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How To Visit The Pokemon Cafe in Osaka

Everything you need to know about visiting the Pokemon Cafe in Osaka, Japan.

Written by Amy Tung

On 2024-05-25

Read time 12 mins

Visiting the Pokémon Cafe is on the hit list for many parents and Pikachu fans alike, but reserving a spot to get in can be more difficult than booking an ANA First Class flight.

Here’s how my family was able to get in and what we thought of the experience.

The Most Popular Themed Cafe

Japan is host to a variety of themed cafes for popular franchises, but probably the most well known of these is the Pokémon Cafe, inspired by the famous Pokémon video game.

The café is a unique place where Pokémon fans can enjoy a fun and interactive dining experience that features dishes and drinks inspired by the various Pokémon characters.


The Pokémon Cafe has two permanent locations in Japan: one in Tokyo and one in Osaka.

On our trip to Japan this past March, we visited the Osaka location.

The Tokyo location was the first to open in 2018, in the Nihonbashi district. It is located beside the Pokémon Center of the Takashimaya department store, the largest official Pokémon store in Japan (which is worth a visit on its own) and is open from 10:30am to 10pm.

The café in Osaka opened a year later in 2019, in the Shinsaibashi district. It is located inside the Daimaru department store and is open from 10am to 9:30pm.

Booking a Reservation

Like everything popular in Japan, an advanced reservation is needed to visit either café location (at least according to their website). Online reservations become available on the cafés’ official website 31 days prior to your planned visit, at 6pm Japan time.

Through the online reservation pages, you can book for up to a maximum of 8 guests per reservation, pending availability.

To make a reservation, select the number of guests and the date of your visit. After this, the time slots for that day will pop up. Chances are that you’ll see all the time slots greyed out, meaning that they are fully booked and not available for booking.

Time slots with blue text indicate availability for booking.

When it comes to booking the Pokémon Cafe, don’t make your plans expecting to book a preferred time slot. Rather, book whatever time slot you can get and then work the rest of your schedule around it.

Take note that the café in Osaka is also divided into three seating areas (A, B, C). While seating area A is closest to the short show that the café puts on, once again, your best bet is to just select whatever seating is available at the time of booking.

If you are lucky enough to snag a reservation, keep in mind that reservations are for 90 minutes of dining time, regardless of your arrival time, so don’t be late.

My Experience with Booking

First, the bad news – Getting a reservation at the Pokémon Cafe is like winning the lottery.

However, because the Tokyo location is more popular, your chances may be slightly better when trying to book the Osaka location.

That being said, I tried to get a reservation three mornings in a row, only to fail.

I set an alarm for 4:50am to be ready to book at 5am EST, when reservations opened. At 5am, the reservation page became slow and often timed-out before I could even see the available time slots.

The first morning I caught a glimpse of an available time slot in blue, but by the time I clicked it, it was unavailable. A whole day of reservations was booked up within seconds.

Reddit forums and a couple of blogs suggested waiting 15 to 20 minutes after the reservations opened and were fully booked to try again, as any incomplete bookings get re-released at this time. Unfortunately, this also didn’t work for me.

I was a little discouraged by this experience, but I also knew this would be the likely outcome.

How We Snagged a Table

Now for the good news – My determination got the better of me and I continued to scan through several forums, and came across one success story that gave me hope.

One family was able to get into the Osaka location without a reservation by simply showing up at the café when it opened.

Based on this, when we arrived in Osaka, I asked my kids whether they were willing to give it a shot. It would be 20 minutes on public transit to get there with a big chance of being turned away and all this ending in disappointment.

The kids were onboard, so we decided to try our luck.

My kids are not usually morning people, but on that morning, they all woke up promptly. The Pokémon Cafe in Osaka opens at 10am daily, and we ended up arriving later than I had planned, at 10:04am.

Entrance to the Pokémon Cafe in Osaka

There were two lines at opposite sides of the café entrance. One was for those with booked reservations and the other was the café’s cancellation line, for people willing to wait for cancellations or no shows.

When we arrived, we joined this line, with one couple already lined up before us.

At the café entrance, there was a board that displayed the seat availability for the day. A red X meant they were fully booked, while an orange triangle meant limited availability.

The hostess advised us that “limited availability” usually meant that there were two to four seats available. Based on this board, you can opt to take one of the later available time slots, or you can continue to wait in line for a last minute cancellation or no show.

That day’s availability board for the Pokémon Cafe in Osaka

On our particular day, there were four time slots with limited availability. I checked online while waiting in line and saw nothing available, so don’t expect the website to give you accurate information on same-day availability.

Five minutes into the café opening, they seated the couple in front of us. When we told the hostess that we were a family of five, she shook her head and advised us that at that time, there was nothing available to accommodate us now or later.

Given this, I was prepared to accept defeat.

However, after another 10 minutes, we were advised that a table for four and a table for two had become available and that they could accommodate us if we were willing to split up.

We agreed to be split up, so they directed us to the reservation line and our Pokémon Cafe experience began!

In total, 12 people from the cancellation line, including my family, were seated that morning, in a restaurant that can accommodate 50 to 60 people.

The Experience

When entering the café in Osaka, I noticed that the venue wasn’t as big as the one in Tokyo but that it was brightly lit, with tables of two and four spaced comfortably. The walls were adorned with pictures of Pokémon, and there were Pokémon plushies and statues throughout the space.

Dining area at the Pokémon Cafe in Osaka

The tables were preset with napkins, themed cutlery, placemats, and a tablet where you can view the menu and submit your order. The menu offers a selection of dishes priced for ¥1,540–2,750 and drinks for ¥935–1540.

They also have featured dishes and meal sets that change every so often.

When you order a drink, you get a free plastic Pokémon coaster as a take-home souvenir; however, it’s pretty poor quality, so I wouldn’t order a drink just to get one.

The presentation of the dishes was definitely the highlight of the experience for me. They were creatively arranged in the shapes of various Pokémon characters with decorative elements that were also Pokémon-themed.

We had a Snorlax chicken and rice dish, a Pikachu curry plate, a Pikachu soufflé pancake, and a kids Pikachu hamburger meal.

Snorlax chicken and rice dish
Pikachu curry plate
Pikachu soufflé pancake
Kids Pikachu hamburger meal

Though the food presentation was lovely, the taste of the dishes and drinks was mediocre, but I can’t say I was expecting anything more.

In the last 20–30 minutes of the reservation session, there was a short performance led by a staff member alongside a gigantic Pikachu.

Pikachu show at the Pokémon Cafe in Osaka

The performance was entirely in Japanese, so we didn’t understand any of what they were saying; however, seeing a cute, taller-than-them Pikachu was enough to maintain my kids’ full attention.


The Pokémon Cafe is a popular but hard-to-book experience in Japan that’s on the to-see list for many visitors.

If you’re feeling down because you’ve tried and failed to get a reservation online, not all hope is lost. Though not openly advertised, you can go to the café to try your luck at getting a table in person.

Based on my experience, go as early as possible if trying this approach and opt for the Osaka location over the Tokyo one if it’s an option.

The experience is a fun and memorable one for anyone who loves the Pokémon franchise. As a parent who is indifferent towards it, I found it to be a little underwhelming and overpriced, but my kids really enjoyed it, and in the end, that’s what really matters.


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