The world’s first permanent Pokemon Cafe is now open in Tokyo, Japan! I’ve been to a few pop-up Pokemon Cafes in the past. The last one was at the now-demolished Parco Department Store in Shibuya. Once I heard that a permanent cafe was opening, I knew I had to visit.
Pokémon came into my life back in 1998 when the games first came out in North America. My brother and I got brand new Gameboy Colors for Christmas that year (Pokémon Red and Blue, respectively). Since then, I have been a huge fan of the franchise (even before I became a theme park fan, which wasn’t until 2010 after my first trip).
Here’s my review of the new Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo, along with tips for your visit. Just a bit of a warning, the photos may bring the temptation to book your flight to Tokyo immediately.
For those wondering, my first Pokémon was Squirtle!
For videos and more photos, check out our Highlights on our Instagram Stories.
Table of Contents
Be aware that advance reservations are required for the Pokemon Cafe. There is now a standby line, but you may or may not get in. Chances are better on a weekday. You’re given a time limit of 90 minutes (your last order is at the 60-minute mark). Cash and credit cards are accepted as a form of payment. The staff speak limited English (unsure about other languages) but there were some staff members who explained a few things to me in English.
The Pokémon Center Tokyo DX on the same floor is open to everyone.
The Pokémon Cafe and Pokémon Center Tokyo DX are on the 5th floor of the Takashimaya Nihonbashi Store S.C. East Building (日本橋髙島屋Ｓ.Ｃ.東館). The building is a 4-minute walk from Nihonbashi Station (Ginza, Tozai, & Asakusa lines) or about a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station. Here’s where it is on Google Maps to make things easier.
If you’re coming from Tokyo Station, exit out of Yaesu North Entrance or Yaesu Central Entrance. You’ll walk by or through Tokyo Station City GranTokyo North Tower. Here you’ll cross the street (diagonal crosswalk) and walk down the street with sakura trees. Continue down until you see the Takashimaya Store on the left (you won’t miss it).
Pro Tip: In the basement of Tokyo Station is Character Street where there are tons of shops with Japanese pop culture merchandise including another Pokémon Store. There’s also a KitKat Chocolatory in the maze of underground shops (it’s fun to explore and get out of the elements).
Japan is known for its themed cafes — one of my favourites is the 8bit Cafe (more of a bar) in Shinjuku — and it comes as no surprise that the Pokémon Cafe’s theming is spot on.
The cafe itself is a wide-open space with wood paneling and greenery (in the form of pokéballs). The large windows flood the cafe with gorgeous natural light. Tables are along the perimeter of the room with a large table in the middle (this where you’re seated if you’re alone).
Throughout the cafe are display cases with a variety of artwork and Pokémon Plush. Photos are allowed inside and encouraged by the staff. My favourites were the “green” pokéballs that look like shrubs.
Music from the games over the years plays throughout the cafe and hits all the right nostalgic notes. I am all about the music from Red and Blue. To top it all off, Pikachu himself comes out during your meal and dances around — all while music that repeats “Pika pika pika Pikachu” is playing in the background.
The modern decor mixed with tasteful Pokémon-themed aesthetic and music creates a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere to enjoy while eating an adorable Eevee chicken burger.
I recommend taking photos in the last 30-minutes of your time slot. This way you’re not rushing so your food doesn’t get cold. You get a full 90 minutes.
Pokemon Cafe Food Menu
Now for the best part, let’s talk about the food! You can see the menu on this post. I am focusing on the items that I had during my visit.
You’ll find a special placemat at your table (one for each person in your party), and once you flip one over, it reveals a Pokémon, along with some stats. You’re able to keep this, so I suggest not using it place your food on (if you want to take it home). To order your food, you use the iPad, which is a straightforward process. The best part is it’s available in English!
During my visit, I had the Gengar Smoothie, Eevee Teriyaki Chicken Burger, and Jigglypuff Cheesecake. The photos speak for themselves.
The Gengar Smoothie is grape-flavoured and comes in an appropriately themed glass with a glowing cube inside. I am a huge fan of grape, so this was right up my alley. The flavour was simple and exactly what you’d expect, grape-flavoured. With any drink order, you get to play a little game where you select a Pikachu card on an iPad that a staff member brings over to you. The card reveals a Pokémon and you’ll get a plastic coaster with that Pokémon on it. I was secretly hoping for Squirtle but got Bulbasaur instead.
Next was the Eevee Teriyaki Chicken Burger with fries and minestrone soup. The bun is adorable beyond words and was almost too cute to eat. The burger itself was nothing special in terms of flavour, but just like the Gengar Smoothie, tasted as advertised. It was enjoyable, but you’d be able to find the same type of burger elsewhere for cheaper. The fries were crispy and the soup was delicious. The paper that holds the burger is just as cute as the burger itself.
For dessert, I had the Jigglypuff cheesecake, which did not disappoint. I’ll admit that I am a huge fan of cheesecake, so it was natural I had to give this a try. The small music note cookies on the plate were an adorable touch, and the whipped cream with berries brought it all together. My favourite part, however, is the cheesecake would jiggle if you shook the plate. That put a huge grin on my face for some reason. Long story short, it was great and I’d have it again.
When ordering a dessert you’re presented with two options that are not translated for whatever reason into English. You’re asked if you’d like the dessert before or after your meal. The option on the left is before your meal (先) and the option on the right is after your meal (食後).
Overall, the food is on point with the Pokemon theme and the flavours aren’t half bad either. I didn’t expect the food to taste any better than other cafes that offer similar dishes. You go for the theming of the food and not the flavour.
Total Cost: ¥3,736 ($35 USD) for the three dishes.
Pokemon Cafe Merchandise
The cafe offers exclusive merchandise (some is available at the Pokémon Center Tokyo DX) and other adorable snacks. With your reservation, you have the option to buy exclusive merchandise that’s only available when you make your reservation.
Pokemon Cafe Reservations
Reservations are made online and are in English. You’re able to make your reservations for the Tokyo store here or the Osaka store here. The reservations open one month in advance and you’re able to reserve for 1 to 8 people. You’re able to choose if you’d like to buy exclusive merchandise (not available in-store) when making the reservation.
You’re asked to input a phone number, while your number from home will work I recommend getting a Japanese number to make things easier (other places may need you to have a Japanese number). I recommend using either the phone number of your hotel or getting this SIM Card that provides you with a Japanese phone number.
For fans of Pokemon, the Pokemon Cafe is a must on your next trip to Tokyo. The photogenic food, nostalgic music, and pristine atmosphere sprinkled with fanfare create the perfect way to relax with a Gengar Grape Smoothie and Pikachu Butt Carbonara (I came up with that one myself).
Even if you’re not a huge fan of Pokemon, seeing what Japan has to offer for themed cafes makes for an “only in Japan” experience. See the official website for more information.
If you’re on Pinterest, here are some Pokemon Cafe pins to use for your boards!