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Into the Virtual World: Visiting Real-World Anime and Video Game Locations

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/08 Travel & View point , , , ,

Ever been fascinated with the sometimes too-good-to-be-true places you see in Japanese video games and anime? Ever wondered if the places are true so you can visit them to feel what it’s like to be there? Well, how about I tell you that some of them do really exist? And most of them, yeah you guessed it, are in Japan.

To begin our quest for real-world anime locations, first off is from one of the most successful video game franchise of all time, Pocket Monsters or more popularly known as Pokémon.


With the exception of the last two games which are based on New York and Paris respectively, the main games of Pokémon are set in real-life Japan regions. In fact, almost every city, area, or landmark has real world counterparts. The first Pokémon games’ protagonist’s adventure is set in Kanto which is based on the Japanese region of the same name. The real world Kanto Region includes Japan’s capital city of Tokyo.

Pokémon Regions as depicted on Japan Map. Note: Orre is not from a main Pokémon game.
(Image by Maneco via Wikimedia Commons)

Real-life Pokemon Center

Conversely, there are Pokémon Centers in Japan and in other parts of the world which sells Pokémon stuff.


Real-World Pokémon Center. Where’s Nurse Joy?
(Image by Jim, the Photographer on Flickr)

The World Ends With You

Another video game that was set in a real-world location was Square Enix’s action role-playing game Subarashiki Kono Sekai (lit. It’s A Wonderful World) which is known in the West as “The World Ends With You” (TWEWY). The game begins as the hero wakes up in a fictional version of Shibuya Shopping District. The Shibuya Shopping District which is home for Japanese Fashion and Trends is in Tokyo.The game even has its own version of famous landmarks and shops of Shibuya including the ever-famous statue of the dog Hachiko.

Shibuya Scramble Crossing. You can also see something like this in TWEWY complete with their own version of shops.
(Image by chensiyuan via Wikimedia Commons)



Hachiko Statue in front of the Shibuya Station.

Tokyo Tower

And the last landmark that I will feature in this post is the famous Tokyo Tower.  It is the most common landmark in media that tells the audience that it is set in Tokyo. I have seen it partially destroyed by the war in Code Geass. It is where Sakura captured the Dream Card in Cardcaptor Sakura. It is where the Conan tried to catch the bad guys in Detective Conan and the Raven Chaser movie. And when I ask Google for other animes that featured it, there are actually a number of them. Tokyo Tower which has a height of 332.6 m and modeled after the Paris’ Eiffel Tower was once the highest structure in Japan before the Tokyo Skytree was finished. It is built as a communications and observation tower. Today, you can go up the Main Observatory which is 150m from the ground or go further to the Special Observatory which is 250m high. Each observatory though has each own entrance fees which you can check in their website.


Tokyo Tower. Eiffel Tower is to France while Tokyo Tower is to Japan.

So, what are you waiting for? Try to visit these places and imagine being a part of these games/animes.

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