Catch ‘Em All in Roji-en!

Walking through Roji-en, a visitor will find the typical South Florida “monsters” and “dinosaurs,” like iguanas, curly-tailed lizards, and brightly colored bugs.

But if you look closely – using your smartphone – you’ll also find the coveted Pokémon that have legions of fans searching for them via Pokémon Go! The augmented reality game has found a kindred Japanese-inspired space in Morikami’s gardens, and Roji-en has welcomed several new faces, seeking out its two gyms and 15 Pokéstops to capture the digital creatures.

Morikami’s festivals attract fans of anime and cosplay, so it is no surprise that Pokémon Go! has found a home here, as well. If you’re a big fan of the game, come find your pocket monster at Morikami.

If you’re new to the Pokémon Go! sensation, here is a brief history of its origins:
The Pokémon world started when a young Satoshi Tajiri realized that he wanted to share his enjoyment of catching insects and tadpoles to other children in the world. He made this dream a reality when he formed ‘Game Freak’ with Ken Sugimori, together creating what was the first concept of Pokémon, titled ‘Capsule Monsters’.

Tajiri’s friend, Shigeru Miyamoto, later managed to pitch Capsule Monsters to Nintendo. Nintendo spent six years developing the game concept, and the name “Capsule Monsters” was transformed into “Pocket Monsters,” or, in short, “Pokémon.”

The first 151 Pokémon debut in 1996

Pokémon became a very popular Nintendo game series, marketed together with its cartoon TV shows, as well as a manga series. The first Generation I Pokémon games, Pokémon Red and Green, were made available on the Nintendo Game Boy system in 1996. Through Pokémon Red and Green, Tajiri made his childhood dream come true in allowing people to catch, train and trade all 151 Pokémon. The idea behind capturing Pokémon, through Pokeball, came from the Ultraman fantasy television show Ultra Seven, where the monsters are kept in small capsules to help the protagonist fight.

The sales of Pokémon Red and Green rocketed when a magazine titled CoroCoro held a “Legendary Pokémon Offer” contest to give away Mew to 20 winners. Following these huge sales, Pokémon Blue was released for Game Boy, exclusively for CoroCoro subscribers.

More versions equal more pocket monsters

Three years after the Generation I Pokémon games were released, Nintendo released Pokémon Gold and Silver for their newly launched Game Boy Color. Pokémon Gold and Silver players were not only limited to the 151 Pokémon available in the Generation I games, but they could also capture more than 100 new Pokémon in Johto area.

In 2002, Pokémon further expanded its variation through Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for Game Boy Advance. In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, trainers could access a new area called Hoenn, which features 135 Pokemons available to be captured. The Hoenn story was later complemented by Pokémon Emerald, released in Japan in 2004 and in the United States in 2005. After Pokémon Emerald, more than 250 Pokémon s in newer areas, such as Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos, were subsequently introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon Black and White, as well as Pokémon X and Y, accordingly.

The game makes a big comeback in 2016

Pokémon has made its comeback in 2016 with the help of Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices, where players will be able to find, catch, battle and trains Pokémon in real world locations. Pokémon Go instantly became a hit, with frequent server outages, due to a very high worldwide demand upon its release.

However, despite the availability of a grand total of more than 500 Pokémon in its Nintendo game, Pokémon Go will only have access to 151 Generation I original Pokémon. Another difference between Pokémon Nintendo games and Pokémon Go would be that the player’s Pokémon will not battle wild Pokémon. Instead, the players will need to throw Poke Balls in order to capture wild Pokémon.



Want to get your hands on your very own Pikachu?

So do we! While we can’t quite make that happen for you, check out our awesome origami Pikachu craft, available in our winter newsletter. Not a member? Click the image to download the tutorial!


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