, mobile chargers, hand towels and more with team logos and game-related art. There’s even cookies and other snacks in Pokemon Go packaging if you want to pick up something for a friend to make them jealous of where you got to go!
The other half of the Pokemon Go Lab is a large open space for players to battle! In the centre of the space is an all-new gym to fight in which is displayed on a rotating TV screen. The screen shows the current Pokemon team that is in the gym, and also displays cool statistics like the percentage for how long each team has controlled the gym, the top countries players are from, which type of Pokemon is most common in the gym, and more! It’s awesome to battle the gym and then see your avatar and Pokemon displayed for everyone to see. Plus it’s a great place to connect with other players from around the world when everyone is gathering together to play.
Pokemon Go Lab can get pretty busy on the weekends with lots of people standing around and playing. This is both good and bad; it means there’s a lot of potential to fight in the gym there and also to connect with other players from around the globe to battle and trade with. But if you want a more laidback and quiet experience where you can browse the goods in peace and fight the gym without pressure, drop by on a weekday. It’s usually pretty quiet, even in the evenings.
Before or after your visit to the Pokemon Go Lab, don’t forget to stop by the Pokemon Centre MEGA TOKYO store and Pikachu Sweets cafe, both also located on the same floor of Sunshine City for all your Pokemon needs.
Whether you want to battle in the gym or just pick up some awesome Pokemon Go merchandise, Pokemon Go Lab has you covered. It’s a fun little shop that has something for all fans of Pokemon Go, with merchandise for all budgets and ages. It’s also just steps away from the other Pokemon attractions in Sunshine City, making it a great stop to add to your Pokemon pilgrimage in Tokyo.
Have you been to Pokemon Go Lab? What did you think? Do you have any questions about the shop? Let us know in the comments!