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Love Pokemon? Love Photographing Unique Manholes? A Must-Do in Tokyo! (Part 1)

Updated: May 11

Hi friends, it's been awhile! I hope the weather's been treating you well. Now that I'm back in my hometown and properly away from Japan life in real time, I've been just slowly reflecting on life, enjoying and reconnecting with my family and friends. Least to say, a lot has happened since I have left Japan and all has been...... interesting.

Anyway, I saw a post earlier this week on a Japan travel forum. Someone posted a few photos of Pokemon manholes they've found, stating they were properly surprised to find them.

And me, having gone around to so many of them...

...just kind of assumed they were common knowledge? I guess not!

So here we are today!

Way back, I actually wrote a blog about why you should go Pokemon manhole hunting, so check that out if you haven't already. To reiterate, these are GREAT ways to go out and see Japan - whether you like Pokemon now or no. Each region/city/prefecture has a set of their own of manholes and they are all different from one another. So if you're just a manhole enthusiast, this would be great for you too.

Some sets of manholes are a bit of a trek. Even if there are 4 or 5 of them in the city, there may not be easily accessible train or bus access, and what may be just a 10 minute drive each between manholes may end up being a full day hiking affair.

But Tokyo area has three pretty accessible sets of manholes.

Realistically, you can do this in a day if you do nothing but see these manholes - but I do highly recommend setting two separate days for them (in conjunction to say, spending the rest of the day in Shibuya or going to Teamlab first thing in the morning before trekking out) so you can enjoy some of the local attractions too. And you really need daylight to see these as they're not lit up or anything which means you only have about 10-12 hours to travel between locations, eat and walk around.

1) Machida City

The first set of Pokemon manholes are in Machida City inside of Serigaya Park.

While it's not the easiest to get to, there are six of them in total in this park, which means you can knock six of them all in one go! It took me about an hour to walk through this park to get all six of them. It is a pretty sizeable park and the summer heat can slow you down as it did with me, so do keep that in mind as you are hunting.

If you are staying in Tokyo, you will be taking the Odakyu private rail to get here.

From Yokohama, it's a straight shoot from the JR line to Machida Station.

It's about a 10 minute walk from the station and you should hit your first lid not too long after that. If you follow google maps to the park, the first lid you will hit is the Bulbasaur one - but I won't be posting these in order. You can click on the link under each photo to the official Pokelid website. They all have VERY accurate pinpoints of these lids and recommend using them as your guide!

Not a Pokelid lol, but I do want to point out that the park is very kid-friendly and I did see a lot of kids just enjoying this water feature and just running around, playing sports. So if you need an off day while travelling with kids, this would be a great place to do it.

Please use the pinpoints on the official website! They are 99% of the time very accurate, unless you have a delayed GPS. I personally didn't hang around the park for too long, but of all my Pokelid hunts, this one was definitely the most chill. No worrying about trains, connection times, driving, etc. Great way to get them steps in and enjoy Pokemon!

Other Attractions Along the Way...

If you're using the Odakyu line from Tokyo, chances are you will pass through Shimo-Kitazawa and Noborito Station.

These stations are relevant if you like Totoro and Doraemon respectively.

The original "Totoro Cream Puff" store is located at a local non-express station called Setagaya-Daita Station. If you're doing this trek in the morning, this might be an ideal pit-stop for a yummy cream puff or two. But go early since they do sell out by afternoon most of the time:

Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory

5 Chome-3-1 Daita, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0033, Japan

If you're a Doraemon fan, you want to stop in at the "Fujiko F. Fujio Doraemon Museum" which has direct bus access from Noborito Station. You will need to make a reservation to get inside, so I recommend doing this in the morning so you don't feel rushed to get back and make your reservation.

Fujiko.f.fujio Doraemon museum

2 Chome-8-1 Nagao, Tama Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-0023, Japan

Personally, I did find the Doraemon Museum to be a bit expensive for what you're able to do and see, which isn't a lot... but the museum is sort of made for art/manga lovers and kids in mind. So if you enjoy looking at original manga sketches, learn about the history and have kids, the museum will be an absolute hoot for you.

I did think it was worth it in the end, since you can create your own Doraemon stamp with your name on it for 1000 yen a pop. A great souvenir and unique to the museum :)

I hope this was helpful to someone. In Part 2, I will cover another two sets of lids so stay tuned for that!

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