Features

There’s a real-life pokémon gym—and this is what it looks like

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Ever since the phenomenal rollout of the augmented-reality smartphone game Pokémon Go a few weeks ago, pokémon trainers have already discovered more than one virtual pokémon gym in the U.S. and across Europe.

In Go’s version of pokémon gyms, pokémon can be trained and trainers can claim them either by assigning a pokémon or battling a rival team who has claimed one. Of course, all this only happens on your smartphone.

But somewhere in Japanwhere it all startedis a real-life pokémon gym where anyone can physically train, play, and interact with (virtual) pokémon. That means you, pokémon trainer!

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A first, and so far the only one of its kind in the world, the Pokémon Expo Gym (PEG) opened in November 2015 in Osaka as part of Expocity, a massive shopping and entertainment complex.

It’s a 70-minute commute from Osaka Castle. You get off at the Banpaku-Kinen-Kōen Station; a giant inflatable Pikachu will welcome you upon arrival.

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The Pokémon Expo Gym is right across this Gundam store.

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Inside the gym is a small cafe that sells Pokémon-themed snacks.

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We’ve seen healthier menus than this.

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You can also take home this Pikachu tub filled with popcorn.

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Just like Pokémon Centers in other parts of Japan, the Pokémon Expo Gym has a store that sells a sea of plush toys. Because, really, who wouldn’t want one?

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Cuteness overload!

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There are also some AR-enabled merchandise that are not available in any other Pokémon stores, like this ID tag.

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There are signs (in Japanese) around the gym with AR codes that activate with the PEG Gear app. Yep, that Pikachu popped out of that pokéball signage.

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The gym’s real attraction, though, is an arcade-like facility beyond this gigantic pokéball. To get in, you need to buy a membership card called PokéPera for 500 yen.

Sadly, a membership at the world’s only real-life pokémon gym doesn’t increase your chances of catching rare creatures in Pokémon Go. But who knows what pokémon you can catch here once the app finally rolls out in Japan?

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If you plan on trying out the facilities, you will have to top up your card with yen.

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Macho J’s Boxercise, for example, costs 400 yen for one game that lasts for 3 minutes.

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Here’s my friend Leslie getting physical with Macho J.

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Aside from making Pikachus pop out, the PEG Gear app will also record your results inside the gym. I obviously have a long way to go to become a pokémon master. Sigh.

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Gardevoir’s Control Score involves catching pokémon using a stylus and monitors.

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There are other attractions where you can interact and talk with the pokémon. In case you’re going through some times, you can learn to punch like Machamp and get some life advice at Machamp’s Counseling Room.

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The entire gym is decorated with Pokémon elements to give you all the #feels. Floors are painted with pokéball icons.

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The walls also have murals like this one.

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Even the toilet signs are Pikachu silhouettes.

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If you ever find yourself traveling across Osaka — with half a day and more than 4,000 yen to spare a visit to the Pokémon Expo Gym is a must. Whether you’re a die-hard Pokémon fan or not, this actual pokémon gym is something everyone can appreciate.


1 USD = 106 JPY

[irp posts=”10698″ name=”Pokémon Generation 2 is out”]

Accessories

Stylish leather accessories: His and Hers

Accessories to help complement your look ✨

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More and more manufacturers are designing gadgets as a fashion statement. Depending on how you style it, a device can make or break a look.

If you haven’t tried it before, you can build outfits around a device and make it a focal point. These stylish accessories can help complement the look you’re going for.

His: Rugged Case for Pixel Buds A-Series in Rustic Brown

Give your wireless earbuds case a rugged makeover with a sleek leather cover. The raw, vegetable tanned leather is sourced from one of America’s oldest tanneries and the case has an optical light pipe to allow the Pixel Bud’s LED charging indicator to shine through.

Hers: Native Union Clic Heritage Case in Sapin

A premium phone deserves an elegant case that lasts, not a clear jelly case that will turn yellow in a few months. The Native Union Clic Heritage is made with a blend of smooth and cross-grained Italian leather and finished with gold accents to match even your favorite pair of earrings.

His: AirTag Leather Loop in Rustic Brown

Upgrade your everyday carry with a leather loop for your AirTag. Track your keys, camera, umbrella, or your bag with this minimal and sleek accessory. It’s designed to beautifully patina with time creating a MagSafe charging experience unique to you.

Hers: Stow Slim for MacBook in Sage

Your laptop doesn’t have to go into a clunky black bag. Truth be told, it deserves better than that. The Stow Slim protects your laptop from anything that might scratch it in your tote, but it looks just like a casual clutch that you wear with a flirty top and wide leg trousers.

His: Nomad Card Wallet in Rustic Brown

Keep your cards and cash secure in this slim card wallet from Nomad. It can fit up to 10 cards, including the Card for AirTag that will launch in September. Now the two essentials in your pockets match, too!

Hers: Heritage Card Holder in Sapin

Carry your cards and a little bit of cash in a matching card holder as your iPhone case. You would instantly look more put together when you want to walk into a cafe for a cup of joe.

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Features

Dancing in the rain? Capture it with the Galaxy A52 5G

Content creation with IP67

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Galaxy A52

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is easily the best flagship-loke phone without the wallet-robbing price.

And with flagship specs, come flagship lenses. These make the Galaxy A52 5G the best content creator phone.

With its quad-camera’s 64MP main shooter and 32MP selfie camera, it’s really no surprise this phone’s got all the specs you want and need for content creation.

A quick swipe into more camera features, gives you loads to choose from. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is feature packed. From delivering stunning stills, to features like 4K video, Fund Mode, nothing comes close to making content all in one phone.

From silly obscure intros, to filming your new indoor hobbies, to finding the best moments while vlogging. And it doesn’t stop there.

The phone has IP67, protecting it against dust and sand. It can also work for at least 30 minutes while under 15cm to 1m of water.

Want to record quality TikToks? Play and stream? Or, Vlog your day-to-day? You ca do those, plus watch and immerse in other’s content on the 6.5” Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is a heavy hitting midranger. Whether you’re watching content or making it!


This feature is collaboration between GadgetMatch and Samsung Philippines.

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Apps

I’m missing the Olympics because I don’t have cable

And it sucks

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It’s 2021. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is in full swing as of writing. However, as someone whose primary source of media entertainment all comes from streaming, there’s no easy and convenient way for me to watch the games. Major bummer.

I like to enjoy my media a certain way; I prefer to stream them on my TV. Which is why majority of the content I consume come from YouTube, Netflix, and the occasional Amazon Prime, HBO Go (Yep, not even HBO Max), and Apple TV.

I find it incredibly baffling that the stakeholders involved in bringing the games to the people failed to come to an agreement to make it easily accessible on the aforementioned platforms. It’s 2021. Why on earth am I not able to watch the greatest sporting event on the planet the way I want to?

Believe me, I hear the privilege in my words. Regardless, I still feel marginalized.

So how can you watch the Olympics right now?

I asked a friend who’s been covering the games. He watches through cable and had to pay a PhP 150 fee (around US$ 3/ SG$ 4) to avail of the Tokyo 2020 Premium from a particular cable provider.

Thing is, the whole Olympic coverage in the Philippines is locked to the MVP group of companies. You wanna follow the games, you’re gonna have to do it on one of their platforms.

Here’s an excerpt from their press release on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic coverage:

“Sports fans will have comprehensive access to the Olympic Games — from the Opening Ceremonies all the way to when the games conclude — on free to air via TV5 and One Sports. One Sports+ on Cignal TV will also dedicate a significant amount of their daily hours to broadcast the events, with Cignal also opening up two exclusive channels dedicated to broadcast the games 24/7. Cignal Play, in addition to live channels TV5, One Sports & One Sports+, will be offering exclusive channels broadcasting live updates to its subscribers, along with exclusive content not available on the TV broadcast. Cignal TV’s One News leads the group’s round-the-clock news coverage, featuring results, updates, and highlights.”

Comprehensive? Maybe. For platforms within the MVP group of companies. If you’re not subscribed to any of these, well, that’s just too bad. It’s good for business and I completely understand how the whole thing works. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The coverage also missed to televise or showcase Hidilyn Diaz’s historic gold medal win in the Weightlifting competition. If you’ve been following sports news, the Philippines was expected to get a medal in this event. Sadly, the moment was only known following updates from reporters on the ground.

How I wish it was handled

I’m sure there’s a lot more that goes into it in terms of TV and broadcasting rights, but we’re literally at an age where plenty of folks have decided to cut the cord and rely on streaming for content.

On YouTube, you can buy and/or rent movies and shows. The platform and structure exists for pay-to-watch content. They could have even made tiers or packages like charge a certain amount to gain access to all the games, a different and lower amount if you just want to follow a certain sport and/or a certain event.

Maybe the potential earnings to do so didn’t justify the costs to implement it. Whatever the case, it’s still incredibly frustrating.

Sure, I can go through the hoopla of setting up a VPN and look for streaming sites. But that’s more even more cumbersome. I don’t mind paying a convenience fee if it means that after a long day of work I can kick back, relax, and watch some damn sports.

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