Of all the places you’d expect to have a long-running Nintendo store, Japan’s largest city would surely be number one. Remarkably, though, the Japanese gaming giant only opened Nintendo Tokyo – its first flagship store on home soil – last week. And guess what? It’s already slammed.
Nintendo Tokyo opened on Friday, November 22 inside the Shibuya Parco shopping centre, which also houses the new Pokémon Centre. Friday was a bitterly cold and rainy day in Tokyo, which was tough news for the huge queue of fans that snaked down six-plus floors and onto the street. Even with a highly-orchestrated ticket system, it took up to two hours to reach the doors (marked by an impressive 8-bit Mario statue). Some unlucky queuers were even turned away when the store hit capacity.
Good morning pic.twitter.com/zpCFUg9zNC
— Kyle McLain (@FarmboyinJapan) November 21, 2019
part 2 pic.twitter.com/05vIOQgAtr
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) November 19, 2019
For the true believers, the wait was worth it. A huge selection of brand-new and exclusive merchandise from across the Nintendo universe is available in-store, including properties like Kirby, The Legend Of Zelda, Pokémon, Donkey Kong and, of course, Super Mario Bros. You can buy mugs, tote bags, plush toys, t-shirts and a whole range of more expensive collectibles.
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The nearby (and grandly named) Pokémon Centre is also warming the hearts of patient super-fans. In addition to affordable buys, you can also pick up limited edition merch like Shibuya graffiti-themed Pikachu dolls and Pokémon skateboard decks. Or you can just marvel at the only-in-Japan model of fan favourite Mewtwo inside a huge incubation tank.
Giant Mewtwo inside an incubation chamber at the new Pokémon Center / Nintendo Tokyo Store that opened today in Parco Shibuya. pic.twitter.com/JGXhXOjtxm
— Tokyo Fashion (@TokyoFashion) November 22, 2019
The arrival of Nintendo Tokyo is all part of the company’s push ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Ahead of the Olympics, Nintendo will open its first official theme park in Japan called Super Nintendo World, which will feature rides based on the Super Mario Bros. and Yoshi’s game series. The park has been developed with Universal Studios as part of its existing park in Sakurajima, near Osaka, and might even feature a full-size Mario Kart course. It’s a good time to be Nintendo-obsessed – if you’re OK with queues.
(Lead image: Nintendo Tokyo / Nintendo)