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Frolic with Pocket Monsters in Nature at Tokyo’s Pokémon Wonder Theme Park

Geocaching with Pokémon? Sign us up!

Pokémon Wonder

Theme parks across the world are competing to offer more immersive experiences for their guests. From the interactive wands at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the WEB-tech add-ons sold at Disneyland’s Avengers Campus, these parks are betting heavily on new, innovative technology to boost attendance.

Pokémon Wonder bucks that trend, debuting a stunning new theme park that celebrates nature. The park is located behind Yomiuriland, Tokyo’s largest amusement park, in a 48,000-square foot forest. The park features dense bamboo forests, grassy fields, and Pokémon made from natural materials like leaves, acorns, and wood. These handcrafted pocket monsters are hidden throughout the park, encouraging visitors to search for them in the gorgeous natural surroundings.

pokemon wonder

Diglett hiding in the dirt.

Visitors to the park become Pokémon researchers, joining Dr. Creso’s research team to track and seek out various Pokémon hidden within the park. Armed with only a field guide and some clues, these pocket monsters blend in with the scenery, making them hard to find. And that’s the point: guests can enjoy nature while hunting for Pokémon. Much in the same way that Pokémon GO tricked us all into exercising, Pokémon Wonder will make us appreciate the great outdoors. Geocaching with Pokémon? Sign us up!

pokemon wonder

Seedot hiding among the acorns.

The company gave us a peek at the crafting process in this video, where we can see a Metapod woven from a palm leaf, among other critters:

The park will feature 50 different types of Pokémon, which visitors can track on two courses: the ancient stone wall and the whispering bamboo grove. Each course will accommodate up to 6 participants at the same time, for a 90-minute experience. The park is a welcome throwback to the franchise’s original inspiration. Creator Satoshi Tajiri based his concept for the game on his childhood hobby of insect collecting.

Honestly, this sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to explore the natural beauty of the region. And how cute are those handcrafted pocket monsters? Could the success of Pokémon Wonder inspire more low-tech theme parks that prioritize the environment over the latest overpriced gadget? Probably not, as corporations aren’t turning down profits anytime soon, but it’s still a unique concept that celebrates artists and the environment.

I just hope they figure out a way to affix those critters to their environment, otherwise folks will be leaving with their pockets crammed full of oddishes.

Pokémon Wonder will open on July 17, and will run through April 3, 2022, at Yomiuriland.

(via Kotaku, image: ©2021 Pokémon. ©1995-2021 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.