Pokémon world in relation to the real world
|This article is a featured article. This means that it has been identified as one of the best articles produced on Bulbapedia.|
| This article contains fan speculation.|
There is no solid evidence for or against some parts of this article.
The design of six of the major Pokémon regions - Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Orre, Sinnoh, and Almia are strikingly similar in geography and demographics to regions in the real world, specifically those of Japan.
The Kantō region of Japan is not only identical in name to Kanto in the Pokémon world, it is also very similar geographically; however, the western part of the game Kanto corresponds to eastern Chūbu.
|Pokémon world||Specific location||Comments|
|Knot Island||新島、神津島、式根島、利島||Niijima, Kōzushima, Shikinejima and Toshima||大島支庁||Oshima|
|Mt. Ember||利島宮塚山||Mt. Miyatsuka, Toshima Island|
|Boon Island||三宅島、御蔵島||Miyakejima & Mikurajima||三宅支庁||Miyake|
|Kin Island||八丈島、八丈小島||Hachijōjima & Hachijōkojima||八丈支庁||Hachijō|
|Three Isle Port||底土港||Sokodo Port|
|Chrono Island||聟島列島||Mukojima Islands||小笠原支庁||Ogasawara||All are uninhabited.|
|Fortune Island||父島列島||Chichijima Islands||小笠原支庁||Ogasawara||The small islands to the north of Chichijima include Anijima (兄島) and Otōtojima (弟島), among others.|
|Quest Island||母島列島||Hahajima Islands||小笠原支庁||Ogasawara||The small islands to the south of Hahajima include Anejima (姉島) and Imōtojima (妹島), among others.|
|Navel Rock||鳥島||Torishima||八丈支庁||Hachijō||Known as the habitat of albatross.|
|Birth Island||南鳥島||Minami Torishima||小笠原支庁||Ogasawara||The easternmost island belonging to Japan.|
|Pokémon world||Specific location||Prefecture||Comments|
|Mt. Silver||富士山||Mount Fuji||—|
|New Bark Town||静岡市 or 浜松市||Shizuoka City or Hamamatsu City||静岡県||Shizuoka|
|Cherrygrove City||名古屋市||Nagoya City||愛知県||Aichi||Nagoya is the third largest city following Osaka.|
|Violet City||奈良市||Nara City||奈良県||Nara||Nara is where Japan as a state began; Kyoto City is also nearby, and is home to a number of prestigious universities.|
|Sprout Tower||法隆寺五重塔||Hōryū-ji Five-story pagoda||奈良県||Nara||Hōryū-ji Pagoda and Kondō are the oldest wooden structures in existence in the world.|
|Ruins of Alph||明日香村||Asuka Village||奈良県||Nara||There are many archaeological sites in Nara such as Ishibutai Kofun (石舞台古墳) and Takamatsuzuka Tomb (高松塚古墳).|
|Goldenrod City||大阪市||Ōsaka City||大阪府||Ōsaka||Osaka is the most populous city in the Kansai region.|
|National Park||明治の森箕面国定公園 or 万博記念公園||Meiji no Mori Minoo Quasi-National Park or Expo Memorial Park||大阪府||Ōsaka||In the Expo Park is a famous monument called the Tower of the Sun.|
|Johto Radio Tower||通天閣||Tsutenkaku||大阪府||Ōsaka||Tsutenkaku is one of the most popular landmarks in Osaka.|
|Ecruteak City||京都市||Kyōto City||京都府||Kyōto||Kyoto was formerly the imperial capital.|
|Brass Tower||金閣||Kinkaku||京都府||Kyōto||Kinkaku was set on fire by a monk in 1950 (金閣寺放火事件). The wall is covered with gold leaf. Atop the Kinkaku temple sits a golden statue of a rooster or phoenix (Ho-Oh).|
|Tin Tower||銀閣||Ginkaku||京都府||Kyōto||Ginkaku is not covered with silver leaf. Atop the Ginkaku temple rests the likeness of a bird (Lugia).|
|Olivine City||神戸市||Kōbe City||兵庫県||Hyōgo||Kobe is the major port city in the Kansai region. Kobe is also well known for wagyū, or Kobe beef.|
|Glitter Lighthouse||和田岬||Cape Wada||兵庫県||Hyogo|
|Whirl Islands||淡路島||Awajishima||兵庫県||Hyōgo||The Naruto Strait, Between Awajishima and Shikoku, is famous for its whirlpool (Naruto whirlpool).|
|Cianwood City||鳴門市||Naruto City||徳島県||Tokushima||Naruto is where Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. began.|
|Mt. Mortar||比叡山||Mount Hiei||—|
|Mahogany Town||甲賀市||Kōka City||滋賀県||Shiga||Koka was classified as a town when the game was released. Koka is where the famous Koga Ninja were born and educated (Kōga-ryū, 甲賀流).|
|Lake of Rage||琵琶湖||Lake Biwa||滋賀県||Shiga||Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan.|
|Dragon's Den||伊吹山||Mt. Ibuki||?||"Ibuki" is also the Japanese name of Clair.|
Hoenn is based on the southernmost parts of Japan - Kyūshū and Okinawa - with the latter highly condensed. (The distance between the northernmost and southernmost points of Okinawa is about as large as the distance between the northernmost and southernmost points of Honshu, the mainland of Japan.)
|Pokémon world||Specific location||Prefecture||Comments|
|Littleroot Town||伊万里市 or 佐世保市||Imari City or Sasebo City||長崎県||Nagasaki||The United States Navy has operated a base in Sasebo since the end of World War II.|
|Oldale Town||佐賀市||Saga City||佐賀県||Saga|
|Petalburg City||福岡市||Fukuoka City||福岡県||Fukuoka||Fukuoka is the biggest city on Kyushu.|
|Rustboro City||北九州市||Kitakyushu City||福岡県||Fukuoka||Kitakyushu's main industry is steelmaking.|
|Dewford Town||対馬||Tsushima Island||長崎県||Nagasaki|
|Slateport City||長崎市||Nagasaki City||長崎県||Nagasaki||During the Edo period, among Europeans only the Dutch were allowed into Japan, and then only at Nagasaki, specifically, Dejima. The main industry is shipbuilding.|
|Mauville City||熊本市||Kumamoto City||熊本県||Kumamoto|
|Verdanturf Town||菊池市||Kikuchi City||熊本県||Kumamoto|
|Mt. Chimney||阿蘇山||Mount Aso||熊本県||Kumamoto||The largest active volcano in Japan.|
|Lavaridge Town||阿蘇町||Aso Town||熊本県||Kumamoto||Aso is home to at seven onsen, or hot springs (阿蘇温泉郷).|
|Meteor Falls||羽門の滝||Udo Falls||大分県||Ōita||There is a legend of a white dragon.|
|Fallarbor Town||大分市||Ōita City||大分県||Ōita|
|Fortree City||North Miyazaki||宮崎県||Miyazaki|
|Scorched Slab||天岩戸||Amano-Iwato||宮崎県||Miyazaki||Amano-Iwato is where Amaterasu shut herself up in Japanese mythology.|
|Mt. Pyre||桜島||Sakurajima||鹿児島県||Kagoshima||Sakurajima is an active volcano, formerly an island. Volcanic activity continues, dropping large amounts of ash in the region.|
|Lilycove City||鹿屋市||Kanoya City||鹿児島県||Kagoshima|
|Mossdeep Space Center||種子島宇宙センター||Tanegashima Space Center||鹿児島県||Kagoshima|
|Sootopolis City||屋久島||Yakushima||鹿児島県||Kagoshima||The landscape of Sootopolis City is based on Santorini, Greece.|
|Ever Grande City||那覇市||Naha City||沖縄県||Okinawa||Despite the distance from Kyushu to Naha, the shape of the Okinawa main island is strikingly similar, although upside down.|
|Mirage Island||八重干瀬||Yaebishi||沖縄県||Okinawa||Yaebishi appears above the sea on March 3 by the lunisolar calendar.|
|Pacifidlog Town||?||?||Possibly one of the more rural islands of Okinawa?|
|Battle Tower / Battle Frontier||?||沖縄県||Okinawa|
|Sealed Chamber||与那国島||Yonaguni||沖縄県||Okinawa||Underneath the surface of the water, off the coast of Yonaguni are enigmatic stone structures that appear artificial.|
While specifically stated to be based on Arizona, with its many deserts and a few similar landmarks, it is rather similar to the 48th US State. Orre also bears striking resemblance to the Gunma Prefecture of Japan in shape. This would place Orre north of Kanto and Johto.
|Pokémon world||Specific location||Subprefecture||Comments|
|Outskirt Stand||?||Iwajuku||?||Nitta||Orre seems to be a bit futuristic, the Outskirt Stand sporting a very old and outdated train. Similarly, Iwajuku is home to the Iwajuku Ruins, which date back to the Stone Age.|
|Phenac City||?||Maebashi City||?||Gunma||Maebashi is the captial of Gunma. The river that runs through Phenac City is likely based on the Tone River. The name probably comes from Phoenix, the capital and largest city of Arizona. Phoenix also has a very similar origin story: Phenac came to be when the mayor's grandfather irrigated water into the area, and when Phoenix was established, the settlers rebuilt the old Hohokam Indian canals to irrigate water into the area.|
|Agate Village||?||Tsumagoi||?||Agatsuma||Tsumagoi is a village in an especially fertile part of Japan, known for its cabbages. Azuma River runs through it. Perhaps the most telling clue is that it lays in the Agatsuma Subprefecture.|
Sinnoh has been said to be an island like Hoenn, rather than a peninsula. It is based on the northernmost major island of Japan, Hokkaido. Part of Sakhalin (Japanese: 樺太 Karafuto) and Kunashir Island (Japanese: 国後島 Kunashiri Island), territories which are in dispute between Russia and Japan, are also included.
Hokkaido's tail region wasn't included in Sinnoh's map, but Almia's shape matches it perfectly, placing Almia just south of Sinnoh. Almia's major city would correspond with Hakodate
While the above locations are meant to correspond to the different regions of Japan, great liberties were taken with the design of their landscape. Some of the designers have admitted to drawing inspiration from real-world locations outside Japan.
According to anime maps, Goldenrod City also slightly resembles Acapulco, Mexico.
Real-world locations mentioned
- Arcanine's FireRed Pokédex entry states that it is mentioned in Chinese legends.
- Parasect's Pokédex entry mentions its spores are used in medicine in China.
- Upon defeating Fisherman Bronson in the Sinnoh Battle Tower, he will say, "Why the emperor of fishing? It's an ancient Chinese legend..."
- Lt. Surge is credited as "The Lightning American!".
- Meowth grew up in Hollywood, California, which the cast later visits for a movie premiere. However, it should be noted that unlike the real Hollywood, this one was almost a wreck and a ruin.
- Mew was originally discovered in the jungles of the South American country Guyana. This is mentioned in logs inside of Cinnabar Island's Burned Mansion.
- Xatu's FireRed and Silver Pokédex entries mentions its association with mysticism in South America.
- Poliwrath's Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum Pokédex entries mention its ability to swim the Pacific Ocean. Also, it is to be noted that the direction of its spirals depends on their geographical location.
- Delibird's Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald Pokédex entries explain that a Delibird helped a famous explorer reach the top of Mt. Everest.
- Silph Co.'s Tiksi Branch is in Russia.
- In Mewtwo Strikes Back, Team Rocket is disguised as vikings. In the English dub, Brock says that he didn't know that vikings still existed and Ash replies that they come from Minnesota. This is clearly a reference to the Minnesota Vikings football team.
- Ponyta's Pokédex entries mentions that it can clear Ayers Rock and jump over the Eiffel Tower in one leap.
- In School of Hard Knocks, Misty mentions wanting to go to Paris.
- In The Scheme Team, Jessie talks about Antarctica, the place where their next assignment is located. It should be noted that this was dub-added.
Other applications of real-world locations
- In Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Randy, the guard in the guardhouse north of Goldenrod City, will give the player a Spearow holding mail to deliver. The Spearow is nicknamed Kenya, the name of a country in Africa.
- The Pokédex entry for Mamoswine is a reference to how real-life wooly mammoths became extinct.