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- If you were looking for the musical group, see Johto (musical group).
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The Johto region (Japanese: ジョウト地方 Jōto-chihō) is a large area located west of Kanto. Johto and Kanto are part of a large landmass, with everything west of Indigo Plateau falling in the Johto region. Though it is unlike Kanto in that its name is not directly based on that of a region of Japan, Junichi Masuda has come forward in his director's column naming the kanji that inspired the name mean "castle palace" (城都) or "lattice-shaped palace" (条都); this meaning is connected to the city of Nara, which was the basis for Violet City.
First explored in Pokémon Gold and Silver, it is home to an additional 100 Pokémon that were not present in previous games. In the Generation II games and their remakes, players begin their journey in New Bark Town, where Professor Elm offers either Chikorita, Cyndaquil or Totodile to beginning Pokémon Trainers. The English-version names of most of the cities in Johto are also the names of plants or things related to plants.
Johto returns in Generation IV's HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions with all areas from its Generation II iteration returning, and several new areas being accessible, such as the Safari Zone, with new Routes 47 and 48 leading to it.
Etymology and design concept
- Main article: Pokémon world in relation to the real world#Johto
Regardless of their proximity, the people of Johto and those of Kanto are set apart by many cultural differences. Johto is based on the real Kansai region in Japan. This trait is most noticeable in its geography; however, the Kansai influence also defines the culture in Johto. Kansai residents are known for their attitudes against typical Japanese standards, mostly due to the historical rivalry between the region, once the major seat of political power, and the real Kantō region where Tokyo, the current capital, is located. The soil of the Kansai region is rich, unlike the volcanic Kantō region, and this is perhaps referenced by the in-game Kanto region's inability to maintain a berry crop in Generation II and Generation III. People from Kansai are considered to be more relaxed. Kansai and Kantō, however different, are the two most important areas of Honshū, the largest island in Japan, and, much like Johto and Kanto, represent a harmony of contrasting cultures living together. The cultural divide is most noticeable in the games, as the player talks to and learns about the denizens of both regions.
Certain cultural aspects of the Johto region are deep-seated in Japanese history, as well. Kyoto, which is probably the basis for Ecruteak City, is considered the cultural center of Japan. Kyoto and its many historical temples, shrines, palaces, gardens and architecture have been preserved. This connection to history is reflected in many areas of Johto. However, Goldenrod City (like Osaka) is typically modern.
1500 years before modern times, the place now known as the Ruins of Alph was built in Johto, and the earliest known system for writing - the modern Latin alphabet - was developed. Although no one knows exactly who built the Ruins of Alph, research indicates that the people in question were an ancient civilization that wished to co-exist with the enigmatic Unown that bear great similarity to the alphabet letters. Not only did that tribe impart messages on the ruins' walls describing the Unown, but they also erected a Pokémon statue for an unknown reason.
At some point later, outsiders began to gather near the ruins. As the Unown were timid creatures, they rejected contact with anyone but the clan that protected them. To ensure the Unown's well being, the Ruins of Alph's inhabitants decided to leave the region, but not without devising complicated puzzles so that one day the Unown could be summoned again. As for the clan, their quest led them to a mountain far to the north, where they met another group of people who had hailed from the Spear Pillar. Together, the two groups built a temple in honor of Arceus, which incorporated elements from both the Ruins of Alph and the Spear Pillar; this collaboration probably has to do with the underlying relationship between Arceus and the Unown. The temple, too, has since been left in ruins and its lowest floor is now known as the Sinjoh Ruins; however, the ritual of honoring legendary Pokémon through dance circulated back to Johto, specifically to Ecruteak City.
Approximately 700 years before modern times, the people of Ecruteak built two nine-tier towers with the hopes of fostering friendship and hope between Pokémon and humans. They were the Brass Tower in the west, which was said to awaken Pokémon, and the Bell Tower in the east, where Pokémon were said to rest. Both towers became the roost of powerful flying Pokémon: Lugia and Ho-Oh, respectively. It is unknown what made the residents rever Lugia and Ho-Oh, but a separate tale indicates that Lugia had previously had an encounter with the people of Johto when it stopped a war on the Whirl Islands, which were a single island at that time.
The towers stood strong for about 550 years, when a lightning bolt struck the Brass Tower. It was engulfed in flames that raged for three days. A sudden downpour finally put out the blaze, but it had already burnt to the ground. Three nameless Pokémon perished in the fire, but Ho-Oh descended from the sky and resurrected them. The revived Pokémon were made to embody three powers: the lightning that struck the tower, the fire that burned the tower, and the rain that put out the fire. When the Pokémon appeared, they struck terror in those who saw their rise. The three Pokémon, knowing their own power, fled, running like the wind off into Johto's grassland. Similarly, both Lugia and Ho-Oh flew away at the sight of the growing distance between people and Pokémon; while they never returned to Ecruteak, they yearned for a person to touch the hearts and souls of Pokémon once more.
Around these times other, smaller events occurred. 500 years before modern days, the Cianwood City Pharmacy, the world's oldest pharmacy, was built. Around 400 years ago, Azalea Town in Johto was struck by a long-term drought wave; after bringing the rain back once again by yawning, Slowpoke gained an honorable position in that town.
In contemporary history, Ethan/Kris/Lyra leaves New Bark Town on an errand for Professor Elm. A red-haired boy steals one of Elm's three Pokémon, and challenges him/her as Ethan/Kris/Lyra's journey across Johto continues. A revived Team Rocket from the Kanto, using plans formulated three years prior, enrages many Gyarados, including a red one, at the Lake of Rage; they then proceed to take over the Goldenrod Radio Tower in a desperate attempt to contact Giovanni. When they are defeated and Giovanni fails to return due to Celebi's intervention, the interim leader, Archer, vows to never again re-form Team Rocket. Ethan/Kris/Lyra continues to gather Johto's badges, eventually gaining all eight and traveling to the Pokémon League at the Indigo Plateau in Kanto, later to defeat the current champion and get into the Hall of Fame.
But Ethan/Kris/Lyra's most notable effect on Johto lies in their ability to encounter all three of the legendary beasts, as well as summon the Unown, Lugia and Ho-Oh after their long absence. A new chapter in the region's history begins.
Cities, routes, and other locations
Johto has twelve cities and towns. These sites act as settlements for people to live and work in a functioning society. The Safari Zone Gate, and the Frontier Access act as towns, however, they appear to be more of a tourist destination and are not considered cities or towns. As Johto has no autonomous Pokémon League, Kanto shares a League with the region, which borders between Johto and Kanto. Because of this, the two regions share a connection with each other, and unlike any other region, they are able to be traversed to with relative ease. Due to this landmass connection, the geography of Johto is relatively similar to that of its neighbor region.
The Johto region has 20 different routes, which are passages permitting trainers to travel from one location to the next with relative ease. Johto and Kanto share the same route system, and therefor starts at Route 29, picking up from where Kanto's left off at Route 28. The numbered routes count up to 48, with routes 47 and 48 leading off into the far west only being accessible in Generation IV. Compared to the Kanto region, there aren't many sea routes; there are many land routes and mountains. Some areas such as Route 33 are constantly raining, or are purged with other weather conditions; however, this wasn't seen until Generation IV.
The connecting landmass between Kanto and Johto doesn't appear to be a fine line; but more or less a blurry one. Route 28 is technically owned by Kanto; however, it bridges the border between the two regions, making it the only route in history that enters two regions at one time. This is similar to routes 26 and 27, that are strictly Kanto locations; however, they are able to be transported to via HM02 (Fly) from Johto in Generation IV.
Cities and towns
Johto's routes are numbered 29-46, starting at the route number that Kanto (in Generation II) left off from, 28. Routes 47 and 48 are added in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver to connect Cianwood City to the Johto Safari Zone.
- Main article: Johto League
The Johto League is the regional Pokémon League of the Johto region. Johto and Kanto share a single Elite Four, located at the Indigo Plateau. Eight Johto League Badges are required to participate in League competitions.
Anime-based map of the Johto region
- It is the only region in which Ash Ketchum did not meet a new traveling companion.
- Johto is the only region without:
- a Pokémon burial ground
- its own set of fossil Pokémon
- its own Victory Road
- a museum
- an autonomous Pokémon League (shared with Kanto)
- its own storage system developer (Bill also developed that of Kanto)
- its own villainous team (Team Rocket is shared with Kanto)
- prior to Generation IV, Johto was also the only region without a Safari Zone and true regional Pokédex.
- This lack is mostly due to the fact that Generation II is very dependent on Generation I, and as the latter half of the game's storyline takes place in Kanto, there was no need to repeat many things.
- In Generation II and IV, between Johto and Kanto, the Dark-type and the Ground-type are the only types not represented by an official Gym. Viridian City, whose previous Gym Leader Giovanni, had the Ground-type. However, when Giovanni left the gym after being defeated by Red, he was replaced by Blue, who does not have a type specialty. Karen of the Elite Four uses Dark-type Pokémon, making the Ground-type the only type to not have a Gym Leader or Elite Four member specialize in it in Johto and Kanto for Generation II and IV.
- Unused location data for Johto (similar to the data for Hoenn and Kanto used for Pal Park) exists within the programming of Generation IV's games. Pokémon actually caught in Johto, however, display as being from "Faraway place" when traded to a game taking place in Sinnoh, much like Pokémon caught in a Platinum-exclusive location do when traded to Diamond or Pearl.
- Kanto and Johto are the only regions that are connected to each other by land, and are likewise the only regions to add additional routes in their second appearances.
- Johto is the only main region in which the starter Pokémon, throughout their evolutions, stay one type (Grass, Water, and Fire).
- Generation II Johto is tied with Unova for the fewest routes of any region with 18; however, Generation IV Johto has 20 routes.
|| ジョウト Jōto
|| From 城都 "castle palace" and 条都 "lattice-shaped palace".
|| From the Japanese name.
|| 성도 Seongdo
|| From 城都 (성도), seongdo.
| Chinese (Mandarin)
|| 城都 Chéngdū
|| From 城都. Can either mean "walled capital" or "metropolis". May also be from 都城 dūchéng, "capital city".