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Pokémon world in relation to the real world

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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.

Main regions

Kanto

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.

Pokémon world Specific location Prefecture Notes
Pallet Town 下田市 Shimoda City 静岡県 Shizuoka Pallet Town is based on Satoshi Tajiri's hometown Machida City in his boyhood, abundant in nature.
Viridian City 箱根町 Hakone Town 神奈川県 Kanagawa
Viridian Forest 奥秩父山塊 Okuchichibu Mountains 埼玉県山梨県長野県 Yamanashi, Saitama, and Nagano
Pewter City 前橋市 Maebashi City 群馬県 Gunma Maebashi is the capital of the Gunma prefecture. The famous Iwajuku archaeological site and the Iwajuku Museum are located in the city of Midori.
Mt. Moon 赤城山 Mount Akagi 群馬県 Gunma Mt. Akagi features a crater lake near the summit
Cerulean City 土浦市 Tsuchiura City 茨城県 Ibaraki Tsuchiura is famous for its floating lotus blooms.
Vermilion City 横浜市 Yokohama City 神奈川県 Kanagawa Yokohama is the largest seaport in Japan.
Kanto Power Plant 東海発電所 Tōkai Nuclear Power Plant 茨城県 Ibaraki The first commercial nuclear power plant in Japan.
Lavender Town 成田市 or 佐倉市 Narita City or Sakura City 千葉県 Chiba
Celadon City 新宿 Shinjuku 東京都 Tōkyō Shinjuku is the commercial center of Tokyo.
Saffron City 丸の内 Marunouchi 東京都 Tōkyō Marunouchi is the business center of Tokyo, as well as all of Japan.
Magnet Train station 東京駅 Tōkyō Station 東京都 Tōkyō The Tokyo Station is a train station located in Marunouchi. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen bullet train line runs from Tokyo to Osaka through here.
Fuchsia City 館山市 Tateyama City 千葉県 Chiba
Kanto Safari Zone 富士箱根伊豆国立公園 Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park 山梨県静岡県神奈川県東京都 Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, and Tokyo
Cycling Road 東京湾アクアライン Tōkyō Bay Aqua-Line It connects Kawasaki City and Kisarazu City over Tokyo Bay. It was under construction when Pokémon Red and Green were released.
Cinnabar Island 伊豆大島 Izu-Ōshima 東京都 Tōkyō Oshima is famous for Mt. Mihara, an active volcano.

Sevii Islands

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).

Pokémon world Specific location Subprefecture Notes
Knot Island 新島神津島式根島利島 Niijima, Kōzushima, Shikinejima and Toshima 大島支庁 Oshima
Kindle Road 新島 Niijima
Treasure Beach 神津島 Kozushima
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
Berry Forest 八丈小島 Hachijōkojima
Three Isle Port 底土港 Sokodo Port
Floe Island 青ヶ島 Aogashima 八丈支庁 Hachijō
Chrono Island 聟島列島 Mukojima Islands 小笠原支庁 Ogasawara All are uninhabited.
Water Labyrinth 西之島 Nishinoshima
Resort Gorgeous 中ノ島 Nakanoshima
Lost Cave 笹魚島 Sasauojima
Memorial Pillar 媒島 Nakoudojima
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.
Ruin Valley 父島 Chichijima
Green Path 兄島 Anijima
Outcast Island 弟島 Otōtojima
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.

Johto

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.

Pokémon world Specific location Prefecture Notes
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 in Japan.
Violet City 奈良市 Nara City 奈良県 Nara Nara is where Japan was founded as a state. Kyoto City is nearby and 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).
Azalea Town みなべ町 Minabe Village 和歌山県 Wakayama Minabe is famous for its high-quality Japanese apricots, known as ume, and high-quality charcoal, known as Binchōtan.
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.
Goldenrod 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.
Burned Tower 金閣 Kinkaku-ji 京都府 Kyōto Kinkaku-ji 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).
Bell 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 the Naruto whirlpools.
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 Kōka is where the famous Kōga 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.
Blackthorn City 白川郷 Shirakawa 岐阜県 Gifu Shirakawa is known as a hidden region, relating to Blackthorn's Japanese name, Fusube, which roughly means "hidden area."
Dragon's Den 伊吹山 Mt. Ibuki "Ibuki" is also the Japanese name of Clair.

Hoenn

Hoenn is based on the southernmost parts of Japan—Kyūshū and surrounding islands.

Pokémon world Specific location Prefecture Notes
Littleroot Town 伊万里市 or 佐世保市 Imari City or Sasebo City 長崎県 Nagasaki or Saga 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. It is also home to Zenrin, a company specializing in navigation software.
Dewford Town 対馬島 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 and the Portuguese were allowed into Japan, and then only at Dejima, Nagasaki. 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 Mt. Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan.
Lavaridge Town 阿蘇町 Aso Town 熊本県 Kumamoto Aso is home to 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 here.
Fallarbor Town 大分市 Ōita City 大分県 Ōita
Fortree City 小林市 Kobayashi City 宮崎県 Miyazaki
Scorched Slab 天岩戸 Amano-Iwato 宮崎県 Miyazaki In Japanese mythology, Amano-Iwato is where Amaterasu hid from her brother Susanoo, who had gone on a rampage.
Mt. Pyre 桜島 Sakurajima 鹿児島県 Kagoshima Sakurajima is an active volcano, formerly an island. The continuous volcanic activity drops large amounts of ash in the region.
Lilycove City 鹿屋市 Kanoya City 鹿児島県 Kagoshima
Mossdeep City 種子島 Tanegashima 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 沖縄本島 Okinawa Island 沖縄県 Okinawa
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 八重山諸島 Yaeyama Islands 沖縄県 Okinawa Ishigaki Island, located in the Yaeyama Islands, contains rare blue corals. The islands of Okinawa Prefecture are home to many coral reefs. Its location and shape are based on Koshikijima.
Sealed Chamber 与那国島 Yonaguni 沖縄県 Okinawa Underneath the water's surface, natural rock formations were thought to be artificially created.

Sinnoh

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.

Pokémon world Specific location Subprefecture Notes
Twinleaf Town 登別市 Noboribetsu City 胆振支庁 Iburi
Lake Verity 洞爺湖 Lake Tōya 胆振支庁 Iburi
Sandgem Town 苫小牧市 Tomakomai City 胆振支庁 Iburi
Jubilife City 札幌市 Sapporo City 空知支庁 Sorachi Sapporo is the largest city in Hokkaido.
Oreburgh City 夕張市 Yūbari City 空知支庁 Sorachi
Oreburgh Mine 夕張炭鉱 Yūbari Mine 空知支庁 Sorachi
Valley Windworks 苫前町 Tomamae Town 留萌支庁 Rumoi Tomamae is famous for its windmills in the countryside.
Eterna City 旭川市 Asahikawa City 上川支庁 Kamikawa
Mt. Coronet 蝦夷山系 Ezo Mountain Chain The Ezo Mountain Chain consists of the Teshio Mountains (天塩山地), the Kitami Mountains (北見山地), the Ishikari Mountains (石狩山地), the Yubari Mountains (夕張山地), and the Hidaka Mountains (日高山脈).
Hearthome City 帯広市 Obihiro City 十勝支庁 Tokachi
Solaceon Town 足寄町 Ashoro Town 十勝支庁 Tokachi One of Ashoro's main industries is farming.
Veilstone City 網走市 Abashiri City 網走支庁 Abashiri Abashiri is famous for the prison (網走刑務所). It is also a major port city.
Celestic Town 北見市 Kitami City 網走支庁 Abashiri
Sendoff Spring 摩周湖 Lake Mashū 釧路支庁 Kushiro Lake Mashu, a crater lake, is known as a mysterious spot for the fog that covers its surface.
Lake Valor 屈斜路湖 Lake Kussharo 釧路支庁 Kushiro
Pastoria City 釧路市 Kushiro City 釧路支庁 Kushiro Kushiro is the largest city in Eastern Hokkaido (道東).
Great Marsh 釧路湿原 Kushiro Marsh 釧路支庁 Kushiro The Kushiro Marsh is the largest and most famous marsh in Japan.
Canalave City 小樽市 Otaru City 後志支庁 Shiribeshi Otaru flourished as a port city and has a canal.
Snowpoint City 浜頓別町 Hamatonbetsu Town 宗谷支庁 Sōya
Lake Acuity クッチャロ湖 Lake Kutcharo 宗谷支庁 Sōya
Sunyshore City 根室市 Nemuro City 根室支庁 Nemuro
Vista Lighthouse 納沙布岬 Cape Nosappu 根室支庁 Nemuro Cape Nosappu is Japan's easternmost spot open to the public.
Iron Island 焼尻島 Yagishiri Island 留萌支庁 Rumoi
Victory Road 国後島 Kunashir Island in dispute
Fullmoon Island 利尻島 Rishiri Island 宗谷支庁 Sōya
Newmoon Island 礼文島 Rebun Island 宗谷支庁 Sōya
Battle Zone 樺太 Sakhalin in dispute

Unova

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 Notes
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 Harlem
Village Bridge Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
Lacunosa Town Flushing, Queens
Undella Town Jamaica, Queens
Undella Bay Jamaica Bay
Marvelous Bridge Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge
Entralink 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 Babylon, New York
Lentimas Town Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Black City Long Island City, Queens


Kalos

A comparison of Kalos to France

Kalos is based on the northern half of Metropolitan France and Jersey, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Pokémon world Specific location Notes
Vaniville Town Moulins, Allier
Aquacorde Town Nevers The great bridge is probably based on a bridge on the river Loire in Nevers.
Santalune Forest Forest of Fontainebleau
Santalune City Fontainebleau
Lumiose City Paris Prism Tower is based on the Eiffel Tower, and the Lumiose Museum is based on the Louvre.
Camphrier Town Blois Shabboneau Castle is based on the Château de Blois.
Battle Chateau Château de Chenonceau
Parfum Palace Palace of Versailles
Ambrette Town La Rochelle An aquarium lies in La Rochelle.
Glittering Cave
Cyllage City Nantes
Geosenge Town Carnac Notable for its standing stones.
Reflection Cave
Shalour City Beauvoir, Manche
Tower of Mastery Mont Saint-Michel
Azure Bay The English Channel
Sea Spirit's Den Jersey Home of La Hougue Bie, a passage grave thought to be an ancient shrine.
Coumarine City Le Havre
Laverre City Amiens Laverre Nature Trail may refer to the hortillonnages.
Dendemille Town Charleville-Mézières Charleville's region is known for its windwills.
Anistar City Strasbourg The sundial may be a reference to Strasbourg astronomical clock.
Couriway Town Molsheim
Snowbelle City Grenoble
Pokémon Village
Pokémon League Château de Chambord
Kiloude City Lyon The train station could be based on Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry


Side regions

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: TCG Islands, Fiore, Oblivia, specific locations.

Orre

Pokémon world Inspiration Notes
Orre Orre Phoenix Arizona Arizona has been confirmed as the basis for Orre.[1]

Almia

Comparison of Almia to Oshima and northern Honshu
Almia Almia Oshima and Hiyama subprefectures within Oshima Peninsula Hokkaido and the very northern part of Honshu, Japan
Pueltown Pueltown Possibly Yakumo, Hokkaido  ?

Landscape

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Missing notes.

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 Inspiration Notes
Porta Vista Porta Vista Acapulco Mexico According to anime maps, Goldenrod City also slightly resembles Acapulco.
Hollywood Hollywood Hollywood 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 Alto Mare Venice Italy Venice's canals were likely an inspiration for the canals of Alto Mare
Forina Forina Wulingyuan China
LaRousse City LaRousse City Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
Sootopolis City Sootopolis City Santorini Greece
Alamos Town Alamos Town Barcelona Spain The Space-Time Towers are based on the incompleted church of Sagrada Familia.
Pastoria City Pastoria City Boston 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 Ten'i Village Geiranger Norway 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 Michina Town Meteora Greece 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 Crown City Amsterdam 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 Eindoak Town Gourdon, Tourrettes-sur-Loup and Mont Saint-Michel France
Roshan City Roshan City Seattle Washington, United States A modern coastal city, with its most prominent feature being a tower resembling the Space Needle, a major landmark of Seattle.
New Tork City 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.

Real-world locations mentioned

Mewtwo overlooking a "faraway city" at the end of Mewtwo Returns
Chinese noodles
  • 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.
  • 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).

Real-world people and cultures mentioned

Other references to the real world

References

  1. http://www.nintendo.co.jp/nom/0311/soft/interv01.html
  2. iimarck.us - Battle Tower In‐Jokes