Pokémon in Japan

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Pokémon in Japan
Pokémon logo English.png
Original series logo.png
Japan Flag.png
Flag of Japan
Language Japanese
Continent Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 April 1, 1997
AG001 November 21, 2002
DP001 September 28, 2006
BW001 September 23, 2010
XY001 October 17, 2013
SM001 November 17, 2016
JN001 November 17, 2019
HZ001 April 14, 2023

The Pokémon (Japanese: ポケットモンスター, officially abbreviated as ポケモン) franchise originated in Japan in 1996 with the release of Pokémon Red and Green Versions. Most Pokémon media is created and distributed in Japan and then localized and further distributed in other countries of the world.

Pokémon games

Most Pokémon games are released in Japan prior to being released elsewhere, although many games are never translated out of Japanese, including games for Nintendo consoles and Japan-only consoles. Most games produced by The Pokémon Company International are not translated into Japanese, such as Camp Pokémon. Japanese-language games are exported to East Asia and Southeast Asia. Event Pokémon are released regularly at various events and at Pokémon Center stores in Japan as well. From Pokémon X and Y onwards, core series games have released in most other regions simultaneously with Japan.

Most Pokémon arcade games are released exclusively in Japanese arcades, rarely receiving a release in North America or Europe.

Conversely, Pokémon Puzzle League was never released in Japan. Several early computer games were never released in Japan either: Pokémon Masters Arena, Pokémon Team Turbo, Pokémon Play It!, Pokémon Play It! Version 2, Pokémon Team Rocket Blast Off, Pokémon Poké Ball Launcher, and Pokémon Seek & Find.

Pokémon anime

TV Tokyo's logo

The Pokémon anime debuted on April 1, 1997 on TV Tokyo with the debut of Pokémon - I Choose You!. Prior to the Porygon incident, new episodes were aired every Tuesday evening at 7 PM. From 1998 to 2016, new episodes aired almost every Thursday evening at 7 PM. Since 2016, new episodes have aired starting at 6:55 PM. All dubs of the Pokémon anime are based on the original Japanese anime, as anime episodes generally air in Japan months in advance of the first international showings.

The Pokémon movies are regularly released theatrically by Toho each July in Japan, being one of the few remaining countries where this is the case.

TV Tokyo

Main article: TV Tokyo

TV Tokyo has aired new episodes of the Pokémon anime on Thursday evenings since 1998. On Sundays, a Pokémon variety show has aired on TV Tokyo—these include the Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station, Pokémon Sunday, and Pokémon Smash!. Oha Suta, a kids show that also airs on TV Tokyo, occasionally airs Pokémon-related news and content.

Kids Station

Main article: Kids Station

Kids Station airs reruns of Pokémon episodes including those from earlier series.

Other video streaming

As of April 2020, the latest episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series can be streamed for free for a week starting at 12:00 noon the Monday after broadcast on the official Pokémon, TV Tokyo, and the CoroCoro YouTube channels, Niconico, TVer, GYAO!, and Net mo TeleTo. Earlier episodes are available on Prime Video, Hulu, anitele, Paravi, Hikari-TV, and Niconico via paid subscriptions.

Episodes from past series of the Pokémon anime are available on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Hikari-TV. The Pokémon anime was first made available on Hulu on August 1, 2012.

During Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, new episodes were made available for a limited time immediately after the initial broadcast on Hulu and Paravi. On Prime Video, new episodes were made available indefinitely several days after the initial broadcast.

Pokémon manga

Most Pokémon manga is serialized in CoroCoro, and is published by Shogakukan. Many manga are published exclusively in Japan, and are not localized for other countries.

Pokémon Trading Card Game

The Pokémon Trading Card Game was originally published in Japan by Media Factory with the release of Expansion Pack in 1996, and continues to this day. Some cards are sold or distributed exclusively in Japan, and are not localized into other languages.

Pokémon merchandise

Pokémon merchandising has been handled by Takara Tomy. Many pieces of Pokémon merchandise are exclusive to Japan and are not sold at retail internationally.

Japan is currently home to all eleven, full-fledged, permanent Pokémon Center stores, operating throughout Japan. Nine Pokémon Stores are also located in Japan.


Pokémon Wiki is the Japanese-language member of Encyclopædiæ Pokémonis. pokepale!, Pokeani, and Pokésho were popular Japanese Pokémon fan sites.


Many promotional events have been held in Japan for Pokémon video games and other media. These events included playable game demos, distribution of event Pokémon, and other incentives such as promotional cards from the Trading Card Game.

Pokémon Festa was held annually from 2002 to 2008.

Japan is one of two countries to have hosted the PokéPark, an amusement park dedicated to Pokémon which was open in 2005.

External links

The Pokémon franchise around the world
Africa: South Africa
The Americas: BrazilCanadaLatin AmericaUnited States
Asia: Greater ChinaIndonesiaJapanMalaysiaPhilippinesSingaporeSouth AsiaSouth KoreaThailandVietnam
Europe: AlbaniaBelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCzech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreece
HungaryIcelandIrelandItalyLatviaLithuaniaNetherlandsNorth MacedoniaNorwayPoland
PortugalRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSlovakiaSpainSwedenUkraineUnited Kingdom
Middle East: Arab worldIsraelTurkey
Oceania: AustraliaNew Zealand

  This article is part of Project Globe, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon franchise around the world.