After a recent announcement by the president and CEO of the Pokémon Company, we now know that the 2023 Pokémon World Championships will be held in Yokohama, Japan in 2023, from August 11-13. Players will compete for the title of Pokémon World Champion, with competitions being held in multiple different games across the franchise. Fans will be able to visit Japan, the birthplace of Pokémon, during this time to spectate and enjoy the world’s best Pokémon competitors, in the beautiful locale of Yokohama City!
Since its start in Japan in 1996, Pokémon has grown from a video game to a worldwide phenomenon, one of the largest franchises in the world, known and beloved by millions upon millions of people around the world. The initial video game series has spawned countless spinoff games, a groundbreaking anime television series, a hugely successful trading card game, and more. The Pokémon World Championships started in 2004 held as an opportunity for players who have been practicing these competitive games to become the very best (“like no one ever was!”) to test their skills against other international players. Originally, the World Championships were exclusively for competitors playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game, but over the years, more competitive Pokémon games were added to the Championships, including a variety of video games.
The decision to hold the 2023 Pokémon World Championships in Yokohama, Japan is a landmark one, because despite The Pokémon Company and its franchise being originally from Japan, the World Championships has never before been held within Japan. From 2004-2022, the Pokémon World Championships have only ever been held in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, which speaks to the games’ international appeal and fanbase.
Why are the 2023 Pokémon World Championships being held in Yokohama, Japan?
The choice to hold the Pokémon World Championships in Yokohama makes a lot of sense. Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, and a port city that has had a long history of international influence and culture, making it very friendly to foreigners and English-speakers. It is located close to Tokyo, as well as international airports like Haneda and Narita, that make traveling to Yokohama extremely easy and quick, even for first-time travelers to Japan.
Yokohama also has longtime connections to the Pokémon franchise. In fact, this isn’t the first Pokémon event to be held in Yokohama, as the Pokémon GO Fest was held in 2019 in Yokohama, which was the first time that said event had ever been held in Japan as well. An annual event called “Pikachu Outbreak” was also held in Yokohama from 2014-2019, known for its parades of costumed Pikachu that took over the Minato Mirai district of Yokohama. There is also a permanent “Pokémon Center Yokohama” store located in Yokohama filled with exciting Pokémon merchandise that fans will love.
Fans visiting Yokohama for the event will also be able to enjoy the many other tourist destinations in Yokohama during their stay, including a four-story tall moving robot Gundam, a beautiful traditional Japanese garden, Japan’s best ramen museum, and much more!