Welcome to the Quadratum, a world closely resembling our reality. It’s the main setting advertised in the Kingdom Hearts 20th anniversary trailer and is also based on Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s most video game-friendly districts. Creator Tetsuya Nomura said he decided on Shibuya as a setting to add a touch of realism to Kingdom Hearts 4. Little did he know that it would be realistic enough for fans to estimate exactly how much Sora’s apartment would cost. Here’s how much one could expect to rent the Keyblade wielder’s crib in modern Tokyo.
Aitai Kimochi, a business owner and fan translator based in Japan, first pointed out how the area around Sora’s apartment looked similar to South Aoyama. Aoyama is between Tokyo districts Shibuya and Akasaka, so it makes sense as an apartment for someone commuting to Shibuya. Aitai Kimochi’s suspicions were proven correct after Kingdom Hearts creator Tetsuya Nomura spoke with Famitsu about the setting for Kingdom Hearts 4. It’s indeed based on Aoyama, which is wild considering that it’s one of the most expensive neighborhoods.
“I can't believe Sora lives in fucking Aoyama in Tokyo, which is one of the most expensive residential areas,” Aitai Kimochi tweeted. “The building in the distance looks like Shibuya Stream, and I am fairly certain the park you see is Aoyama Gakuin. Also, this is probably his apartment.”
She linked to an apartment listing that looked just like the one from the Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer. In her post, she also included a photo of the actual room beside Sora’s. There isn’t much to go off of in the trailer, as it only shows certain angles of the room. However, the photo Aitai Kimochi includes accurately represents the floor space seen when Sora looks out at his balcony.
“I found the actual apartment that Sora's place is potentially modeled after,” Aitai Kimochi wrote. “It's 245,000 yen a month and located in Aoyama.” That’s about $2,000.
That’s not including utilities and furniture. The apartment appears already furnished, though some commenters have pointed out that it’s very sparsely furnished. Nomura told Famitsu that the team is likely to change the interior design of the apartment before release.
Aitai Kimochi also noted that it looks like Sora lives in a 1LDK, a one-bedroom apartment with a “Living, Dining, and Kitchen” area. It’s a typical Japanese housing term next to 1K, 1DK, and others that describe a one-bedroom apartment with letters indicating different features. It’s the equivalent of a one-bedroom apartment in the United States, just with more specifics.
Nomura never confirmed the exact building his team used as an inspiration for Sora’s room. However, considering the location of the apartment and the confirmation about the general area, this should serve as a reasonable estimate for how much Sora’s apartment would cost in real life. Now, how reasonable is it for us to actually rent it?
It costs 245,000 yen a month to live in Sora’s apartment. According to Gaijin Pot, the average rent for a 1LDK in Tokyo varies between 70,000 and 200,000- Sora’s rent would exceed all of them. Aoyama is located in the Minato ward, which accurately represents his apartment with an average price of 246,000 yen a month.
Of course, it still isn’t as expensive as renting in a city of a similar size in the United States. It’s way more expensive to live in New York City. According to Rent Hop, the average 1 bedroom in NYC can easily cost more than $3,000 a month — $1,000 more than what it would cost to rent Sora’s apartment. Even an average studio costs $2,500 or more. San Fransisco isn’t any better. Tokyo’s apartment costs are better compared to a more affordable American city like Pittsburgh, where only the most expensive apartments would cost over $2,000 a month.
Thankfully, Sora probably doesn’t need to pay rent. Even if he does, he can probably kill a bunch of Heartless for the munny he needs for that city life.
Kingdom Hearts 4 is currently in development.
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