Vermilion City is an important place in the Kanto region. It’s the major port connecting to other places in the Pokémon World including Johto and the Sevii Islands, not to mention it’s American Gym Leader (although it’s bee suggested he’s from the Unova region after all) and the world cruise ship S.S. Anne calling in at the harbour. But how does this compare to it’s real-life counterpart Yokohama.
Well truly there’s one major similarity between the two, they are both the major ports to their country. Yokohama used to be a tiny fishing village until the 19th century Meiji restoration. Now Japan no longer isolated itself from the rest of the world, Yokohama boomed fast. It became the passageway to America with cruise ships like the Hikawa Maru (now a cultural icon of the city) and the gateway for foreign influences and ideas. It headed the Japanese ship building industry for many years and still today acts as the major port for the capital. Japan’s maritime history is widely celebrated in Yokohama, whether it’s the Hikawa Maru or Marine Tower acting as icons or the Minato Mirai infusing aspects of the old dock yard into its futuristic style, or the views of the harbour, it’s everywhere in the city. However this is perhaps where the similarities end.
Yokohama is far greater in scale than Vermilion City would ever hope to be. In Vermilion, aside from the harbour, the gym and the fan club, there isn’t too much going on, pailing in comparison to the much grander Celadon and Saffron cities nearby. Whereas Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city, and one that had embraced a very modern and busy lifestyle. The Minato Mirai 21 district stands on reclaimed land where the old dock yards once stood. It is known as a futuristic district where huge skyscrapers and commercialisation reign supreme. Shopping centres, a huge exhibition hall, a range of museums and an outdoor theme park, “Cosmo World” are all part of its dazzling highlights. It’s a busy place and perhaps the only glimpses of Vermilion we see here are the bay it sits within and the amount of Electricity needed to run the place. It may be an unfair judgement, after all Celadon and Saffron are based on the biggest city in Japan, Tokyo, and so naturally they would be the bigger, exciting places, but Vermilion has always struck me as a reasonably peaceful city despite its busy harbour.
However despite this its clear Yokohama is the real-life Vermilion as both are equally important for their country’s thanks to their sea ports and their international influences. Regardless, it’s a truly recommendable place to visit in Japan, especially considering there’s a real Pokémon Centre inside the Landmark Tower!