It turns out Tokyo’s most convenient airport is also its most awesome for Pokémon Trainers.

If you count both travel and video games among your hobbies, the mobile game boom is pretty cool. As long as you’ve got your smartphone on you, you’ve got access to a huge selection of games to keep yourself entertained during any downtime you might have on your journey.

That said, Pokémon GO doesn’t seem like a very fun game to play while you’re waiting at the airport after checking in for a flight. With so many areas that are off-limits, plus the need to stay nearby for when it’s time to go through security and head to the gate, the limited mobility seems like it would really put a damper on the Pocket Monster-catching fun.

So we were a little skeptical when we heard rumors that Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport, the closest air hub to downtown Tokyo, was a great place for Pokémon GO players. Still, we decided to see for ourselves, so we hopped on the train, rode it to Haneda Airport Terminal 1 Station, and fired up the app as soon as we stepped out onto the platform.

So what kind of wonders were waiting for us?


Absolutely nothing. At this point, the whole trip was feeling like a waste of time. Maybe the game’s last update had wiped the area clean of Pokémon, following complaints from the airport management or some other group?

Still, we’d come all the way here, so we figured we’d look around just a bit more. We left the station gates and headed out to the shopping concourse, and when we checked our smartphone screen again, we saw an array of PokéStops!



And we were happy to have them, because we were going to need all the Poké Balls we could get. While the train station is uninhabited, Haneda Airport Terminal 1 itself is home to a ridiculously large variety of Pokémon, and as proof, here’s the list of Pocket Monsters we encountered in just one hour of play:

● Bulbasaur
● Caterpie
● Weedle
● Pidgey
● Rattata
● Raticate
● Spearow
● Ekans
● Sandshrew
● Nidoran (male)
● Nidoran (female)
● Vulpix
● Jigglypuff
● Zubat
● Oddish
● Gloom
● Paras
● Parasect
● Psyduck

Oh, we’re not done with the list. We’re just catching our breath. We also found [deep inhale]:

● Growlithe
● Poliwag
● Abra
● Machop
● Bellsprout
● Tentacool
● Geodude
● Ponyta
● Slowpoke
● Coil
● Dewgong
● Drowzee
● Krabby
● Voltorb
● Exeggcute
● Koffing
● Rhyhorn
● Horsea
● Goldeen
● Staryu
● Scyther
● Magikarp
● Eevee
● Kabuto

That’s a total of 42 different species, and best of all, we encountered all of these Pokémon in the publicly accessible area of the terminal, before the security checkpoint. That means that even if you’re not flying, you can still get in on the Pocket Monster hunting action, and if you are flying out of Haneda, you’ve got more reason than ever to show up early.

Images ©RocketNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he remembers flying with a TurboExpress, a stack of HuCard games, and a seriously heavy supply of AA batteries.

[ Read in Japanese ]