Photo By: Yoshikazu Takada
Largest City

Yokohama Pikachu Outbreak

Gotta catch Japan's cutest summer festival.

  • The 2019 Pikachu Outbreak will be held from Tuesday, Aug. 6 to Monday, Aug. 12!
Summer in Japan is synonymous with hot weather, fireworks and festivals. Yokohama City Council have found a way to combine the best of all three with everyone’s favourite franchise: Pokémon.

‘Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu!’ or ‘An Outbreak of Pikachus!’ was first held in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district in 2014 to advertise a new Pokemon movie. As you can imagine, a festival involving hundreds of people dressed up and parading through the streets as a beloved national icon became absurdly popular and has now become an annual event.

In 2015, a bigger, brighter army of yellow Pikachus returned to Yokohama for the event, newly crowned: “Dancing? An Outbreak of Pikachus!” Legions of Pikachus banded together to dance at various performance venues around the city before culminating in the ridiculously adorable parade started the previous year.

Panorama view at Yokohama minato mirai bayside in evening

Spot the Pikachu. The Yokohama Pikachu Outbreak takes place in and around the swanky Minato Mirai 21 district.

Thus far, the Pikachu Outbreak has attracted a total of 3.43 million fans and generated about 800 million yen ($7.7 million) worth of media exposure.

Usually held in the second week of August, ‘Pikachu Outbreak!’ makes for a great getaway for any aspiring Pokemon Masters who have exhausted all their effort on Pokémon Go and are in serious need of some Poké-therapy. Pokégraphers should also keep their well-worn smartphones and attached battery packs at the ready for the mass of photo opportunities that come from a city overrun with sailor Pikachus, hip-hop Pikachus and Hawaiian hula-dancing Pikachus.

How does that phrase go? Only in Japan.

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Things To Know

Where can I catch 'em?

Venues for the festival include the Yokohama Landmark Tower, Yokohama World Porters (including a movie theatre where you can meet Pikachu), Yokohama Cosmo World (involving a Pikachu Ferris Wheel), Minatomirai Station and JR Sakuragicho Station (the official Pikachu Station).

When can I catch 'em?

The yearly event is in early to mid August. The 2019 Pikachu Outbreak Festival doesn’t have a date set yet, but the main event — the Pikachu Carnival Parade — will take place near the end of the event. In addition to the events mentioned above, a live stage show and a parade in which the general public can participate will also be put on.

How To Get There


Unnamed Road, 1 Chome Sakuragichō, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 231-0062, Japan

By train

From major stations such as Ueno, Akihabara and Tokyo you can take either the JR Keihin Tohoku line, the Negishi line or the Tokaido line to Yokohama station. From Yokohama station, transfer to the Minatomirai line for Minatomirai Station or Sakuragicho Station.

Where To Stay

Yokohama Sakuragicho Washington Hotel
  • Naka-ku Sakuragicho 1-101-1 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0062
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.1 km
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Resort Capsule Sakuragicho
  • Naka-ku Hanasakicho 1-22-2 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0063
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.2 km
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Breezbay Hotel Resort and Spa
  • Naka-ku Hanasaki 1-22-2 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0063
  • 7.5/10
  • 0.2 km
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New Otani Inn Yokohama Premium
  • Naka-ku Sakuragicho 1-1-7 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0062
  • 8.1/10
  • 0.2 km
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