Pokemon fans will love the experience of dining at Japan's Pokemon Cafe!
Pokemon Cafe is probably one of the most well-known themed cafes in Japan that kids love. We were at the cafe during our recent trip to Osaka and I must say, though we aren't huge Pokemon fans, we enjoyed ourselves very much!
We had made a Saturday 410pm reservation at the Pokemon Cafe website about a month before our trip (more on how to make reservations later!). So on the day itself, we reached the cafe located at Daimaru Shinsabashi 10-minutes ahead of our reservation, which is usually what you're advised to do when it comes to reservations in Japan.
The cafe is very nicely decorated to theme.
Here's what we ordered:
The Snorlax's Tummy Filling Nap Lunch Plate at 1,958 yen.
Everybody's Favorite Pikachu Plate at 1,848 yen.
The Pikachu Hamburger kid's meal at 1,078 yen. This is for elementary school students which is age 11 years and below but it's portion was too small for my 11-year-old, so we ended up ordering another Pikachu plate.
Fuecoco's Apple Soda Float at 1,210 yen.
The food selection is actually quite limited and the Pikachu plate was almost sold out during our time there - we ordered the last available plate. I suppose those who have later reservations wouldn't be able to order it.
Our review is that the food is gorgeous and they taste alright but portions are a little small. But I guess such portions and prices are probably quite typical for themed cafes.
There is also a brief appearance by a Pikachu mascot.
Dining slots are at 1.5 hours each but we were probably done in around an hour. Though the girls aren't big fans of Pokemon anymore, they are still really happy to take home table mats (which are free for you to take home!) and a coaster which comes with our drink order as memorabilia!
You can also purchase memorabilia outside the cafe and right next to the cafe is a Pokemon Centre!
The thing with themed cafes in Japan is that they are extremely popular and reservations are needed in order to dine there. That said, you might not even be able to get a reservation even if you tried booking when reservation opens because everybody is doing the same and this year with everyone rushing to visit Japan after it reopened to visitors, it's even harder to secure reservations.
For Pokemon Cafe, reservation opens at 1800 Japan time, 31 days ahead. I tasked hubs with making a reservation for a certain date and time but for two days, though he went to the Pokemon Cafe website when reservations just opened to book, they all turned out fully booked. That was when we decided to change strategy and just take whatever was available. And that we when he managed to secure a 410pm slot.
So I think the key to getting a reservation is not to be too picky with your timing and insisting on going during mealtimes. If your itinerary is flexible, just take whatever is available when you log in at 1800 when reservation opens and check out asap.
We saw some online comments mentioning about the website hanging when reservation opens. We didn't experience any hanging of the website, probably because June is the off-peak tourism period in Japan so I don't think it's popular to the extent to cause the website to hang. However, the online advice is to try 15-20 minutes later if the website hangs when reservation is open.
If you're unable to secure a reservation, you can always try walking in. We did see some people waiting outside in a queue. I can't say how successful walk-ins are but there are online advice that says to go to the Cafe in the morning when it opens and queue there. The cafe will put out a board which says if there are any tables available and if there is, you'll be allowed to walk in.
All in all, the Pokemon Cafe was an interesting experience but once is probably enough for us and we'll opt for other experiences or themed cafes when we visit Japan again!
I will be sharing more about our Osaka experiences in my blog soon. Do look out for them and head to my Instagram account at 'vivianteowriter' to check out our Osaka IGS highlights and posts!
Disclaimer: We paid for our meals, and my opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.