Pikachu Outbreak festival in Tokyo Yokahama is pure Pikachu madness! I have never seen so many Pikachus in my life. Giant Pikachus, tiny pikachus, dancing Pikachus, Pikachus on stilts, Pikachus with water guns, cuddly Pikachus, Pikachu hats, Pikachu posters, Pikachu everywhere!
Visiting the Pikachu Outbreak Festival
We had heard of the Pikachu Outbreak festival and seen plenty of images on social media. Yet I had no idea that we end up being in Tokyo during the Pikachu Outbreak festival. As luck would have it we happened to be in Tokyo for the final day of the Pikachu Outbreak festival in Yokahama. My parnter, Alex, lit up with joy when we found out we would be able to visit the festival! As a huge anime fan himself, I knew that this was non-negotiable. I wasn’t complaining however, I was intrigued and thought this would be a great way to end off our Japanese adventures in Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Nikko and Tokyo.
Where is the Pikachu Outbreak Festival held?
Pikachu Outbreak Festival is held on the outskirts of Tokyo in Yokahama. You can easily get to Yokahama by public transport from the centre of Tokyo. There are many wonderful things to do in Yokahama, but today was about seeing giant yellow pikachus!
We arrived at the port of Yokahama and immediately saw the Pikachus! Flashes of yellow were everywhere! There were giant inflatable pikachus, pikachus on posters and visitors dressed in pikachu outfits! Yet we were not sure where we needed to go. We had spoken with a couple of travelers at our hostel in Tokyo the night before. They had been that day and said we had to see some of the dances and of course the pikachu parade which is the grand finale of the pickachu outbreak festival. Yet we needed to find a map with the iternary to try and plan our visit. the backpackers at the hostel had assured us that there were maps and guides being handed out constantly. This was sadly not the case during our visit and it took quite a while to obtain one.
As soon as we had a map and two incredibly cool Pikachu headbands to wear, we headed to our first pikachu event which was a dance in a mall.
Another benefit of the Pikachu outbreak festival is PokemonGo. You remember? That cool game everyone was obsessed with one summer? Alex rediscovered the delights of PokemonGo and was a little kid again trying to catch ‘em all. Needless to say he was too busy for conversation and managed to collect many Pokémon whilst we were trying to get a spot to watch the dance. We found a good spot and watched the dance.
What is a Pikachu dance?
It was quite surreal seeing giant Pikachus dancing on stage in pink tutus. I felt like I was at Disneyland. The whole atmosphere was fantastic and the music was very catchy. This was definitely the Pokémon version of Disneyland minus the rides. I did like feeling like a kid again. the only downside were the crowds. There were so many people cramped into the shopping mall, all trying to find a good spot to watch the yellow dancers. I would advise getting there as early as you can to try and get a viewing spot.
After this performance we tried to find some food but all of the queues were gigantic so we headed straight to what we both felt would be amazing: a Pikachu water fight!
The Pikachu Water Fight!
After some arguing about directions (sorry Alex you were right…) and a bit of running to the wrong place (so I was right…) we managed to get to the next event on time. Do not underestimate the scale of Yokohama. It can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes to reach the different performances due to the distances and crowds of course. I would not recommend visiting this festival if you do suffer from Agoraphobia. Then again, I don’t believe you would enjoy many parts of Tokyo as it can get a little claustrophobic. Even after living in Shanghai, another one of the world’s most populous cities, I found Tokyo very crowded.
When we arrived at the water fight, we managed to squeeze in. This was my favourite performance of the day! The Pikachu water fight was brilliant. The atmosphere was fantastic. Everyone was smiling. The catchy music, which will stay in your head for the rest of the day, made this show a really fun experience.
We absolutely loved seeing this part of Japanese culture. Japan is a fantastic blend of culture, history and nature.
Food at the Pikachu Outbreak festival
Getting food at the Pikachu Outbreak festival can take a while. if you decide to go for a sit down meal, be prepared to queue and wait a while for your food. There are many malls with plenty of fast food options as well as corner shops. We would therefore recommend getting something to eat on the go. We managed to find some vegan sushi at a 7/11.
If you are interested in finding out about what food we ate across the Sea of Japan check out our post about the best vegan food in South Korea.
The Pikachu Carnival
After our vegan sushi, collecting more pokemons and watching one more Pikachu dance it was time for the grand finale of the Pikachu Outbreak Festival: the Pikachu Carnival!
The Pikachu Outbreak festival is a week long festival. Whilst the dances such as the water fight dance occur daily, the Pikachu parade is saved for the final day of the Outbreak festival.
The parade takes place on the final afternoon and everyone floods to the street where the floats will pass. Arrive half an hour beforehand to make sure of a front row view. guards are strict with those trying to get better views from standing on walls.
The Pikachu Carnival parade was amazing. Again it reminded me of being a kid at Disneyland watching the floats. There were so many dancing Pikachus. Pikachus on a bus went by, followed by a procession of dancing Pikachus and other non-Pikachu dancers. There was so much energy and fun in their dancing! I wondered if they were very warm in their costumes!
I also liked people watching and seeing everyone dressed in Pikachu themed clothing.
I was pleased we didn’t feel left out with our own paper Pikachu headbands!
The parade was a fantastic end to a fantastic trip in Japan. If you ever happen to come to Japan in the month of August try to make sure it collides with Pikachu Outbreak and experience true Pikachu madness!
Would you like to visit the Pikachu Outbreak festival?
Are you a pikachu fan? Would you like to visit the Pikachu Outbreak festival? Let us know in the comments below!