Pokemon Go game available for download in Japan

Nintendo's Pokemon Go is displayed on a smartphone in Tokyo, Japan, on July 12.
Nintendo's Pokemon Go is displayed on a smartphone in Tokyo, Japan, on July 12. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

(BLOOMBERG) - Pokemon Go is starting to appear where it all began: Japan.

After captivating users in the US, Australia and some parts of Europe, the smartphone app is now available for download for Android devices in the country that gave birth to Pokemon two decades ago.

The digital map for playing the game is starting to show data, though it is not clear whether all of the game's functions appear to switched on yet.

Shares of Nintendo Co. jumped as much as 6.9 per cent as of 10:28 am in Tokyo, up from about 2 per cent earlier.

The release in Japan comes two weeks after the game made its chart-topping debut overseas, triggering a worldwide phenomenon that has added more than $20 billion to Nintendo's market value.

Representatives for Nintendo and Niantic Inc., the developer of the game, have not responded to messages seeking comment.

For Japan's legions of Pokemon fans, the wait has not been easy. Even though the country is the second-most lucrative market for smartphone apps, Japanese gamers had to sit and watch as 35 other countries, including Malta and Luxembourg, became virtual playgrounds for Pokemon trainers hunting monsters on streets and in parks.