Pokemon Landmarks in the Real World

Japan

Fun fact: Pokemon is the highest grossing media franchise of all time beating out powerhouses like Marvel and Disney. The over 20 year old franchise is still pumping out new video games, trading cards, merchandise, television shows and movies. Like all great ideas, Pokemon started from a man with a dream; that man was Satoshi Tajiri and his dream was to make a game collecting creatures. Let’s take a look back at the real world inspirations that helped Tajiri mold the Pokemon world.

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Updated 3 months ago

Machida

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Machida, Japan • Recommendation • 

Creator Satoshi Tajiri took inspiration from his hometown of Machida when he created Pallet Town, the first city in the fictional world of Pokemon. Tajiri spent his boyhood years catching bugs in the rural area. You won’t find a Pokemon lab, but you’ll find a bustling city with the second largest population in Tokyo.

  • Machida, Tokyo, Japan

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Mount Kinpu

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Kōfu, Japan • Recommendation • 

The forest where you can first catch a Pikachu, Viridian Forest was inspired by the lush greenery and thick fog of Mount Kinpu and the other Okuchichibu Mountains. You can take a hike up the mountain and camp on the summit to see the view that overlooks the Kanto region.

  • Mount Kinpu, Kawahake, Kawakami, Minamisaku District, Nagano 384-1401, Japan

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Akagiyama

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Maebashi, Japan • Recommendation • 

In the games, Mt. Moon was believed to have been hit by a meteor that fell from the moon resulting in a crater near the summit. Taking a look at Akagiyama, you will notice it does have a giant crater lake on the northeast end of the summit.

  • Akagiyama, Fujimimachi Akagisan, Maebashi, Gunma 371-0101, Japan

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Tokai Nuclear Power Plant

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Hitachi-Naka, Japan • Recommendation • 

Japan’s first commercial nuclear power plant sparked the idea that would go on to become the Kanto Power Plant. A minor explosion in 1997 gave Tajiri the idea that such an incident could create a powerful being and from there legendary Pokemon Zapdos was born.

  • +81 29 282 1211
  • 1-1 Shirakata, 大字 Tokai, Naka-gun, Ibaraki 319-1106, Japan

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Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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Tokyo, Japan • Recommendation • 

The Shinjuku Garden is the largest park in the city made famous for its overabundance of flowers, so it’s no surprise Pokemon modeled the Celadon grass-type gym after it.

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Minamiboso

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Yokosuka, Japan • Recommendation • 

When you visit the Minami Boso National Park, you can let your imagination run wild when you see the diverse landscape of coastal marine parks, flower gardens, and sprawling mountains. It’s no wonder it was selected to be the Safari Zone where you can catch the rarest Pokemon.

  • Minamiboso, Chiba, Japan

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Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line

東京湾アクアライン

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Kisarazu, Japan • Recommendation • 

In Pokemon Red and Blue, Cycling Road is a high-octane bridge that lets you travel between cities quickly. Its real-life counterpart is a 24-kilometer bridge that spans across the Tokyo Bay, connecting Kisarazu and Kawasaki.

  • Nakajima, Kisarazu, Chiba 292-0071, Japan

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Udone-shima

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Mishima, Japan • Recommendation • 

Seafoam Island, surrounded by rocks and sheer sides, is one of the most perilous landmarks in Pokemon. The real Udone-shima island features the same nearly impenetrable layout. Tajiri then nurtured the idea that the island is protecting an ancient being: the legendary Articuno.

  • Udone-shima, Niijima, Tokyo 100-0400, Japan

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Ōshima Island

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Mishima, Japan • Recommendation • 

In Pokemon, Cinnabar Island is home to an active volcano and the remains of the original blazing fire-type gym. In real life, you will also find an active volcano in Oshima Island. While this area is inhabited, we recommend you dress lightly as you can guess the climate next to an active volcano is pretty hot.

  • Ōshima Island, Oshima, Tokyo, Japan

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Mount Echizen-dake

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Fuji, Japan • Recommendation • 

The final challenge before you battle the Elite Four and become a Pokemon Champion lies at the peak of Victory Road. Brave the Ashitaka lava dome to reach the highest peak of Mount Echizen-dake, but don’t expect a team of powerful trainers waiting for you.

  • Mount Echizen-dake, Kazaki, Fuji, Shizuoka 417-0803, Japan

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Shiraito Falls

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Fujinomiya, Japan • Recommendation • 

Once you’ve become the champion of the Pokemon League, you can embark on a new journey when you overcome the great hurdle of Tohjo Falls, influenced by the primordial Shiraito Falls near Mount Fuji. Unlike most river waterfalls, Shiraito falls off a cliff that creates the image of a gate.

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About Japan

Opposites attract in Japan—ancient traditions fuse with advanced technology while minimalism meets kitsch

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