Top Ten Real World Locations that Inspired Locations in PokemonHere's something I just found out recently, the locations in the Pokemon games are modeled after real world locations. This list encompasses regions in the game as well as cities and what they resemble.
While the first four generations in Pokémon resemble some places in Japan, Unova, the setting for the fifth generation, is actually modeled somewhat after New York City. This includes some parts of eastern New Jersey as well as all the boroughs.
Yes, the Kanto region in Gen-1 Pokémon games was inspired by the very same Kanto region in the real world in Japan. This part of mainland Honshu is where Tokyo is located.
Since the Kanto Region includes Tokyo, it stands to reason that the big city in Japan directly inspired not one, but two of the largest cities in the Pokémon world. Celadon is modeled after Shinjuku, the commercial center of Tokyo, which explains the presence of the department store. Saffron City is inspired by Marunouchi, the business center of Tokyo, which pretty much explains the large buildings like Silph Co.
Just look at the map of the island of Hokkaido and compare it to Sinnoh, the setting of the Gen-4 games. They look very similar.
Tilt Kyushu about 90 degrees to the right, and you have the mainland for the Gen-3 game, Hoenn. However, many of the surrounding Hoenn islands are based on the islands further to the south of Kyushu. Okinawa, in particular, is further south from Kyushu, but the Hoenn map shows that it's closer. Ever Grande and the Hoenn Pokémon League are located on this island, which resembles Okinawa.
The setting for the Gen-6 games, Kalos, is a location that resembles the northern half of France.
It seems almost predictable that the Gen-7 setting is named Alola and is comprised of several islands, roughly resembling Hawaii.
To the west of Kanto is Kansai, which is where much of Johto takes place, naturally. Goldenrod City, for example, is modeled after Osaka, the most populous region in Kansai, while Ecruteak City is modeled after Kyoto. A small part of the island of Shikoku is included in the Johto map.
This is an interesting point for the reason that Red is fought at the summit of Mt. Silver, which is apparently based on a legend that a deity resides atop Mount Fuji, known as Kuninotokotachi.
The Battle Zone northeast of Sinnoh is apparently modeled after the southern part of Sakhalin Island, a disputed island that had some parts claimed by Japan before it became part of Russia. As it turns out, none of the places in the Battle Zone are considered disputed locations in real-world Sakhalin.