We bid Jonathan, Tetsuo, and Toshiko farewell and headed back to Tokyo today on the Shinkansen. We were met on the platform at Tokyo Station by a bellman from the Four Seasons Tokyo, who took our bags and lead us on the short walk to the hotel. After a quick check-in and some lunch, I took to the boys to the Pokemon Center a few train stops away while the ladies partook in more retail therapy in Ginza.
The Pokemon Center is heaven for Poke-geeks like Andrew (10) and Michael (7). There was a big store full of everything Pokemon related you could imagine, from cards to video games to candy to nori (dried seaweed sheets cut into Pokemon shapes to put on your rice -- Michael bought some of this) to toys to clothes. They had someone teaching kids how to play the Pokemon trading card game, Pokemon videos playing on the overhead TVs, and rows of Pokemon capsule vending machines enticing the kids (the boys got Pokemon Pez dispensers out of one of the machines.
After they sated their shopping, we went next door to another room where you could play Pokemon Battrio, a video game the kids started playing at the Pokemon Center in Odaiba. You could also play Pokemon Battle Revolution, a Wii game where you use your Nintendo DS' to control your Pokemon; this is cool since your opponent can't see what moves you selected because the UI is on your DS screen.
They also offered a special birthday surprise if you had a Nintendo DS, a Japanese version of Pokemon Diamond or Pearl, and proof it was within a day of your birthday. The boys had their DS', their English copies of Diamond and Pearl, and proof it was within a month of their birthday, but that wasn't good enough. Oh well.
Some sick person planned this section of the Pokemon Center; the sun blazed into the room where the kids were playing Battrio, turning it into a solar cooker. In the focal point of the cooker, they had a cold drink machine selling Pokemon branded soda. Naturally, I bought one to keep me and the kids from catching fire.