About Exclusive Japan Promo

new collector here, really into collecting the exclusive japan promos. is there any way to know if a card is an exclusive japan or not? there are times when i can’t find the card in english but apparently there’s a version of the cards that i bought in english ;;; sad

Hey there, welcome! The best way I can think of is to go to the specific card on bulbapedia and check in the releases if the card was released in English. You will see the list of card on the right hand side. If you check those releases to see if the art is the same as well you will have your answer, the list might contain some cards with different arts, but the same card (like same hp and attacks).


The world of Japanese promos is eclectic and at times will feel downright archaeological.

The first place to start is going to be Bulbapedia. The picture on the article may or may not match because Bulbapedia identifies cards based on their text and not their art, which is very frustrating for this specific category of collecting.

You will have to begin by reading the release information from the card and seeing how many versions of it are known to exist, then check the gallery to confirm the promo is part of that assortment and was not released elsewhere.

In my experience, modern is a little easier just because it’s easier for people to document more contemporary cards more quickly. But with vintage you’re going to need a spreadsheet. Especially if you’re going for some sort of complete catalog.


thank you for the information !!! Bulbapedia added to bookmark

thank you for the information ! will def pay attention to Bulbapedia before i buy stuffs!

What kind of promos are you collecting? Mostly vintage, mostly modern, a mix?

1 Like

for modern i’m just speculating cards that might have better value in the future… for vintage usually just pikachu promos. i literally just put my ego aside from collecting Articuno PSA 10s to Pikachu PSA 10s just bcs it has more value over time and have broader market. hbu?? what do u collect? maybe u can recommend me something to buy in japan market

I recently decided to collect vintage Japanese promos from Generations I+II. It’s a huge list with tons of variety and the greatest ratio of exclusivity.

There’s some challenges:

  1. Print quality is universally bad, especially when it comes to borders. This means you have to buy each card carefully and individually, even if they usually come on bundles or subsets, because you need control over every card.

  2. Categorization is difficult. Most cards from the era were released as “unnumbered promos” which were intended to be addendums to sets. Deciding how to organize and categorize the cards is an effort all its own. I’ve changed my mind numerous times because it’s all semantics. For example. There’s a group of ~7 cards all released through a specific Japanese airline, so it makes sense to categorize them as a little set. But they don’t have any specific unifying set symbol that identifies them as having a shared distribution, like the way the Game Boy promos do. So if I decide to identify the airline cards as a subset, this means I need to also consider other small groups of cards with similar release methods. But how many is enough to constitute a “set”? If there’s only 4 cards, is that enough to break out into their own section of the binder or should I just keep them sequential with the unnumbered cards based on release date? I’ve gone back and forth on questions like this a lot.

  3. Identification is very difficult. Many cards in this era were released more than once. Sometimes there is a variation to distinguish the releases, like one will be glossy and one will not. But other times there is no discernible difference at all. Recognizing if the card you’re looking for is the correct one and the language barrier between myself and Japanese speakers makes additional clarification often impossible.

  4. Defining what a promo even is can be challenging. For example, there are three cards distributed on a sheet at World Hobby Fair 1998 that feature a unique set symbol of a Poké Ball. This set symbol was then used on the expansive vending series of cards, which is a special set distributed on similar peel sheets. Subsequently, Communication Event cards (called “Masaki promos” around here) were obtained by sending in cards from the vending series and receiving the Communication Event cards back. These cards all have the same set symbol. So how do we define these cards? Are they all just part of one special set and not promos? Is “vending” the set, but the WHF and Communication Event cards are promos for that set? Is there no connection at all? More complex questions with debatable answers.

  5. Completion may be impossible. Going for the complete catalog of promos during a period of time requires acceptance that certain cards will need to be disqualified. Obtaining trophy or prize cards is financially impossible and this may leave gaps in your collection where those cards should canonically be placed. Sometimes this is more frustrating than others, like how Tropical Wind 2001 is a numbered promo that’s part of the “P Series” of releases.

Overall I’d say this is the most difficult category if cards to collect if your plan is to get “all of them” — which is what I’m doing.


for me… if i’m collecting vintage stuffs ( for grade ) i’d prefer buy the PSA 9 or 10 instead of grading by myself eventho it’s more expensive. cus getting a mint condition for vintage cards is very hard right now ( tried it myself ) so i’m sticking to buying PSA 10s. and some alternate art PSA 10 is also good ! sold some for good cash when i sell them to buy new stuffs

Going off of this, is there a site similar to https://pkmncards.com/ but with Japanese cards?
Surely there must be somewhere? Bulbapedia works alright, but as mentioned above it has its issues


Im not sure there is a site like that, but I know ive seen a site on here a few times called pokumon that has a lot of valuable information about specific, obscure, old japanese releases. It may even be run by an efour member. Idk if thats helpful, but i find its a great resource for info on like universiry magikarp, the timeline of the beginning of the pokemon tcg, etc.


It is actually, by @HumanForScale



I thought so! Thanks for letting me know! Big shoutout to @HumanForScale that website is a goldmine!!!

1 Like

Yep that’s run by me! If you have any specific requests drop me a message, though I work on the site entirely by myself so updates are a little slow to juggle :sweat_smile:


This website works too:

Set Cards: Serebii.net TCG Cardex - Japanese Sets

Promos: Serebii.net TCG Cardex - Japanese Promos

I just want to say your website is critically, crucially valuable to me and has been the most important resource for my increasingly niche interests. Thank you so much for your work.


Most of the things have already been said, but since I saw you mentioned this:

Here is a list of all Pikachu artworks that were never released in English (although some were released in Korean/Thai/Indonesian):

  1. WB Pikachu with Jungle background (Toyota Campaign promo / Bulbasaur Intro Pack)
  2. Birthday Pikachu (Natta Wake)
  3. Flying Pikachu (Nippon Airlines “Get in a Jet! Double Chance Campaign”
  4. Flying Pikachu (Nippon Airlines “Everyone’s Happy Campaign”
  5. Surfing Pikachu (JR Trainer Rally)
  6. Pikachu World Collection 2010 Blue background
  7. Pikachu World Collection 2010 Green background
  8. XY-P Art Academy gogotake (Farmer)
  9. XY-P Art Academy pikamania (Business)
  10. XY-P Art Academy Mame Akimaru (Space)
  11. XY-P Art Academy Y. Fujishima (Red Raincoat)
  12. XY-P Art Academy Sayaka Maruyama (Orange Raincoat)
  13. XY-P Art Academy Ginga (Pikachu Emotions)
  14. Ooyama’s Pikachu (Vending Machine Series 3 Green)
  15. 010/018 McDonald’s Pokémon-e Minimum Pack
  16. 004/009 PokéPark Premium Files - PokéPart Forest
  17. 003/009 11th Movie Commemoration Random Pack
  18. 0167/047 Everyone’s Exciting Battle
  19. 005/026 Ash vs Team Rocket Deck Kit - Ash Half Deck (also released in Korean)
  20. 019/053 Sword & Shield Family Pokémon Card Game (released as both non-holo and holo)
  21. SNAP Photo Contest 1999
  22. 004/P promo
  23. 021/P promo
  24. 038/P promo
  25. 044/P promo
  26. 043/PCG-P promo
  27. 098/DP-P promo
  28. 099/DP-P promo
  29. 100/DP-P promo
  30. 101/DP-P promo
  31. 102/DP-P promo
  32. 043/DPt-P promo
  33. 079/L-P promo
  34. 120/BW-P promo
  35. 151/BW-P promo (also released in Korean)
  36. 229/BW-P promo
  37. 050/XY-P promo
  38. 056/XY-P promo
  39. 068/XY-P promo
  40. 069/XY-P promo
  41. 070/XY-P promo
  42. 090/XY-P promo
  43. 094/XY-P promo
  44. 095/XY-P promo
  45. 096/XY-P promo
  46. 097/XY-P promo
  47. 098/XY-P promo
  48. 099/XY-P promo
  49. 150/XY-P promo
  50. 151/XY-P promo
  51. 175/XY-P promo (available both with and without Event Organizer stamp)
  52. 203/XY-P promo
  53. 204/XY-P promo
  54. 207/XY-P promo
  55. 208/XY-P promo
  56. 221/XY-P promo
  57. 230/XY-P promo
  58. 231/XY-P promo
  59. 274/XY-P promo
  60. 275/XY-P promo
  61. 279/XY-P promo
  62. 293/XY-P promo
  63. 294/XY-P promo
  64. 295/XY-P promo
  65. 296/XY-P promo
  66. XY-P Soccer promo 1
  67. XY-P Soccer promo 2
  68. XY-P Pokémon With YOU (Wagon) promo
  69. XY-P Fujita Nikoru promo
  70. XY-P 20th Anniversary Festa Tournament promo
  71. 005/SM-P promo
  72. 013/SM-P promo
  73. 014/SM-P promo
  74. 037/SM-P promo
  75. 038/SM-P promo
  76. 055/SM-P promo
  77. 061/SM-P promo
  78. 061/SM-P + 068/SM-P promos (same artwork, one with and one without stamp and different promo numbers)
  79. 088/SM-P promo
  80. 191/SM-P promo (also released in Korean)
  81. 192/SM-P promo (also released in Korean)
  82. 193/SM-P promo (also released in Korean)
  83. 194/SM-P promo (also released in Korean)
  84. 195/SM-P promo (also released in Korean)
  85. 196/SM-P promo (also released in Korean)
  86. 197/SM-P promo (also released in Korean)
  87. 200/SM-P promo (also released in Korean)
  88. 208/SM-P promo
  89. 209/SM-P promo
  90. 210/SM-P promo
  91. 211/SM-P promo
  92. 224/SM-P promo
  93. 227/SM-P promo (also released in Korean, Thai, and Indonesian)
  94. 270/SM-P promo
  95. 280/SM-P promo
  96. 281/SM-P promo
  97. 282/SM-P promo
  98. 283/SM-P promo
  99. 288/SM-P promo
  100. 325/SM-P promo
  101. 369/SM-P promo
  102. 392/SM-P promo
  103. 400/SM-P promo
  104. 407/SM-P promo
  105. 002/S-P promo
  106. 036/S-P promo
  107. 099/S-P promo
  108. 105/S-P promo (also released in Korean)
  109. 144/S-P promo
  110. 208/S-P promo
  111. 227/S-P promo
  112. 323/S-P promo
  113. [Jumbo] Pikachu, Jigglypuff, and Clefairy CoroCoro Jumo promo
  114. [Jumbo] Pikachu Summer’s Vacation CoroCoro Jumbo promo
  115. [Jumbo] Pikachu & Pichu CoroCoro Jumbo promo
  116. [Jumbo] Happy Birthday Pikachu Jumbo promo
  117. [Jumbo] Yokohama Captain’s Pikachu Jumbo promo
  118. [Jumbo] Birthday Campaign Pikachu 2010 Jumbo promo
  119. [Jumbo] Moving of Nagoya Pikachu Jumbo promo
  120. [Jumbo] BEAMS x Pokémon Pikachu Jumbo promo
  121. [Jumbo] Birthday Present Pikachu Jumbo promo
  122. [Teach Set] Teach Set July 2011 Pikachu

Additional unreleased Japanese exclusive artworks:

  1. Pikachu & Ishihara GX (Ishihara’s 61st birthday gift)
  2. E3 2001 Sample Set
  3. Japanese Press Conference 2001 Sample Set (two different versions)
  4. Japanese Space World 2001 Sample Set
  5. 1996 Prototype card

So a total of 126 different Pikachu TCG artworks that exist in Japanese and were never released in English.

PS: There is also:

  • One Spanish exclusive Pikachu artwork: Art Academy Lily-Chan (Dress)
  • One Korean/Thai/Indonesian exclusive Pikachu artwork: 001/SM-P / 004/SM-P / 009/SM-P promo in their respective languages
  • And just a couple for which the reverse is true (released in English and other languages, but not in Japanese):
    • XY174 promo (also released in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and even Russian, but not in Japanese)
    1. SWSH074 Special Delivery Pikachu promo
    2. 5/5 Poké Card Creator Pack
    3. Pikachu World Collection 2010 (USA flag)
    4. Art Academy Meli (Chef)
    5. Art Academy Rhivern (Cooking)
    6. Art Academy Xime (Dancing)
    7. Art Academy Ashley (Kabuki)
    8. Art Academy Me! (Queen of Hearts)

For pictures of all these cards (except the unofficial releases, which were mentioned separately), I can refer to my Japanese ‘Pikachu around the World’ collection post.



been to Pokumon, i think already saved every japanese card on that website.

HOLY SMOKES !!! thank you soooo much for the list !!! now gonna continue saving to buy some of these cool promos

1 Like