“Tales of Xillia 2”: Bridge of Unity (the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham, England)

This will be sort of a mini-post because this is just a small place and not a city or detailed structure like the others I write about. Also, it was hard to find many pictures ūüėõ

So, for a short introduction, the Bridge of Unity connects two lands in the video Tales of Xillia 2 (you may remember that I wrote about Kanbalar/Prague for the first Xillia). The Bridge of Unity is a covered area full of shops.


Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.49.58 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.51.05 AM

(Wow, on a side note, I just accidentally how to insert more than one picture at once and side by side…)

The Great Western Arcade is a shopping arcade in Birmingham built in 1875-6, so it has a bit of a history. It’s located more specifically in Birmingham city centre, which is the business and shopping district of Birmingham. As this and the Bridge of Unity are both shopping arcades, I thought the two looked rather¬†similar despite the coloring.

PM3072290BRITAIN-PHIL-IN Great_Western_Arcade_inside


“Final Fantasy X”: Zanarkand (Samarkand, Uzbekistan)

According to the Final Fantasy team, one major source of inspiration for Zanarkand was Samarkand (in more ways than just the name, of course)!

First, I’ll show you Zanarkand and then Samarkand:


rovine di zanarkand


(Zanarkand in all its HD about to be destroyed majesty)

And now for Samarkand!



So here we have the domes and the large square panels that we see in Zanarkand. Plus, there’s a hint of the cerulean that shows up more “futuristically” in Zanarkand as lights.



So…it’s far sandier and more beige than the Zanarkand we know and love, but what it has that the game’s city lacks is intricate artwork and design:


I see Zanarkand as Samarkand layered on, say, Dubai:


This came from the top of my head, so there might be somewhere more fitting, but I’d say Dubai suits Zanarkand pretty well!

‘Till next time~!

“Howl’s Moving Castle”: Market Chipping (Ribeauvill√©, France)

Yes, my people, I have returned after a two-month absence! D:

Anyway, we return to another colorful town in France–Ribeauvill√©, this time! Hayao Miyazaki, himself, was said to be inspired by it, so¬†we know the comparisons are spot-on this time.

So, to refresh fans of the movie or to introduce those of you who haven’t seen it, here is the protagonist’s hometown (where the fateful encounter with the wizard, Howl, begins!), Market Chipping:



concept art, I believe?:


Now, for Ribeauvillé!

(a smattering of pictures in no particular order)


(from Wikipedia)

ribeauville-riquewihr.com (market chipping)






“Final Fantasy VII”: Wutai (Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Temple in Hiraizumi, Japan) and Earth’s Wutai Mountain

Long name, right? Before I go into Wutai and the temple, I just want to note that Hiraizumi is known for its historical sites, so¬†it would be so interesting to visit one day! Hopefully, I will be in Japan next year as planned…*crosses fingers*)

Ironically, I thought the real Wutai Mountain had less resemblance because it’s been so modernized in some parts. Well, I’ll put both places and you can be the judge.

First, Wutai in all it’s 1997 glory:





Now for the temple:










And now for the real life Wutai Mountain:





(both from chinatourguide.com)

To be honest, it was a bit hard to find big pictures, so hopefully the resolution turns out well…


Two posts back to back…I usually don’t find resemblances so close to each other!

Well, until next time~~ mata postsuru hi made…..


“Final Fantasy VIII”: Winhill~(Bibury, England)

Every time I see a little European village, I always look to see if there’s some resemblance to Winhill–which is pretty hard, but one can only hope! The hardest thing about it is the cool town centre where the houses suddenly become German-looking.

HOWEVER! I saw one picture of the Gloucester village Bibury and immediately thought of the town beyond the bridge!

I’ll just go to posting pictures now:

Here’s Winhill:


Bibury is actually prettier in this case (usually animation has more color):


Also, the sad lonely areas:



(credit to some British tour guide named Rob, but actually his photos are pretty awesome XD

his site: http://letstourengland.com/)

Bibury doesn’t quite have the same bridge:


(heh heh knowing Kiros, it’ll be a very snarky question! I love those two haha Also, is Laguna anyone else’s favorite character? Because he is definitely mine!)

Anyway, Bibury has its own lovely bridge!


(credit to Justin Albrecht)

Lastly, even though Bibury doesn’t have that cool town square, maybe you could google Bibury Court Hotel and see for yourself if they resemble each other (I was debating about it).

That’s all I have about Bibury and Winhill, so…

Ciao for now~~

“Up”: Paradise Falls~(Mount Roraima, Venezuela)

Everyone’s favorite pixar movie! (Oh no what debates have I sparked?)

I recently stumbled upon the fact that the Paradise Falls and the mountain it’s on was actually inspired by a real place in Venezuela on the Brazil and Guayana border called Mount Roraima (as the title says).

Here is Disney Pixar’s¬†“Up” version:


I was actually debating whether it was the real thing or not because sometimes animation can be tricky XD

Now…for the real place:


Mount Roraima in Venezuela

It sort of looks like a floating island from this angle…

(found on http://tekgnostics.blogspot.com/

Note: Ah…finding the original photographer is always so hard because no one credits them so I just assume this picture can be used anywhere.)

Another “Up” comparison:


and for some flora focus like seen in the background of the movie stills:


(found on latinamericanfocus.com)

Well, there is a sampling of some of the incredible scenes this mountain has to offer! I recommend looking up more about it because there were some shots I wanted to post, but they didn’t really fit in with “Up”–plus it’s pretty easy to find in a Google search…

Well, my fellow adventurers, we found Paradise Falls! Now how to get our houses afloat and steer all the way there is the next quest! XD

‘Til next time~

“Doctor Who”: Gallifrey~(La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain)

Can I just say how perfectly this turned out? Solely because of this:





I stumbled upon this place accidentally (as I tend to do) and immediately thought of Doctor Who!

Before I go into detail, I’ll show you the exterior of both places:



La Sagrada Familia:



Replace the blue sky with orange, add a dome, etc. and I think the two looks rather similar! The Sagrada Familia is an unfinished church whose construction started¬†in 1882 by Antoni Gaud√≠. Unfortunately, he could never finish due to his untimely death in 1926…

Luckily for the church, nine other architects resumed his work and it’s scheduled to finish in 2026!

It was actually the interior that made me think of Doctor Who… It sort of reminded me of the Tardis, actually.


I really hope the quality comes out right…



(ceiling found on wikimedia)


Ah, there are so many more lovely pictures to be found, but I shall leave that up to your googling prowess, dear readers~

See you next time!

“Kingdom Hearts”: End of the World~(J√∂kuls√°rl√≥n, Iceland)

Yes, Iceland again…but that place is known for being magical, plus I tend to stumble upon these fantasy-like places rather than actively look for them (lucky me ^.^)!

So, here we have the End of the World (though I couldn’t find the picture I wanted):


And while that purple hue and strange rock formation is a bit difficult to create in the real world, the glacier I found came pretty close in my opinion…

(edit: I’m too pauvo to buy licensing to use other peoples’ photos (sorry), but I found credit for the original photo! Check out Gen Vagula’s stuff:¬†https://500px.com/photo/90170863/j%C3%B6kuls%C3%A1rl%C3%B3n-iceland-by-gen-vagula

Now for a photo that I don’t think will be stealing if I put it up:


Also, less of a resemblance but still beautiful nonetheless….:


(Brian Rueb photography)

My greatest wishes that these pictures come in the quality I am viewing them in…

The horizon in both these photos is what made me think of the End of the World as well as the glaciers drifting on the water in isolation leading to this horizon. Now if only I could find a place that matched the rest of the world…that would definitely be something to see XD

“Legend of Zelda”: Zora Domain~(Yucat√°n, Mexico)

Before I start writing…



Cenotes such as these dated back to the Mayan times. They are natural sinkholes filled with water from the eternally rainy Yucat√°n area, once the Mayans’ main water source and also used for human sacrifice (and those two things really do not mix, in my opinion??).

Okay, so enough education!

I thought it looked rather similar to the Zora Domain in Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time.

Béla Somlai

(credit to Béla Somlai)

And now, the official entrance in Ocarina of Time:


The graphics are so cute…

Aaand in Twilight Princess:


And more pictures of the cenote!


also coolcrack



“Spirited Away” (Jiufen, Taiwan)

(wow…I haven’t written since late August?)

I actually found a few blog posts comparing Jiufen to the world of “Spirited Away” and it’s hard not to see the resemblance.

For example:


This really reminded me of the infamous bath house! The traditional swoopy roofs with the red and green being the primary colors used for the design. Also, it’s right by the water just like in Spirited Away. This building, however, seems to be a temple rather than a bath house?

Here is the one from Spirited Away:


I wish I could see the body of the temple instead of just the top view, but alas…

Moving on to the town, itself–here is Jiufen:



(You have no idea how badly I want to go to this place! D:)

Now, here is the town in Spirited Away~








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