Studies on community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and pneumococcal pneumonia (PP) related to the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) introduction in Asia are scarce. This study aimed to investigate the epidemiological and microbiological determinants of hospitalised CAP and PP after PCV13 was introduced in Japan. This observational hospital-based surveillance study included children aged ⩽15 years, admitted to hospitals in and around Chiba City, Japan. Participants had bacterial pneumonia based on a positive blood or sputum culture for bacterial pathogens. Serotype and antibiotic-susceptibility testing of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae isolates from patients with bacterial pneumonia were assessed. The CAP hospitalisation rate per 1000 child-years was 17.7, 14.3 and 9.7 in children aged <5 years and 1.18, 2.64 and 0.69 in children aged 5–15 years in 2008, 2012 and 2018, respectively. There was a 45% and 41% reduction in CAP hospitalisation rates, between the pre-PCV7 and PCV13 periods, respectively. Significant reductions occurred in the proportion of CAP due to PP and PCV13 serotypes. Conversely, no change occurred in the proportion of CAP caused by H. influenzae. The incidence of hospitalised CAP in children aged ⩽15 years was significantly reduced after the introduction of PCV13 in Japan. Continuous surveillance is necessary to detect emerging PP serotypes.