In March 2019, the Pokemon Centre at Kyoto moved to Kyoto Economy Center Suina- Muromachi from its previous location at the Kyoto Takashimaya Department Store. Its current location is much bigger than the previous store. This is to cater for the likely surge of tourists during the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
In keeping with the more traditional feel of Kyoto, this Pokemon Centre exclusively sells dolls of their mascot Pikachu, dressed as the emperor and empress dolls of the Hinakazari. Hinakazari is a special set of dolls that are displayed during Hinamatsuri (doll festival) in Japan. There were also Pikachu dolls styled based on the Japanese tea ceremony to commemorate the store's relocation.
Kimono Pikachu Dolls (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
(Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Other products featuring the other characters from Pokemon are also available. As with the store in Tokyo, all their names are in Japanese but their appearances are recognisable enough that you can easily pick out your favourites. Among the most tempting were plush toys based on characters from the first game, Red and Blue as many of them had seemingly never had plush versions before.
During our visit, there was a special stamp rally that encouraged visitors to visit five locations around Kyoto (including the store itself) to gather stamps. Those that succeed received a clear folder based on the image created by the five stamps. Sadly we were not able to complete the rally.
Kyoto's Pokemon Centre is a must visit for Pokemon fans eager to obtain merchandise that cannot be found anywhere else.