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Feature StoryTokyo

Dining at the Pokémon Café

After our farewell dinner, my journey through Japan wasn’t over quite yet. My mom and my sister met me at our hotel in Kyoto having just gotten off a 10-hour flight. The following morning, we boarded a shinkansen (bullet train) back to Tokyo. We explored familiar spots like Harajuku and Akihabara and I showed off my knowledge of the train system to them. 

For months, my sister had been raving about the Pokémon Café and been saying, “We have to go!” She showed me YouTube videos of the experience vloggers had, and it looked like a good and wholesome time. Whether or not you’re a fan of the franchise, the whole experience is pretty entertaining.

Reservations

This is the reservation confirmation I received.

 Going to the Pokémon Café is not as easy as you’d think, and simply walking in and expecting to get a table is not an option. Reservations have to be made a month in advance. With open spots going fast, planning ahead is crucial. The reservation had a scheduled starting and ending time. In order to stay on schedule with later reservations, they limit customers’ time at the café to an hour and a half. 

On the menu

Upon arrival, they let us in and handed us an electronic tablet to place our orders. Their menu included a variety of Pokémon themed foods and beverages. One of their popular choices was beef curry surrounding a bed of Pikachu-shaped rice. In addition, they also offered a limited-time Detective Pikachu macaroni and cheese dish, grape smoothies served in a Gengar souvenir glass and a large variety of lattes. You could choose a Pokémon and they would print an image of it on your latte.

Pikachu’s time to shine

This is a video of Pikachu dressed as a waitress dancing around the restaurant.

As we waited for the food to arrive, a waitress came out and started speaking to everyone dining in the cafe. It was the moment we were anxiously waiting for. A Pikachu mascot dressed in a waitress’s uniform waddled into the main dining area. People clapped as it danced around the restaurant. It was, dare I say, kawaii (cute). Workers restricted customers from taking pictures alongside the mascot. However, onlookers were allowed to take photos and videos of waitress Pikachu in action. 

Thoughts on the food

This is the meal I ordered at the Pokemon Cafe.

As aesthetically pleasing as the food was, I did not expect it to be as tasty as it was. I ordered the Detective Pikachu mac and cheese. The dish consisted of classic shells and cheese topped with toasted bread shaped and decorated like Detective Pikachu’s head. It even included the little detective’s hat. Accompanying the dish was a side of crispy waffle fries. Given that I missed American food, I really enjoyed it. After we ate, a waitress reminded diners that we had 10 minutes left.

Pokemon (time to) go!

Here’s the souvenir shop inside the Pokémon Cafe.

As the reservation came to an end, customers paid at a register in the front. Pokémon Cafe souvenirs were available for purchase in this area as well. Outside of the restaurant was the Pokémon Center, a giant store chock-full of all things Pokémon related. You can read about the Pokémon Center in Kyoto in this article written by DeAnna Ryan. 

With an acute attention to detail, the food was delicious; and the café wholeheartedly entertained the child in me. If you or anyone you know want to take a trip to the Pokémon Café, here’s a link to make the reservation process a little easier. 

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