Earlier this winter, Pokémon Card Specialty Shop Hareruya 2 opened in Tokyo’s Akihabara. While card shops are not unique in Japan or elsewhere, this one singular focus does make it stand out.
In its official announcement, Hareruya claims to not only have the best inventory in the world, it also purports to have the most knowledgeable staff, ready to buy and sell cards.
The store spans five floors, with the first floor selling the latest single cards, while the second floor is aimed at collectors.
The upper floors are filled with 88 seats that allow for freeplay. (Granted, a pandemic might not be the best time to launch a card-playing space!)
For those hesitant to visit, Hareruya 2 has also launched an online shop, with the largest Pokémon card inventory in Japan.
Out front, the store is emblazoned in Pocket Monsters (see top image). The idea is that this will become a photo spot, and perhaps that can happen once the tourists return.
If you’re a fan of Magic The Gathering, perhaps the name Hareruya sounds familiar. The company got its start selling cards online back in 2009 and has become deeply involved in the MTG community in Japan.
There are multiple Hareruya shops across the Japan, such as newly opened Tokyo and Tochigi locations, that specialise in Magic The Gathering. As with the Pokémon shop, the these locations sell and buy cards as well as offer a place for players to play and, you guessed it, gather. With locations in Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai, Yokohama and more, their presence in the community across Japan is sizeable.
The Hareruya 2 branding seems to be an effort to separate it from the original MTG shops and focus on Pocket Monsters. It would not be surprising to see more Pokémon-focused shops popping up in other cities across Japan.