Pokémon world in relation to the real world
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| This article contains fan speculation.|
There is no solid evidence for or against some parts of this article.
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.
|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|
|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.|
In Japan, the Kantō region is often contrasted with the Kansai region, which like Johto is to the west. However, Johto is geographically more similar to the Kansai region and the western Chūbu region 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|
|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|
|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 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 Kunashir Island (Japanese: 国後島 Kunashiri Island, Russian: Кунашир Kunashir), which is in dispute between Russia and Japan, is also included.
The Battle Zone is based on Sakhalin (Japanese: 樺太 Karafuto, Russian: Сахалин Sakhalin), a Russian island that used to be claimed by Japan (some parts of Sakhalin are still in dispute, but none of them are the basis for the Battle Zone).
|Pokémon world||Specific location||Raion||Notes|
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 New York City (mostly Manhattan) and parts of eastern New Jersey.
|Pokémon world||Specific location||State||Notes|
|Phenac City||Phoenix||Arizona||Both cities were founded when a man brought water to the city.|
|Pokémon world||Specific location||Notes|
|Pokémon world||Specific location||Prefecture (subprefecture)||Notes|
|Chicole Village||松前町||Matsumae||北海道（渡島総合振興局）||Hokkaido (Oshima)|
|Vien Forest||函館山||Mount Hakodate||北海道（渡島総合振興局）||Hokkaido (Oshima)||Mount Hakodate attracts tourists for its view of Hakodate.|
|Pueltown||函館市||Hakodate||北海道（渡島総合振興局）||Hokkaido (Oshima)||Hakodate and Pueltown are both port cities.|
|Altru Park||五稜郭公園||Goryōkaku Park||北海道（渡島総合振興局）||Hokkaido (Oshima)||The Goryōkaku Tower overlooks Goryōkaku Park.|
| Altru Building
|五稜郭タワー||Goryōkaku Tower||北海道（渡島総合振興局）||Hokkaido (Oshima)||The observation tower, which overlooks Goryōkaku Park, was rebuilt from 2004 to 2006.|
|Boyleland Volcano||恐山||Mount Osore||青森県||Aomori|
|Shiver Camp||ニセコ町||Niseko||北海道（後志総合振興局）||Hokkaido (Shiribeshi)||Niseko is home to multiple ski resorts.|
|Haruba Village||青森市||Aomori||青森県||Aomori||The Port of Aomori operates ferries to Hakodate.|
|Capture Arena||渡島大島||Ōshima||北海道（渡島総合振興局）||Hokkaido (Oshima)||The uninhabited island is also a nature preserve.|
|Pokémon world||Specific location||Prefecture||Notes|
| This section is incomplete.|
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Reason: Missing notes.
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Reason: Cartoon Network logo on an anime screenshot
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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.
|Porta Vista||Acapulco||Mexico||According to anime maps, Goldenrod City also slightly resembles Acapulco.|
|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||Venice||Italy||Venice's canals were likely an inspiration for the canals of Alto Mare|
|Forina||Wulingyuan||China||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||Vancouver||British Columbia, Canada|
|Alamos Town||Barcelona||Spain||The Space-Time Towers are based on the incompleted church of Sagrada Familia.|
|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||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||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||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||Gourdon, Tourrettes-sur-Loup and Mont Saint-Michel||France|
|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||Avignon||France||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||Marseille||France||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.|
|Dahara 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".
- 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.
- In the Hindi Dub of Mega Revelations! , Meowth says "Hum sab kuch jante hai Kashmir se Kanyakumari tak" which refers to real indian cities of Kashmir and Kanyakumari.
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 the Generation IV Battle Frontier, one of the potential NPC opponents is Guitarist Iggy, a reference to Iggy Pop.
- In Pokémon Crystal, several Trainers in the Battle Tower are references to people involved in the creation of the game.
- Guitarist Masuda is a reference to Junichi Masuda, Crystal's music director.
- Bug Catcher Tajiri is a reference to Pokémon's creator, Satoshi Tajiri, and his childhood fixation with bug catching.
- Scientist Mori is a reference to Akito Mori, who is listed under "special thanks" in Crystal.
- Teacher Kawakami is a reference to Naoko Kawakami, who is listed under "special thanks" in Crystal.
- 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
- In all of the core series games, and some side series games, there is a Nintendo gaming console in the player's bedroom. This is a reference to the real-world gaming company that owns the franchise.
- Raichu and Gastly's FireRed Pokédex entries mention both Pokémon being able to easily knock out an Indian Elephant, an actual animal.
- The Arceus event that takes place in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver includes real life pictures in the game.
- In Beheeyem, Duosion, and the Dream Thief!, a painting within the resort created by Beheeyem bears a striking resemblance to Relativity by M. C. Escher.