From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
|| This article contains fan speculation.|
There is no solid evidence for or against some parts of this article.
The map of Japan showing the four main Japanese Pokémon regions.
The designs of six of the major Pokémon regions—Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos—are strikingly similar in geography and demographics to regions in the real world, and sometimes even officially stated to be based on certain locations. The first four regions are based on smaller regions in Japan, while Unova is based on the New York metropolitan area and Kalos is based on France. It is stated that the inspiration for Orre is Phoenix, Arizona.
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 map corresponds to eastern Chūbu.
The Sevii Islands are based on two archipelagos off the coast of Tokyo: the Izu Islands (伊豆諸島) and the Bonin Islands (小笠原諸島).
In Japan, the Kanto region is often contrasted with Kansai, which is like Johto, to the west. However, Johto is geographically more similar to Kansai and western Chubu combined.
Hoenn is based on the southernmost parts of Japan—Kyūshū and surrounding islands.
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.
A comparison of Unova to New York
Unova has been said to be significantly distant from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh. Instead of being based on an area of Japan, Unova is based on the Manhattan area of New York City, and also parts of eastern New Jersey.
| Pokémon world
|| Specific location
| Nuvema Town
|| Coney Island
| Accumula Town
|| Marine Park
| Striaton City
|| Canarsie, Brooklyn
|| Striaton makes a multitude of references to the glaciers that formed Long Island, including its location compared to the central land.
| Nacrene City
|| DUMBO, Brooklyn and High Line
|| DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is a neighborhood in Brooklyn.
| Skyarrow Bridge
|| A hybrid of the Brooklyn Bridge and Rainbow Bridge
| Castelia City
|| Lower Manhattan
|| Lower Manhattan is the business center of New York City, as well as the United States.
| Nimbasa City
|| Midtown Manhattan
|| The sports stadium in Nimbasa City is based on Madison Square Garden.
| Gear Station
|| 59th Street - Columbus Circle
| Driftveil Drawbridge
|| George Washington Bridge
| Driftveil City
|| Union City, New Jersey
| Mistralton City
|| Teterboro, New Jersey
|| The Mistralton City Airport's real-life counterpart is the Teterboro Airport.
| Icirrus City
|| Ridgefield, New Jersey
| Opelucid City
| Village Bridge
|| Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
| Lacunosa Town
|| Flushing, Queens
| Undella Town
|| A hybrid of Jamaica, Queens and The Hamptons
|| Geographically it fits in as Jamaica, but its description as a summer retreat is indicative of The Hamptons of Long Island.
| Undella Bay
|| Jamaica Bay
| Marvelous Bridge
|| Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge
|| Central Park Manhattan
|| The Entralink also draws inspiration from the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
| Liberty Garden
|| A hybrid of Liberty State Park and Liberty Island
| Tubeline Bridge
|| Forth Railway Bridge
| Unity Tower
|| United Nations
| Aspertia City
|| Elizabeth, New Jersey
| Floccesy Town
|| Newark, New Jersey
| Virbank City
|| Jersey City
|| Virbank Complex bears some resemblance to the oil refineries and tanker area located along the New Jersey Turnpike.
| Marine Tube
|| Ocean Parkway
| Humilau City
|| Long Island
|| Humilau City generally resembles the nautical backdrop of many Long Island villages, specifically Montauk, New York.
| Lentimas Town
|| Williamsburg, Brooklyn
| Black City
|| Long Island City, Queens
A comparison of Kalos to France
Kalos is based on the northern half of Metropolitan France and the Channel Islands, which are part of the British Islands.
Orre is based off of Phoenix, Arizona.
Comparison of Almia to Oshima and northern Honshu
Almia is based off of the Oshima and Hiyama subprefectures within Oshima Peninsula in Hokkaido and the very northern part of Honshu in Japan.
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Reason: Missing notes.
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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, especially with locations shown in Pokémon movies.
| Pokémon world
|| Porta Vista
|| According to anime maps, Goldenrod City also slightly resembles Acapulco.
|| California, United States
|| Hollywood, as the name implies, is based on Hollywood, the most well-known district of Los Angeles, California. In the dub, it is directly stated that it is located in California.
|| Alto Mare
|| Venice's canals were likely an inspiration for the canals of Alto Mare
|| Wulingyuan is famed for its karst formation of quartzite sandstone pillars. Along with its ravines and gorges, the site also features a lush forest, several caves, natural bridges, and waterfalls.
|| LaRousse City
|| British Columbia, Canada
|| Sootopolis City
|| Alamos Town
|| The Space-Time Towers are based on the incompleted church of Sagrada Familia.
|| Pastoria City
|| Massachusetts, United States
|| It has some similarities with Boston and the surrounding area. Much of Boston is built on fens and there are multiple national parks in the suburbs outside the city, specifically in towns like Duxbury and Marshfield.
|| Ten'i Village
|| A village that was nearly destroyed by a glacier. It is based on a town in Norway, which is threatened by the possibility of the mountain Åkerneset eroding into the fjord, causing a landslide-induced tsunami.
|| Michina Town
|| Its landscape, which is filled with towering rock formations, resembles Meteora. Also, the architecture of the temples resembles that of ancient Greek temples.
|| Crown City
|| The Netherlands
|| Its modern buildings are based on the many new buildings in parts of Amsterdam, and the Pokémon Baccer stadium is based on the Arena, the city's local football stadium.
|| Eindoak Town
|| Gourdon, Tourrettes-sur-Loup and Mont Saint-Michel
|| Roshan City
|| Shinjuku, Shinagawa, and Tennouzu Isle
|| Tokyo, Japan
|| New Tork City
|| New York City
|| New York, United States
|| A giant sprawling city with many skyscrapers, a large park in the middle of the city resembling Central Park, and a similar name. New Tork City as seen from above also resembles New York City's shape.
|| Avignon Town
|| A city in the south of France. The castle of Avignon Town is based on the Palais des Papes, a large palace that overlooks Avignon much like Avignon Town's castle overlooks the town.
|| Orsay City
|| A city in the south of France that is famous for its port. Like Marseille, Orseille City has a large port as well. The large mall in the city is possibly based on Centre Bourse, a large mall in the center of Marseille.
|| Désert City
|| Dubai and Abu Dhabi
|| United Arab Emirates
|| Dubai is located within the Arabian Desert and houses some of the world's tallest skyscrapers.
Real-world locations mentioned
- Lt. Surge is known as "The Lightning American!".
- Game Freak's offices are present in the Celadon Condominiums, the equivalent location of their real-world office in Carrot Tower. Likewise, they have a building in Castelia City, and are found on 22F, the same floor that their offices are on in Carrot Tower.
- According to a Scientist in Generation I, FireRed, and LeafGreen, Silph Co. has a branch in Tiksi, Russia.
- Mew was originally discovered in the jungles of the South American country Guyana. This is mentioned in logs inside of Cinnabar Island's Pokémon Mansion.
- Both Articuno and Beartic's names are derived from a real-world location, the Arctic.
- In School of Hard Knocks, Misty fantasizes about Paris and the Eiffel Tower.
- In The Ninja Poké-Showdown, James says that the Fuchsia Gym looks like a Japanese restaurant.
- In the English dub of The March of the Exeggutor Squad, Melvin says he wanted to make it to Las Vegas. In the Japanese version, he said that he wanted to make it to Broadway.
- Arcanine's Pokémon Yellow, Stadium, Gold, FireRed, and HeartGold Pokédex entries state that it is mentioned in Chinese legends.
- In The Evolution Solution, Meowth says, "Keep digging till you hit China!" to Jessie and James, who were digging for clam shells.
- Parasect's Stadium and FireRed Pokédex entries mention that its spores are used in medicine in China.
- Ponyta's Stadium Pokédex entry mentions that it can clear the Eiffel Tower (Tokyo Tower in the original Japanese version) in one leap. Also, its FireRed entry says that it can clear Ayers Rock in one leap.
- In the William Shakespeare-inspired episode Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon?, Misty described the town as like being in "merry old England".
- In Mewtwo Strikes Back, Team Rocket are disguised as Vikings. In the English dub, Brock says that he didn't know that Vikings still existed and Ash replies that they "mostly live in Minnesota". This is a reference to the Minnesota Vikings, a football team in the area.
- In the Swedish dub of the movie, Ash says that they come from Norway, a reference to the Norse Vikings who lived from the 8th to the 11th century.
- In the Danish dub of the movie, Ash tells Brock that the Vikings are mostly on trips in Sweden, again referring to the Norse Vikings, but may also refer to Vikingarna, a swedish dansband.
- In the Finnish dub of the movie, Ash quips that Vikings still live in the Sipoo archipelago, referring to the fact that Sipoo is mostly inhabited by Swedish-speaking Finns (another reference to Norse Vikings).
- In the first movie, Meowth mentioned that they lived on the same Earth (though he may have been referring to the soil rather than the literal planet Earth).
- In Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, Webster, the guard in the gate 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.
- Poliwrath's Gold, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, Black, and White Pokédex entries mention its ability to swim the Pacific Ocean. Also, the direction of a Poliwrath's spirals depends on its geographical location.
- Xatu's Silver, FireRed, and SoulSilver Pokédex entries mention that South Americans say that it can see both the future and past.
- In the TCG Lucky Stadium (Neo Destiny 100) card, there is a promotional New York City print with a Pichu and a Pikachu flying on a Charizard in New York City, with the Empire State Building visible in the background.
- At the end of Mewtwo Returns, Mewtwo is shown overlooking a "faraway city" that greatly resembles New York City. Buildings similar to the Chrysler Building and the MetLife Building are visible in the distance.
- In Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias, Misty makes a direct reference to the Earth, saying "the Earth is so pretty".
- In Can't Beat the Heat, Ash's Charizard uses Seismic Toss. Normally, a cloudy globe can be seen, but this time the Pacific Ocean and Australia are prominent. This also happens in Volcanic Panic and the introduction to Mewtwo Strikes Back.
- In FireRed and LeafGreen, Blaine refers to Kyoto in the original Japanese version.
- Delibird's Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald Pokédex entries explain that a Delibird helped a famous explorer reach the top of Mt. Everest. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it instead refers to "world's highest mountain," which is what Mt. Everest is to Earth.
- Regice's Emerald Pokédex entry mentions Antarctic ice.
- In the English dub of The Scheme Team, Jessie talks about Antarctica, the place where their next assignment is located.
- In the movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, Kidd's boss's office is in a city that resembles New York City.
- In Pasta La Vista!, an ad in May's food guidebook mentions "Chinese noodles".
- At the beginning of the English dub of Spontaneous Combusken!, the narrator calls Chrysanthemum Island a "sun-and-fun mecca", a term related to the real-world city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
- A Guitarist that can be battled in the Battle Frontier mentions that his guitar is actually a Japanese instrument.
- Upon defeating Fisherman Bronson in the Sinnoh Battle Tower, he will say, "Why the emperor of fishing? It's an ancient Chinese legend...".
- In the Hindi dub of Oshawott's Lost Scalchop!, while Ash's Oshawott was perfecting Aqua Jet, Cilan states "Jana Tha Japan Par Pahuch Gaye China", which refers to the real-world countries of Japan and China.
- In Movie Time! Zorua in "The Legend of the Pokémon Knight"!, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe were seen on a movie poster.
Real-world people and cultures mentioned
- Snorlax's Japanese name Kabigon is the nickname of Game Freak programmer Kōji Nishino. The nickname comes from the time he was so hungry he ate moldy (黴 kabi) food from the office fridge. This is referenced in Black 2 and White 2, where Nishino appears as a battleable NPC and his highest-leveled Pokémon is Snorlax.
- The core series games have featured staff members of Game Freak that typically reward the player for completing the National Pokédex, or occasionally through alternative methods. Shigeki Morimoto can actually be battled in the Generation V games.
- In Pokémon Shipwreck, Brock directly refers to the tale of Noah who sent a dove to find dry land after a great flood, according to most Abrahamic religions.
- The Japanese version of the song Team Rocket Forever includes the lines 「ムサシ!/コジロウ!/関門海峡/門司/下関」"Musashi!/Kojirō!/Kanmon Straits.../Moji.../Shimonoseki...", referencing the famous duel that Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō (the name basis for Jessie and James's Japanese names, Musashi and Kojirō) fought on an island in the Kanmon Straits, which is located between Moji and Shimonoseki.
- The Japanese holiday Hinamatsuri (means Doll Festival, but sometimes referred to as Girls' Day) is featured in Princess vs. Princess (dubbed as the Princess Festival).
- The Japanese holiday Children's Day (Kodomo no Hi) is featured in The Purr-fect Hero (dubbed as Kids Day).
- Christmas is mentioned several times in the anime and manga. Santa Claus is a recurring character in the Pokémon anime who first appeared in Holiday Hi-Jynx. In the dub, Santa's home is called the North Pole.
- In Celebi: Voice of the Forest, Meowth asks if they saw the Iron-Masked Marauder in a Mexican wrestling movie.
- In A Bite to Remember, Jessie says that Albert Einstein created the light bulb. Max corrects her, saying that Thomas Edison was the creator.
- NPCs in the core series games are regularly named after real-world people.
- In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, a Team Rocket Grunt mentions the hula dance to a Kimono Girl while in the Kimono Dance Theater.
- In Pokémon Black and White, six of the Seven Sages quote proverbs from several Chinese philosophers.
- Zinzolin quotes a proverb from Mencius and a line from Tao Te Ching at N's Castle.
- Gorm quotes a proverb from Sun Tzu's The Art of War in Pinwheel Forest, and a line from both The Analects and Huainanzi at N's Castle.
- Bronius quotes another line from Tao Te Ching at N's Castle.
- Giallo quotes another line from Mencius at N's Castle.
- In the Japanese version, Ryoku quotes a line from Zhuangzi at N's Castle. In both versions, he also quotes a proverb by Song Dynasty philosopher Hu Yin at N's Castle.
- Rood quotes another proverb from the Analects and made a reference to a Chinese idiom at N's Castle.
- In Black, White, Black 2, and White 2, the woman in Mistralton City who normally gives a Heart Scale in exchange for ten Sweet Hearts will trade a Heart Scale for only five Sweet Hearts on Valentine's Day and White Day.
Other references to the real world
- ↑ http://www.nintendo.co.jp/nom/0311/soft/interv01.html
- ↑ iimarck.us - Battle Tower In‐Jokes