The new permanent Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo is a must visit for anyone who loves the Pokemon Franchise. As mentioned in our previous post, the cafe is not available for walk-in and advance reservation must be made. Check out our guide here if you want to make a reservation.
How to get there
The Pokemon Cafe is located in the Nihombashi Takashimaya East Wing on level 5. The nearest station is the Nihombashi Metro Station. If you are taking JR instead, Tokyo Station would be the nearest. There is a special elevator that will take you up all the way to the Pokemon Cafe. Here is the Google Map link.
You should be facing a lift lobby with lots of Pokemon mural. Just take the elevator to the 5th floor and you will be at the Pokemon Center. The cafe is just right beside it.
If you take the metro to Nihombashi Metro station, exit B2 or B1 will take you directly to Takashimaya. However, that is the main building which you will have to take an elevator to level 8 where there is a bridge to connect to the east wing level 5.
Photos. Take tons of them at the Cafe. Every nook and cranny of the cafe is littered with Pokemon plushies, poster, figurine and more. Instagrammable moment at every turn. Be sure to check every corner of the cafe because behind that pillar maybe a cute Pikachu statue that you can take picture with.
There are some freebies that the staff will give you throughout your time at the cafe. For a start, we are given Pikachu stickers while queueing up to enter the cafe.
Upon entering the cafe, a face-down placemat at each seat will be there waiting for you. Each placemat has a random Pokemon. If you wish to keep it, place it in your bag so that food will not get onto the placemat and dirty it later.
There will also be a small game you play on the iPad to get a coaster. Each drink ordered is entitled to one game. Basically, you get to choose between eight cards. The card that you choose will determine what Pokemon coaster you will get. We manage to get two Pikachu coasters!
The cafe is also filled with merchandise to purchase. From pikachu plates to mugs and plushies, you can easily spend quite a bit on the merchandise itself. Leave some time after the meal to do it.
The menu is fairly simple with not that many choices for mains. Pikachu takes the center stage. Three out of the five mains are Pikachu themed. Ordering it through an iPad which luckily comes in multiple languages such as English and Chinese.
We tried four mains; the Pikachu Cabonara, Pikachu set, Eevee’s Burger set and the Pikachu curry rice. The food was served relatively quickly and plating is almost identical to the menu. Much effort has been given to the appearance of the meals but the same cannot be said for the actual taste. Having tried many Japanese food for the past few days, the cafe’s Pokemon food is fairly expensive and not as tantalizing. But bear in mind that this is common for most theme cafe. The price has the experience baked in as well.
For some of the food items, you can choose to add-on the merchandise that comes with the food. For example, paying an additional 1,200 yen will get you the Pikachu plate that was used to serve the Pikachu set. Of course, the actual plate that is used will not be the one that is given to you. You will get a ticket for the items and at the end of your meal, you will collect it from the counter. Do remember to collect them in case you forget.
Just like in Disneyland where a meet and greet with Mickey Mouse is the highlight of the trip, Pokemon Cafe has its very own Pikachu meet and greet session as well! So do not rush through your food and leave before the grand entrance of Pikachu. Decked in a cook outfit, this Pikachu mascot will perform a small dance with maximum kawaii (cuteness) overload. If your seat is at a corner of the cafe, do not worry too much. Pikachu mascot will come to all corners of the cafe to perform its little dance as well as handshaking with the patrons.
Unfortunately, taking picture with Pikachu is prohibited. You will not be able to stand beside the mascot and have a nice picture taken. So try your luck to get yourself in a picture with Pikachu at the background if you can.
Maximize your time.
Do note that you have only 90 minutes for you time slot so be sure to maximize you visit. Our suggestion is to take a look at the menu beforehand via this link. This way, you need not waste time looking through the menu.
If you are having a course of main and dessert, placing your order earlier will give you more time for the dessert later. Once you have placed the order, walk around the cafe and take some pictures while everyone is still busy looking at the menu and deciding what to eat. You will have minimal photobomb experience that way.
At around 30 minutes into your timeslot, a staff will come out and start to announce the arrival of Pikachu. Get your camera ready at this point for Pikachu special appearance!
Visit Pokemon Center
The Pokemon Center is just right beside the cafe. Be sure to check it out for more Pokemon merchandise. The Pikachu plushies from the cafe is available at the Pokemon center as well. There are many more Pokemon plushies in the Pokemon center that you can take home with.
Make reservation a month in advance to ensure you will get a seat. Seats go out pretty fast. You can check out our guide here. Also, one of the best time to go is the 10:50am slot. This is the time with the less people and the most energetic Pikachu mascot. Also, you can have a the meal as a brunch saving you some money. If you are coming for the 10:50am, please note that Takashimaya is only opened at 10:30am, so coming earlier only results in you waiting for the gate to be opened.
The Pikachu Cafe, I mean Pokemon Cafe, is highly recommended by us. Though it requires reservation, it is actually worth the effort. Reservation does not require any upfront payment so it is fairly straightforward. Do not expect great food but expect great experience and photo moments.