Despite the famous “Gotta catch ‘em all!” tagline, Pokémon trainers don’t spend everymoment of their adventures traipsing through the underbrush searching for new Pocket Monster species. Part of the process of becoming a Pokémon Master is making a pilgrimage to gyms where trainers can strengthen their skills and bonds with their adorable biological arsenal.
Until now, the only places to find these gyms were within the video games and anime of the Pokémon franchise, but next month marks the opening of the first official Pokémon gym in Japan, where fans can meet and train with a variety of Pokémon in interactive and augmented reality attractions.
The Pokémon Expo Gym will be located inside the Expo City complex in Osaka’sExpo ’70 Commemorative Park, which served as host of the Expo ’70 world’s fair in 1970. Unlike the Pokémon Center retail stores found in Japan, the Pokémon Expo Gym will be more focused on experiences than shopping. Among the attractions areCharizard’s Battle Colosseum, where you have to help the fire-breathing dragon stop squabbling with his trainer, Mimi, so they can win their next match.