Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto – 20 February 2021 – an event to celebrate the franchise’s 25th anniversary and a chance to catch the first 151 Pokemon in shiny form


Niantic’s Pokemon Go hosted a unique event for everyone around the world, the Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto. This event coincides with Pokemon’s 25th anniversary and celebrates the first 151 Pokemon ever introduced to the world through Pokemon Red and Green. (For us in the West, we received updated versions of the original Japanese base game in the form of Pokemon Red and Blue.) The event was similar to the Pokemon Go Fest 2020 (which you can read here) in that all day Saturday, 20 February 2021, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm certain Pokemon from the Kanto region spawned more frequently within certain hours of the day. Special research tasks, raids and perks were also on the table. As with all Pokemon Go events, it is always better to do it with friends so that you can share your experiences together.

For Australians, the Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto entry ticket set you back AUD$17.99. If you purchased the entry ticket back in January, you received the additional perk of being able to take part in various limited time Special Research events involving Team Go Rocket.

Aside from missing a few hours in the morning until 11:30 am, I was involved in the event all-day.

Choose Green or Red Version as part of the Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto? Image belongs to Niantic, Inc.

The event took place on Saturday, 20 February 2021. For all event ticket holders, here is what you needed to know:

  • Version selection: Your adventure began after choosing either Red Version or Green Version of the event.
  • Collection Challenges: Once the event began, you gained access to 10 Collection Challenges, and they remained available until Sunday, 28 February 2021, at 7:59 pm local time.
  • Special Research: When you begun your Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto adventure, it was recommended that you make sure to tap on the Special Research icon after Professor Willow appears in order to claim the new Special Research (for shiny Ditto and Mew). Once you do, Special Research can be completed at any time during or after the event. Complete the Special Research to unlock the Masterwork Research. The Masterwork Research for shiny Mew requires a lot to do from catching all 151 Pokemon, gifting 151 gifts to friends and making 151 great throws.
  • Free items: You could claimfree item bundles in the shop to give yourself a boost on the adventure. These item bundles were included with the ticket and granted three Remote Raid Passes and 200 Poké Balls.
  • Extra daily Raid Passes: Claim up to nine daily Raid Passes during event hours.
  • Incense: Incense attracted version-exclusive Pokémon during the event.
  • Social media: If you shared photos on Twitter or Instagram using #PokemonGOTour, you could see them featured in-app during the event. (Some of the photos were awkward. I saw a closeup of a person’s face at one point and though, how is this related to Pokemon?)

The raids appeared more frequently and only lasted for a short duration. All the legendaries were made avaliable through the raid, including Mewtwo, Zapdos, Articuno and Moltres, as well as the regional exclusives, Kangaskhan, Mr Mime, Farfetch’d and Tauros, and Snorlax. (My playmate managed to get a shiny Mewtwo. I was happy for them…)

Also if you evolved an Ivysaur, Charmeleon, Wartortle, Pichu, Eevee or Dragonair during the event, then the resulting evolution will automatically learn it’s special unique Community Day attack.

Did you catch your shiny Ditto during the Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto?

Red or Green Version?

The main different between the two versions are the Pokemon that appear and their frequency. For example, Caterpie appears in both versions, but appears frequently in Red and is rare in Green. I went with Green version, because my playmate went with Red version.

Red Version

  • Red Version–Exclusive Pokémon: Ekans, Oddish, Mankey, Growlithe, Scyther, and Electabuzz will be attracted to Incense.
  • You’ll have an increased chance of encountering these Shiny Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pidgey, Ekans, Pikachu, Nidoran♀, Oddish, Diglett, Mankey, Growlithe, Ponyta, Shellder, Drowzee, Krabby, Hitmonlee, Lickitung, Scyther, Electabuzz, Eevee, Kabuto, and Dratini.

Green Version

  • Green Version–Exclusive Pokémon: Sandshrew, Vulpix, Meowth, Bellsprout, Magmar, and Pinsir will be attracted to Incense.
  • You’ll have an increased chance of encountering these Shiny Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pidgey, Pikachu, Sandshrew, Nidoran♂, Vulpix, Meowth, Psyduck, Bellsprout, Geodude, Exeggcute, Hitmonchan, Koffing, Tangela, Horsea, Magmar, Pinsir, Eevee, Omanyte, and Dratini.

Event schedule

The base evolution of most the original 151 Pokemon were separated into five different Kanto cities. As you would expect, Pokemon like Pidgey, Rattata and Weedle appeared during Pallet Town hour, while Jigglypuff, Clefairy and Geodude appeared during Pewter City hour. Here is how the day was broken up:

  • 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Pallet Town
  • 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Pewter City
  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Cerulean City
  • 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Fuchsia City
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Pokémon League
  • 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Pallet Town
  • 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Pewter City
  • 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Cerulean City
  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Fuchsia City
  • 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: Pokémon League
  • 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Pokémon from all previous hours

Each hour also featured music inspired by the original game, curated by none other than Pokemon’s original soundtrack composer, Masuda Junichi. It was just music from the original games (but I normally play the game without the music).

What made this an interesting event was that you were tasked with trying to collect all the Pokemon that appeared in each of the five locations to earn a collector’s badge and a Pokemon to catch. During the first run, I missed out on Caterpie and Psyduck, but managed to collect everything else.

What did I get out of this event and was it worth it?

Here were the shiny Pokemon I caught in order (noting that I chose the Green version):

  1. Meowth
  2. Bulbasaur
  3. Eevee (from Special Research)
  4. Horsea
  5. Magikarp
  6. Ditto (from Special Research that everyone gets)
  7. Articuno (from a Legendary Raid)
  8. Meowth
  9. Koffing
  10. Ghastly
  11. Bellsprout

Most of the shiny Pokemon that I caught coincided with what Niantic said about increased shiny chances for the version I chose, e.g. the Green version. (I wished I got some of the Red version shiny Pokemon like Ponyta and Drowzee and would have liked a shiny Snorlax for bragging purposes.)

There was limited time Research Task on the day that required you to complete the Go Tour Challenges, which involved visiting PokeStops and defeating NPCs. On beating the NPCs, there was no Pokemon to catch or ‘free’. (I guess because these NPCs aren’t mistreating their Pokemon.) I felt the chain of events for the Go Tour Challenges was a waste of time, because it didn’t provide any meaningful reward other than some Fast and Charge TMs.

Overall, I was less excited about this event than the Pokemon Go Fest 2020, because I think the Pokemon franchise celebrates the original 151 Pokemon too often. However, I did appreciate that now all 151 Pokemon now have shiny variants available in game from now and that it is now possible to have a complete shiny collection of all 151 Pokemon. So I better start catching them all.

I expect there will be more events like this in the future given it was titled Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto. I think Pokemon Go Tour: Johto naturally follows (and I am more excited about that because Pokemon Gold and Silver were my favorite Pokemon game generation and I still need Heracross in Pokemon Go).

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