You’ve probably seen clips of a parade of giant dancing Pikachu on YouTube, but it can’t beat seeing (and dancing with) the real thing.
What to expect
The whole of Yokohama’s Minatomirai area is going Poké-crazy in celebration of the 2023 Pokémon World Championship and that means the Pikachu horde, or outbreak, is back in town for a whole host of fun events.
For those of you who are old, without kids, or haven’t been in Japan for long, Pikachu is the most well-known Pokémon (pocket monster) from the popular kids’ TV program/game/commercial phenomenon.
The Pikachu (and friends) army will be at different places all around Minato Mirai in Yokohama.
These are the highlights, but there will also be an orchestra and local trains will be decorated in theme. Events are free but most will require pre-registration way in advance, minus the Pikachu Gathering and snapping pictures of the neighborhood Pokemon.
Pikachu Gathering!August 8 to 14
Two shows a day
Unlike the other events, no pre-registration is required to view this parade of Pikachu marching along Yokohama’s Grand Mall Park. There will be two shows a day lasting 15 minutes. Performances start at 3 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. from Aug. 8–13 and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Aug. 14.
Spot a Pokemon
All around Yokohama, you’ll find mischievous creatures hidden away. See if you can spot them all and snap a picture.
Pokémon Matsuri ParkAugust 11 to 14
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A Japanese-style festival (matsuri) will be held in Rinko Park, but of course, with a special twist; you’ll be able to also go Magikarp fishing and throw a Poké ball. There will also be dancing and taiko drum performances. You will need to pre-register to enter.
Pokémon Fantastic Live Shows
As well as the Pikachu Gathering, there will be other chances to join the Pokemon mania at live shows — but you’ll have to pre-register (see above).
Dance till you drop at “We Move!!” and “Imagination! Into the Next!”, both shows take place from Aug. 8 to 14. and include lasers, projection mapping, and your favorite Pokemon characters (Pikachu included).
For the final day, a parade that includes some special rare Pokemon will proceed down Keyaki Dori Ave.
Pokémon fan heading to Tokyo? Don’t miss our guide to Tokyo for Pokémon lovers.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.