Pikachu Outbreak!

Every year in Yokohama, Pokemon fever culminates in a frenzy of activities called Pikachu Outbreak [open in Google Chrome for automatic translation from Japanese]. Pikachus on parade, Pikachus marching in shopping malls, Pikachus chasing random passersby…it’s quite the spectacle. The kids and I headed out to see the madness for ourselves.

Last week we set out for random Pikachu sightings and the Pikachu boat ride near Sakuragicho station and Minatomirai. In our group the kids seemed somewhat interested while the adults squealed with joy.

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Tessa’s trying to be all cool here, but she can’t help smile a little…

After this particular photo op with a slightly menacing, raincoat-clad Pikachu, I turned to step aside and let someone else have a turn. That’s when I felt a bump and looked back to see that Pikachu was following and nudging me. I turned again and moved a little faster, thinking I got in his way. Another bump. And then I realized that the little %#@$^$# was “chasing ” me–as fast as he could in that costume, anyway. So I played along, which you can sort-of see in the next photo if you look through Cy in the black t-shirt. I never knew that “Get chased by a Pikachu” was a life goal until it was fulfilled. Check!

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Note the giant grin on Caroline (and all adults), and the barely disguised boredom on Tessa’s face

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Yesterday Cy and I decided to check out the Pikachu Carnival Parade. We lucked out with a pretty good curbside spot, then settled in to watch the show.

When I go to Disney I admire the logistics behind the magic, but honestly the Disney parades leave me a little cold. I look at the sheer joy on most parade goers’ faces and just don’t get it. But at the Pikachu parade, I grinned non-stop. Every time a line of Pikachus wiggled and danced around I was all SQUEEEE!!!!

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Does anyone know the story of this Pikachu? He was the only one I saw in the whole parade with the different eyes and mouth, and the Google is seriously letting me down….

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