To add intensity to your desire to visit Japan, Sanoyas Interaction announced that they’re opening a real-life Pokémon training center in Osaka on November 19th.
For those uninitiated, part of the process of becoming a Pokémon Master is making a pilgrimage to gyms where trainers can strengthen their skills and bonds with their adorable biological arsenal. Named the "Pokémon EXPO Gym," Sanoyas' facility intends to do just that with immersive, augmented-reality attractions aimed at providing fans the opportunity to advance their relationships with Pokémon, learn tips on using their abilities, and for kids to learn to collaborate and communicate with each other.
While there has been no official anouncement whether the attraction will ever leave the shores of Japan, can't you just imagine the wonderful tangent opportunities the gym may inspire with Yu-gi-oh! and Digimon?
Unlike the Pokémon Center retail stores found in Japan, the Pokémon Expo Gym will be more focused on experiences than shopping. Among the attractions are Charizard’s Battle Colosseum, where you have to help the fire-breathing dragon stop squabbling with his trainer, Mimi, so they can win their next match.
Smeargle’s Promo Studio has the Pocket Monster looking for background dancers for a music video, perhaps in an effort to show Pikachu he’s not the only one who's got the moves.
Here we see Muscular Machamp who, having trouble performing his special moves, seeks some advice over in Machamp’s Aid Center.
And rounding off the marque attractions is Zoroark’s Bad Boy Dojo, where the Pokémon Expo Gym’s website, somewhat troublingly, promises Zoroark will help you “awaken your inner bad boy by practicing and raising your understanding of evil.”
Admission to the gym costs 500 yen (US$4.20), which can be put towards the cost of individual attractions. Each of the above are priced at 600 yen, while Macho J’s Boxercise, Gardevoir’s Investigative Headquarters, and virtual Pokémon Battle Bowling cost 400 yen.
Despite his full-time gig as the poster Pokémon, gym-goers can even engage with Pikachu while he wanders about the premises with the help of the Pokémon Expo Gym Gear app. Besides immersing users into the gym's augmented reality, the app also displays an individual's stats and ranking within the gym.
Fans will get to pre-order their “Pokémon EXPO Gym Member’s Card & Pass Case” starting October 31st at the Pokémon Center shop in Osaka.