It’s been about a week since we first saw the commercial for the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu (“An Outbreak of Pikachus”) Pokémon event going on this month in Yokohama. And while fans are no doubt looking forward to the projection mapping show and Pikachu Café, the real draw is the promised 1,000 Pikachu that will be on hand to greet visitors to the city’s Minato Mirai bayside district.
While we’re still a few days away from the official start of the festivities, the loveable pocket monsters have already started showing up, as shown in these surreally cute photos of the assembled Pokémon hospitality corps.
Yokohama’s Akarenga Red Brick Warehouse complex used to house a customs office and storage facilities for the daily shipments of goods flowing in and out of one of Japan’s busiest ports. By the late 1980s, though, the bulk of Yokohama’s harbor operations has moved elsewhere in the city, and Akarenga was repurposed as an entertainment complex.
The large open plaza between the two buildings gets used for a number of seasonal events, including temporary flower gardens and an outdoor ice skating rink. During the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu event, this is where you’ll find the Pikachu Beach House café, but as a special preview of what’s to come, the Akarenga plaza also served as a gathering point for the first wave of 50 Pikachus establishing their territory in the city.
It was a moment of pride for the citizens of Yokohama, and of joy for Pokémon fans all over, as shown by Japanese Internet comments:
No one would notice if you caught one and took it home, would they?
Good to know we won’t have to worry about electricity shortages this summer.
What? Is this Yokohama or the Viridian Forest from the games?
Ash! They’re escaping!
Best of all, we’ve got almost two more weeks with this adorable horde. Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu officially starts on August 9 and runs until the 17th.