London is getting a Pokémon Center later this year

Japanophiles, we have some very exciting news. A pop-up Pokémon Center is coming to London later this year, where you can channel your inner trainer, prepare to take on gym leaders and hang out with lots of cuddly Pokémon.

The Pokémon Center will open for four days in April, coinciding with the Pokémon Europe International Championships taking place at ExCeL London from April 4-7. The store will be open at the venue from 10am to 8pm every day except Sunday, when it will close at 4pm.

You don’t have to have a ticket to the championships to gain access to the shop, but you will need a reservation – the Pokémon shop is expected to be very popular. Details about how to make a reservation will be released closer to the event, and you can find all the latest information online here

From Eevee to Bulbasaur, the pop-up store promises to have Pokémon favourites as well as some exciting exclusive merch. In the past, exclusives included a Beefeater Pikachu and Roserade in 2022, and a besuited and bowler-hatted Pikachu in 2019. Bowler hat Pikachu was so popular that shoppers had to be limited in how many they could buy. The Pokémon Company has warned that 2024 purchases may be limited too, to ‘make products available to as many customers as possible’.

More Japanese culture in London

While you wait for Pokémon to come to town, we’d recommend heading to the ‘Cute’ exhibition at Somerset House. Exhibiting all things cuddly, fuzzy and friendly, it’s got a whole section dedicated to Hello Kitty. Kawaii! And if you’re looking for proper Japanese eats, these are the best ramen, sushi and udon restaurants in the city

Listen to Time Out’s brilliant podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: the newest episode with Saoirse-Monica Jackson in Soho is out now.

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