Anyways, Japan, the ancestral home of Pokemon, is pretty much full of Pokemon, and some parts of Kyoto and Tokyo that I ran across were densely packed with pokestops. I also thought that both the item drops from spinning the stops and the number of pokemon spawns was a bit crazy high, then I figured out it was because of the effect of the increased drops and spawns promotion that Niantic had on from Nov 7 to 11. I also never made it to Odaiba this trip to see if it is still a Lapras hotspot, or to check out Ueno Park with its crazy number of pokestops.
Anyhow, I'll show some in-game screenshots of the layout of the land and put some real photos to give it some real world context below. Enjoy the augmented trip through Japan in the virtual and real worlds! It was another awesome trip there with fantastic sights, great food, and a great cultural experience.
For the first couple of days after we landed in Tokyo, we just toured around Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Omotesando. I didn't do a lot of Pokemon hunting at all as I didn't have wi-fi except at the hotel, and no roaming data (way too expensive). Around my hotel, the Citadines in Shinjuku, there were Pokemon on the nearby, but not many that spawned at the hotel or near it. The only real Pokemon I saw were in toy stores. I'll be posting about the travel experiences in more detail later, as this post focuses mainly on playing Pokemon Go in Japan.
Our next major stop was Kyoto, the ancient political and spiritual capital of Japan. Ancient buildings and art dating back over a thousand years have survived here thanks to it being spared the atomic bomb during WWII (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33755182). Nintento, Kyoto Animation, and Pokemon also exist thanks to this. In Kyoto, as I was unfamiliar with the city, I had borrowed a global wi-fi unit from my brother-in-law, so that I could use GPS with data, but it also allowed me to play a bit of Pokemon Go too! These little wi-fi, cellular modems are pretty nifty (from Skyroam), as it allows unlimited data for 24 hours for $10, and it came in really handy several times.
Our hotel, the Sunline Gion, was located right by Yasaka Shrine in Gion, the district where geishas still walk the streets. I was surprised by the number of tourists cosplaying in kimono and there were rental shops everywhere for them. Every day we would head out to see sights and shrines of Kyoto, but we hit a few days of cool, rainy weather that had us switch our itineraries a few times. A few of our favourite sights are listed next.
|Red torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine|
|Bamboo groves at Arashimaya|
|Nanzenji Temple Old Gate|
|Yasaka Shrine front gate|
|Yasaka Shrine with all the lured stops out at the north end of the shrine complex. The park area just north of that had a few gyms.|
|Big Electabuzz spawn just north of the shrine grounds.|
|On the way to the Kyoto Rail Museum we passed by the Kyoto Aquarium. OMG. There were so many Slowbros right outside the main entrance. I counted seven at one point.|
|The bar district of Pontocho just west of Gion with its narrow main street. You could just imagine what a bustling place this would be in the evening.|
|Pikachu at a shrine entrance. Many shrines / temples tend to have cluster spawns at their entrances. Some of the shrines / temples also have no Pokemon Go signs up too so please respect them.|
|Fantastic scenery near Arashimaya as you walk north up the mountains and there were very few tourists.|
|Pokemon Center Kyoto|
|1:1 scale Pikachu on a Ho-Oh|
|Pikachu x Mario Crossover|
|Pikachu in traditonal garments.|
|All Pokemon gashapon machines.|
We only had 4 days in Kyoto, but we managed to blitz the old streets of Gion, and most of the major sights. All too soon, we were on a bullet train back to Tokyo. Here, I stayed at the Hotel Richmond near the Tokyo Skytree. What a great hotel and so convenient if you are planning on staying in the NE quadrant of Tokyo and then heading back out to the airport at Narita (direct train service at Oshiage Station across the street). There was a nice modern supermarket with a great liquor section right below the hotel (to buy all your food souvenirs) too.
The Solomachi Mall and the Tokyo Skytree are some of my favourite places in Tokyo. The mall here has great food and shopping (Uniqlo, Loft, Daiso, QPot, etc.). Just in the last year, they opened up a new Pokemon Center here called Pokemon Center Skytree Town. This Pokemon Center was bigger than the one in Kyoto and was full of good stuff.
- I previously blogged about the Skytree and the Solomachi Mall here.
- The biggest Pokemon Center is in Ikebukuro, Tokyo and I blogged about it here.
|Pikachu rides Rayquaza|
|Great big statue of Pikachu and Rayquaza. This was cool and it looked like itwas breaking out of the ceiling.|
|Note the Pikachu tails and backpacks.|
|The Pokemon Center was a gym along with the Skytree pictured above. There was a Macross Valkyrie robot here too and that was another pokestop!|
|Skytree Mall and the pokestops and gyms here.|
|Pokemon Center Gym|
|Crazy lured Pokestops outside Ningyocho Station. Big crowd playing there.|
|And, McDonald's here are pokestops!|
Tokyo and Kyoto Trip Fall 2016
- Whirlwind Tour Through Tokyo and Kyoto
- Kyoto Trip Highlights - Amazing Sights
- Pokemon Go As You Travel In Tokyo And Kyoto
- Eating Well While Travelling In Japan - Part 1 (without breaking the bank)
- Eating Well While Travelling In Japan - Part 2 - Kyoto Dining (Ekiben, Bullet Trains, Fushimi Inari Food Stalls)
- Eating Well While Travelling In Japan - Part 3 - Kyoto Dining (Nishiki Market Grazing)
- Eating Well While Travelling In Japan - Part 4 - Kyoto Dining (Kyoto Style Sushi, Arashimaya, and Kinkakuji
- Eating Well While Travelling In Japan - Part 5 - Kyoto Dining (Gion, Ootoya, Kiyomizudera, Kyoto Station Ramen)
- Eating Well While Travelling In Japan - Part 6 - Tokyo Finale (kaiten sushi, takoyaki, and curry)