Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Those who are having difficulty making reservations in the Tokyo Pokemon Cafe in Nihonbashi - I have great news for you! A new Pokemon Cafe just opened in Osaka this September (2019)!
Head towards the Daimaru main building in Shinsaibashi (closest exit is Exit 5 on the Midosuji subway line Shinsaibashi station), and go up to the 9th floor.
You will be greeted by the new Pokemon DX store, and the cafe on the right of the store.
Pokemon DX Osaka store
Every Pokemon store as their own unique “mascot” statues, and the Osaka Pokemon DX has everyone’s favourite childhood legendary birds Moltres, Zapdos, Articuno.
(Did you know the Japanese name for Moltres is ファイヤー [Faiyaa]? Which is basically the katakana/Japanese-English way of saying “FIRE”? And Zapdos is サンダー [Sandaa], which is “THUNDER”.)
And of course, special to all Pokemon DX only store are the touch screen panel Pokedex to the right of the store. You can find your favourite Pokemon on the screen and take a photo with it. You can only find the Pokedex at the DX stores.
Every grand opening of a new Pokemon store means a limited time release of a plush unique to that store only. The Hiroshima store had the Red Gyarados, Sapporo store had the Ice-type Vulpix, Matsuyama store had the Pikachu in mikan boxes and…… well, you get the point. The Osaka DX store now features a gold Pikachu, which is supposed to represent the mascot of Tsutenkaku, Billiken.
Get your Billiken Pikachu plush before they run out!!
Osaka Pokemon Cafe
Reservation & Seating
To the right of the store was the cafe and cafe goods section.
I was able to make a reservation to the cafe 3 weeks before the grand opening on September 22nd. All entry into the cafe is reservation only, so make sure you reserve one month before your trip!
Unlike the Tokyo Pokemon cafe, the Osaka Pokemon cafe isn’t so well enclosed. If you were unable to get a reservation, you can still sneak a peek into the cafe and if the timing is right, you may even catch a glimpse of the Pokemon mascot that usually comes out to greet the dining guests.
The restaurant inside is quite cramped compared to the Tokyo cafe. If you are of a bigger size, I highly suggest getting counter seats and the seats closer to the entrance. While making a reservation, there are sections of the restaurant you can choose your seat from. I will make a separate post about the reservation system in the near future, so look out for that - but for the sake of simplicity, the restaurant is divided into section A, B and C. I had seats in the C table, which was in the back. Some of the A tables were in the back as well. I still can’t quite figure out this system very well, and the official website doesn’t do a good job explaining either. Hopefully by the time I go next, I will figure it out and explain it!
Once inside and seated, start making your order for food and drinks on the ipad at your table. You only have 90 minutes inside, and the last order is at 60 minutes.
You can change the language on your ipad on the bottom left corner!
Don’t expect much explanation of the menu though… even in Japanese, there are very little details of what each food item is and the ingredients used in it on the ipads and website (the website gives you a general idea of what it is). If you are bringing a child with allergies and dietary restrictions, I would tread very carefully here.
I ended up ordering based on just how the picture looked and what I thought might be on the plate.
My advice is to order drinks, as you can receive special coasters that you can take home with you. In my case, since Halloween was soon approaching, they gave out special Halloween coasters and the normal Pokemon ones (which are lottery, you can’t choose the Pokemon).
If the Pokemon you like isn’t featured as a special drink, you can opt to order a latte with your favourite Pokemon on the latte foam! 251 Pokemon (up until the Johto region ones) are available to put on your latte, so choose away!
A lot of drinks have an option where you can pay extra to keep the glass the drink comes with. It’s a great option if you want a souvenir to take home!
In terms of savory food, they are very basic Japanese cafeteria-style food like most of these themed cafes. Meaning there’s some variation of curry, rice, fried tempura, hamburg and/or sandwiches/burgers. Nothing fancy, but still definitely cute! The presentation of the food is at least worth ordering it for.
Desserts are also quite similar to the savory foods: cute (very cute), but don’t expect Gordon Ramsay gourmet quality.
If you’re here during a special season (Christmas, Halloween, etc), they may have limited time features - so definitely prioritize those items before they disappear off the menu!
The Guest Appearance
Remember how I said the Osaka cafe is much more cramped than the Tokyo cafe? Because of this, I was convinced they couldn’t possibly have a Pokemon come out and greet the guest. Boy was I ever wrong!
A pokemon (Pikachu or Eevee) will come to greet the guests once most customers are seated and have ordered their food. And yes, they greet... Every. Single. Person.
These are the same (or at least similar) as the Pokemon that you see during every year’s Pikachu Parade - so if you never had a chance to see those Pikachu, this is a great chance to see them and it’s basically the highlight of the cafe. It’s also the reason why I personally think the Pokemon cafes are superior to a lot of themed cafes.
The Pokemon will make his/her way through the whole cramped restaurant.
The servers in the restaurant will give customers instructions during the whole session on how to Pokemon will navigate through. Follow what others around you are doing if you don’t understand.
During my time there, the servers told us that the Pokemon will first let the people sitting by the entrance get up and take photos first. Then the Pokemon will squeeze through to the back. People seated in the back can get up and take photos. Then the Pokemon will make its back to the very back, where those seated in a chair at a table MUST move into the sofas to sit with their tablemates (if you have one).
This is where I would like to remind you… those who are bigger will probably want to avoid those back tables during reservation (C section).
Everyone will have a chance to shake the Pokemon’s hand so please just be patient and wait! :)
As a themed cafe, I very much enjoy the experience at the Pokemon ones. I think they are one of the best experiences in Japan. I love the theming and they really put the effort in to make the food look presentable and picturesque. Having an actual Pokemon greet each guest is really the cherry on top and what makes the experience super special and fun.
The downside to the Osaka cafe is that it is definitely cramped and much smaller than the Tokyo counterpart. For the mascot at least, there was more space for it to move around and properly greet each guest (especially the younger ones who may want a picture with it and what not). For someone of a bigger body size, the aisle space is enough to walk through but can get uncomfortable if you need to get up and move around.
I do appreciate how they have an online reservation system. It was overall rather painless and not difficult to do as long as you remember to check it ASAP.
I highly recommend this cafe to everyone. Especially those with young kids and/or have grown up with this franchise. It’s a great experience for people of all ages.