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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | Movie XY 01

"The Location Scouting Report" (ロケハンレポート) is a series of articles posted on the movie's official website that detail the production team's location scouting trip in Canada.  The trip seems to have taken place between October 10th, 2013 and October 14th, 2013.

Blog Post Title
Date Posted
"The Pokemon Movies Enter a New Dimension!"
March 8th, 2014
"Arriving in the Capital City Ottawa"
March 15th, 2014
"Departure in the Morning Fog"
March 22nd, 2014
"To the Rideau Heritage Route"
March 28th, 2014
"Canals and Sluice Gates"
April 4th, 2014
"Merrickville, Jewel of the Rideau"
April 11th, 2014
"The Thousand Islands"
April 18th, 2014
"Night Cruise"
April 25th, 2014
"To the St. Lawrence Market!"
May 2nd, 2014
"Pocket Monsters X & Y Go on Sale!"
(『ポケットモンスター X・Y』発売!)
May 9th, 2014
"Niagra-on-the-Lake and the Clock Tower"
May 16th, 2014
"To Niagra Falls!"
May 23rd, 2014
"Stratford's Chocolatier"
May 30th, 2014
"To Flowerpot Island and The Forest"
June 6th, 2014
"The Land of Canada"
June 13th, 2014
"Wrapping Up the Trip"
June 20th, 2014

Episode One:  The Pokemon Movies Enter a New Dimension!

Originally posted on March 8th, 2014

The Pokemon movies head into a new dimension!

The seventeenth Pokemon movie The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie is a film in the new "Pocket Monsters" animated series and uses the brand new "Pokemon The Movie XY" heading1.


We actually haven't done any location scouting for the Pokemon movies at all since the Victini and the Black Hero Zekrom / White Hero Reshiram movies three years ago.  The country that Director Yuyama chose for this year's movie is Canada.  We sought out places we thought would be good for Yveltal to sleep in, Xerneas to lurk around in, and for Diancie to travel around in. 

Director Yuyama and his location scouting team started their six-day long journey by hopping on an airplane and leaving for Canada.

1Every movie up until this film had used Gekijouban Poketto Monsutaa (劇場版ポケットモンスター), or "Pocket Monsters The Movie," at the beginning of the movies' titles.

Episode Two:  Arriving in the Capital City Ottawa

Originally posted on March 15th, 2014

The first place the location scouting team arrived at was Ottawa, the capital city of Canada.  We arrived at 2:00pm local time.  Still tired from our approximately fifteen hour flight, we hurried over to our first destination, Confederation Square.

If you walk through the square and look up at the giant monument made out of white granite you can see a huge and graceful Gothic-style building.  This is the Canadian Parliament, the symbol of Ottawa.

Confederation Square
Museum Tickets

There are a lot of other old architectural structures in this district such as Rideau Hall and the Cathedral Basilica of Notre Dame that create a clean and beautiful city.  It's the center of the government and therefore has a stiff air about it but seeing ticket stubs for the art museum across the street plastered on a nearby traffic light helped calm us down.

And that's how our first day in Canada went.

Episode Three:  Departure in the Morning Fog

Originally posted on March 22nd, 2014

It's our second day of location scouting.  Our trip is kicking into high gear!

Straight road
Autumn leaves
Rideau Canal

We at breakfast at 7:00 and, after checking out, left the hotel at 8:00.  That morning, the entire city was covered in a thick blanket of fog that obstructed our view of the scenery.  You can see foggy mornings like this a lot from November to December.  Our bus drove through this fog along a straight road that led into the mountains.

Sometimes the fog would let up and we'd be able to see the beautiful yellow and red leaves of the trees in the forest.  As we looked at the red maple leaves similar to the ones that adorn the Canadian flag on this beautiful autumn day we arrived at our first destination of the day, the Rideau Canal.

Episode Four "To the Rideau Heritage Route"

Originally posted on March 28th, 2014

The first stop on our second day was the Rideau Canal.

Rideau Canal
Ichabod Crane
Old building

It is a very long canal that's 202 km long and goes from the capital city of Ottawa all the way down to the city of Kingston at the head of Lake Ontario.  In 2007 it was recognized as a World Heritage Site for being the oldest canal in North America.  Old towns left over from when the canal was being built in the 19th century dot the region along the canal in an area known as the Rideau Heritage Route.

We wanted to hurry off the bus and start exploring the area around the canal but it was very cold!  We had heard that the mornings and nights in Canada were chilly this time of year but we weren't prepared for how cold it really was.

Episode Five "Canals and Sluice Gates"

Originally posted on April 4th, 2014

The location scouting team is exploring the area along the Rideau Canal known as the Rideau Heritage Route.

Rotating Bridge

Around the canal are a bunch of sluice gates.  There's a height difference of about 25 meters between the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River and so a number of complicated sluices have been built to help regulate the water level in the area.  We had a boat to catch that was leaving at an exact time and so we only had time to get a quick look at three of the sluice gates in the area.  What's this!?  The bridge that goes over the canal is rotating!  And these bridges can be moved to let boats pass underneath!?  While this is happening, traffic comes to a stop and any car that wants to cross has to wait for about ten minutes before doing so.  We felt very lucky to be able to to stumble upon something like this that apparently only happens once a day.

Episode Six "Merrickville, Jewel of the Rideau"

Originally posted on April 11th, 2014

The location scouting team continues by going to the municipality of Merrickville-Wolford, also known as "Jewel of the Rideau." 

Unique buildings

We went into the village streets thinking there would be a lot there for us to use in the movie and saw rows and rows of colorful buildings and picturesque locations no matter where we looked.  Canadian Thanksgiving was coming up soon and so a bunch of the shops had decorations up in their display windows.  The entire village was filled with cute little general stores!  It seems like Director Yuyama and the Art Director Mr. Akiba went to a book shop in the city and bought reference materials.  Will scenery like the ones we saw in this village show up in the movie as well?

Episode Seven "The Thousand Islands"

Originally posted on April 18th, 2014

After having lunch at this Italian place along the highway we continued onwards to the Skydeck Tower so we could get a good view of the Thousand Islands.

St. Lawrence River
1000 Islands Tower

The Thousand Islands are a chain of over 1500 islands that dot the area going from Lake Ottawa down to the St. Lawrence River.  We can view all this from 400 ft. (around 20 meters) on the Skydeck Tower.  After the 40 second elevator ride to the top of the tower the door opens and you're greeted with this beautiful, dream-like view that stretches out as far as the eye can see.  Director Yuyama was particularly impressed with the lightly cloudy skies at the time.


Episode Eight "Night Cruise"

Originally posted on April 25th, 2014

Our team checked in to our hotel at the end of our second day of location scouting.  After that, we went to the port town of Rockport.

Night view
Happy Birthday!

We enjoyed cruising around at night and eating dinner while looking out at the very same Thousand Islands we had viewed from atop the skydeck earlier that day.  There was an elderly couple on the boat we were on who was celebrating their birthday that night and so everybody sang together as the two of them started slow dancing.  As the music shifted from people playing and singing to the oldies to some more moody music, we could all enjoy the beautiful night view and see the light of the moon reflected off the water as the night took on a romantic tone.


Episode Nine "To the St. Lawrence Market!"

Originally posted on May 2nd, 2014

For our third day of Location Scouting we traveled three hours to Toronto, the largest city in Canada.  As we drove along the long, straight road leading out of the peaceful countryside we started to see the rows and rows of skyscrapers that make up the city's skyline.

St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market

The first item on our itinerary for the day was the St. Lawrence Market.  This lively marketplace, situated among old stone buildings, is one of Toronto's famous tourist spots.  As we strolled through the neighborhood we came across a Canadian McDonald's.  In the middle of the well known M mark was a small drawing of a maple leaf, the symbol of Canada.  We saw a lot of these maple leaf marks added in like that on various shops' logos and signs all throughout Canada.


Episode Ten "Pocket Monsters X & Y Go on Sale!"

Originally posted on May 9th, 2014

It's our third day of location scouting.

Best Buy
Pokemon X & Y
He got a 2DS!

That day was the release date of the games that all of you know, Pocket Monsters X & YPocket Monsters X & Y was given a simultaneous worldwide release (some regions excluded) so of course the game went on sale here in Canada as well!  Our group went to the Toronto Eaton Center, a huge shopping center in Toronto to both observe the surroundings and to buy a copy of the game for ourselves.  We also wanted to get a "Nintendo 2DS," a system sold in some parts of North America.  When we entered the store we saw that they only had a few copies left!?  Luckily, director Yuyama was able to get himself a copy of Pocket Monsters Y and a Nintendo 2DS!  The location scouting team rushed to start playing the game!

Translation Notes:
The release date for Pocket Monsters X & Y was October 12th, 2013.  Since this was stated as being the third day of the team's location scouting trip we can deduce that their trip started on October 10th, 2013.

The Nintendo 2DS is not sold in Japan and is therefore something of a novelty to your average Japanese person.

Episode Eleven "Niagra-on-the-Lake and the Clock Tower"

Originally posted on May 16th, 2014

The Location Scouting Team was happy to get its hands on a copy of Pocket Monsters X & Y the day it went on sale at the Toronto Eaton Center.  After eating lunch, the team went on a stroll to its next destination, Niagra-on-the-Lake.

Clock Tower
Hat Shop

Niagra-on-the-Lake is a lakeside town near Ontario Lake, downstream from the famous Niagra Falls.  The town has both a landmark clock tower and lots of historic buildings from the 19th century for you to see.  In addition, there are a number of high-class villas and hotels, rows of fashionable boutiques, and lots of famous tourist spots.  It feels a lot like the Japanese town of Karuizawa.

We remembered how terribly chilly it got in the morning and evening the day before so we were ready this time with all our winter gear only to have it be a sunny day with summer-like temperatures!  The director went into a hat shop during our stroll to find something to help him beat the heat and ended up buying a fancy indigo blue knit hunting cap.

Episode Twelve "To Niagra Falls!"

Originally posted on May 23rd, 2014

On the third night of our trip the location scouting team stayed at a hotel close to Niagra Falls.  On the fourth day, we headed out to the falls.

Pink ponchos
Niagra Falls
Niagra Falls close up

Unfortunately the weather was a little rainy that day.  We we worried about the weather and knew that we couldn't help but get a little wet but then we heard reports telling us that we'd get drenched by the time we got to falls!  Anyway, we started by joining a boat tour so that we'd be able to look directly up at the falls from the bottom.  The boat we took was called "The Maid of the Mist."  We set sail wearing these eye catching pink ponchos that they handed out to all of us.

Niagra Falls dumps 3,000 tons of water down a second!  As we got closer we could feel the crashing waves and the sprays of water.  As the boat was being tossed around by the water we started our work, doing everything we could to not drop our cameras or get them wet.


Episode Thirteen "Stratford's Chocolatier"

Originally posted on May 30th, 2014

After looking up from the bottom of Niagra Falls, the greatest waterfall in North America, we went on to look at the falls from above.  The intensity of the water up there is different from when you're looking at it from below and the dumping of the water is so magnificent that it's easy to lose track of time.  It's a scene you could spend all day looking at.

Niagra Falls from above

After we finished up at the falls we headed toward Stratford.  The city, in addition to being praised as one of the leaders of the theater in North America, is also home to a gourmet shopping area.  As we were walking the city streets along a beautiful park by the river we just happened to come across a charming little chocolatier.  One of the characters in the movie has this whole thing with chocolate going on and so we all felt lucky to have found this place.  When the well-built shop owner found out that we were Japanese and had come from Tokyo, he told us that he studied kendo and that his teacher was in Tokyo.  I guess that's just like stereotype people have of us?


The director ended up buying chocolate for everyone in the location scouting team as souvenirs.


Episode Fourteen "To Flowerpot Island and The Forest"

Originally posted in June 6th, 2014

It's the fifth day of our location scouting.  We checked out of our hotel and headed out to the Tobermory Harbour on foot.

Tobermory Harbour
Flowerpot Rocks

Our location scouting for the day was to start by going around the Bruce Peninsula.  We took a motor boat onto Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes and whose water was so clean that you could see right through to the bottom.  As we gazed down at a ship that had sunk at the end of the 19th century we headed toward our island destination.

In the northeast part of the lake, sitting on top of the Georgian Bay, is Flowerpot Island.  The island is named after the rocks on the shore shaped like flowerpots with tulips in them, one big and one small.  However, Director Yuyama's goal wasn't to look at these rocks, however; he was there to see the expansive woodlands that covered the island.  This is perfect for the "Allearth Forest" that will be in this movie. 

Flowerpot Woods
Flowerpot Woods

This day stood out as being a particularly productive day for the team.

Episode Fifteen "The Land of Canada"

Originally posted on June 13th, 2014

We spent the second half of our fifth day of location scouting on the long road back to Toronto.  And then, we entered the sixth and final day of location scouting.

CN Tower

This time, we were greeted by Harbourfront, a neighborhood facing Lake Ontario.  We headed toward the CN Tower in the cool, winter-like morning air as we saw seagulls fly about from the corners of our eyes.  The CN Tower is one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world after the Canton Tower in China or the Tokyo Skytree in Japan.  We could look out over the entire city of Toronto from the tower's observatory and it was almost like we were looking down over a summary of our location scouting trip.

CN Tower Observatory

The land of Canada stretched out as far as the eye can see.


The Final Episode "Wrapping Up the Trip"

Originally posted on June 20th, 2014

The opening of The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie and Pikachu, What is This the Key To? is finally near.  The location scouting took place in October 2013.

Goodbye Canada

During our location scouting trip the video game Pocket Monsters X & Y went on sale and a new animated series Pocket Monsters XY started airing on TV.  How will we convey the sights we saw and the feel of the places we visited in the first movie to take place in this new region?  I think watching the movie will be more enjoyable if you go into the theater with the memories of this location scouting report in the back of your head.

Summer is Pokemon!  The summer of Pokemon has begun! 

The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie and Pikachu, What is This the Key To? hits theaters Saturday, July 19th.




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