The eyes of the Pokemon-fan world are about to turn to Yokohama. Starting Tuesday the coastal city, half an hour south of Tokyo, will become the first town in Japan to host the Pokemon World Championships. Fans of the Pokemon video games, card game, and anime will want to keep their eyes out for artistic salutes to the franchise around Yokohama, and to remember to move their eyes down too, since Yokohama is getting four new adorable Pokemon manhole covers.
The specific species of Pocket Monsters that appear on Japan’s Pokemon manhole covers (also known as Pokefuta or Pokelids) are often chosen because of some sort of connection to the city they’re representing. Even before being selected as the site for this year’s Pokemon World Championships, Yokohama was already known as the city where the annual summertime Pikachu Outbreak event and parades take place, and so the Pokemon mascot is featured on all of the new covers, posing with Poke-pals in front of a number of real-world Yokohama landmarks located near their respective covers.
▼ Pikachu, Psyduck, and Machop admiring the Nipponmaru, a retired four-mast training sail ship that’s now a museum (located in the plaza surrounding the vessel).
▼ Pikachu, Victini, and Munchlax on the Pokefuta in the bayside Rinko Park, from where you can see the Yokohama Bay Bridge and one of Japan’s largest summer fireworks festivals.
▼ Pikachu and Raichu sparring in front of Akarenga, the reconstruction of Yokohama’s red-brick customs house that’s now a seaside entertainment complex, on the Pokéfuta in Akarenga Park.
▼ Pikachus and Pelippers on the Pokéfuta next to Marine Tower, the observation tower located between Yokohama Chinatown and Yamashita Park, with a fluttering of leaves from Kanagawa’s prefectural tree, the ginkgo.
These four Pokefuta will be joining Yokohama’s preexisting Pokefuta, which is in the plaza to the north of Sakuragicho Station and depicts a romantic moment for a Pikachu couple (Yokohama’s harbor district having a reputation as a great date spot).
Exact locations for each can be found on the Pokefuta website here. Installation of the new covers is scheduled to be finished by Monday, and if you’re making the rounds to check them all out, don’t forget to work Yokohama’s Pokemon mailboxes into your course too.
Insert images: City of Yokohama, Pokefuta official website
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