There’s so much Pokémon stuff to do, it’s like a Pokéfan’s dream!

Japanese Pokémon fans are extra excited this year because Japan is hosting the Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championship competition (hereafter referred to as WCS2023) for the first time ever…and it also happens to be the first one held in Asia, too! It’ll be held in Yokohama–famed home of the annual (pre-COVID) Pikachu outbreaksbetween August 11 and 13.

The event is expected to attract over 1,000 Pokémon TCG players and many more fans from around the world, so to celebrate and build excitement for the tournament, The Pokémon Company, together with the city of Yokohama, has planned a special pre-WCS2023 event called the Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championship 2023 Yokohama Minato Mirai Event.

The event includes five kinds of exciting attractions open from August 8 to 14, not including the tournament itself. The first is the Pokémon Summer Festival Park, which is like a traditional-style Japanese festival, but Pokémon-themed! A section of Rinko Park, the Minato Mirai neighborhood’s harborside park, will be filled with festival amenities, including a tall wooden tower lit up with lanterns, Bon odori dances, a Magikarp fishing game, a Pokéball toss game, and much more.

You can join the festival between August 11 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and admission is free, but likely owing to high crowd expectations, only granted via lottery, with visits limited to 90 minutes each.

There will also be the Pokémon Fantastic Live Shows, which include stage performances and parades all over the Minato Mirai area throughout the event period. One is called “We Move!!” and is a stage show with Pikachus and dancers augmented by 800 drones flying in the sky. This show will happen once per night during the event period in Rinko Park’s Tidal Pond area.

The “Imagination! Into the Next!!” show will be held in Akarenga Park, where Yokohama’s historic Red Brick Warehouses are located. This night show, which will occur twice per day, will feature not only Pokémon dancing on stage but video productions, waterworks, and pyrotechnics.

Next up is the “Pikachu Gathering!!”, which is like our favorite Pikachu outbreaks. In Grand Mall Park, a procession of Pikachus will march down the street twice a day, to the delight of all!

And lastly, on August 14, the final day of the event–the day after the conclusion of the tournament–is the biggest show of all: “Let’s Celebrate! The Pokémon Parade!!” 100 Pokémon, including, of course, Pikachu, will march down Keyaki-dori Avenue in Yokohama for the ultimate Pokéfan parade.

The Pokémon Fantastic Live Shows offer plenty of exciting ways to celebrate your love of Pokémon. Admission to each one is free but, with the exception of the Pikachu Gathering, determined by lottery, so make sure you apply ahead of time!

But don’t worry; that’s not even the end of the planned festivities. For one, Pokémon trainers can board the Pokémon Trainers Cruise, where they can find fellow Pokémon game and TCG players to challenge and trade with, much like the old S.S. Anne. The passenger boat Nipponmaru will be decked out in Pokémon themes and decor while it’s docked at Berth No. 9 at Shinko Pier, and visitors can climb aboard as often as they like to find new Pokéfriends.

In addition, spots all around the Minato Mirai area will be decorated with Pokémon stickers and designs, so you can pose with Pokémon for Instagram. See if you can find all of the Pokémon hiding in and around buildings, stations, shops, and parks!

And lastly, between July 14 and August 14, look out for the specially decorated Bayside Blue buses, which will be covered in a special wrapping featuring illustrations of Pikachu and the three Galar starters enjoying Japanese food.

To take advantage of all the events, passengers can also make use of the Minato Burari Ticket, which offers unlimited rides on all bayside area city buses and subway lines. From July 14 to August 14, the ticket will also be an original Pokémon design in commemoration of the special event period.

So if you’re a Pokémon fan, you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to Yokohama between August 8 and 14. The admission lotteries for each of the events are open now, and you can apply through the official event website. For spectator badges to watch the TCG World Championship, you can enter the lottery here.

Also, when you head to Yokohama, don’t forget to check out the return of the fun, colorful interactive world of Pokémon Colors too, since it will be open for the duration of the event and a few days after. With all this, you’ll get to have the best Pokémon summer ever!

Source, images: City of Yokohama Press Release
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