Geographic Location in Japan

Hidamari Sketch takes place in a fictional area of Japan’s Kanto region, near Tokyo and Yokohama. Specifically, the city of Midori (meaning “green”). The Hidamari Apartments themselves are located in a subdivision of Midori called Asagi (meaning “light blue”). The -chou (also spelled cho or chō) suffix designates a district about the size of a town. In Hidamari’s case, it’s hard to tell exactly how much land this covers. As for the high school, Yamabuki (which can mean “golden yellow” like the flower that shares its name) appears to be the name of the institution itself, unrelated to its location. Many proper nouns in the series are based on a color theme.

There is a real Midori City located in the Gunma Prefecture, but the name is only coincidental because is too far inland compared to what we’re shown. The chapter starting at V6P075 was the first concrete evidence stating the region as Kanto thanks to the map and weather report.

Reporting from in front of ___原 Station.

According to Miyako [S2EP13], her address is as follows, in the Japanese order of increasing location specificity:

Midori-shi
Asagi-chou 4-16
Hidamari-sou
Room 202

Japanese:
緑市浅葱町4-16
ひだまり荘202号

The Yen Press English translation Americanized the address as 4-16 Asagi Street, Midori City. As noted above, Asagi’s size would be more comparable to a town rather than a residential street.

This address is missing the highest level of hierarchy, the metropolis or prefecture, so we can’t pin it on a map without that. Asagi is named a second time in the manga, as seen below [V6P88, Japanese edition only]. For unknown reasons, the official English language editions chose to edit out references to Hidamari’s fictional localities and insert references to Tokyo in place of phrases like “this area”. I find this not only unnecessary but pretty dishonest. Do they change these details to make it “easier to understand”?

That translation as well as many fans assume that Midori is a suburb of Tokyo, but contrary to popular belief, this has never been explicitly stated within the series. There are a few hints to its relative location, however.

V3P106 reveals that Miyako’s home is 1126.7km from Hidamari Apartments (prefecture unspecified in the manga but confirmed in the anime as Fukuoka), and Yuno’s mother says that it’s a three-hour train ride from Yamanashi to Yamabuki High School [S2EP01]. The city of Yokohama is in its proximity, as Yuno’s parents were there the day before they came to visit her in the afternoon [S2EP10].

In spring, Yuno and Miyako watch a report on television about the cherry blossom viewing season [2013-10]. A graphic on the screen says “Kanagawa”. It is not clear whether they were watching local news or not, but Kanagawa prefecture would also match the hints we’ve been given. In fact, Yokohama has a ward named Midori-ku, which neighbors the ward of Aoba-ku. Hidamari seems to have parodied this ward’s Aobadai Station as Aobano Station [2014-04].

There’s also the matter of Chika’s friend. In the anime [S1EP12] when she leaves to meet her friend, she asks how close she is to Maihama Station, the one in real life being right near Tokyo DisneySea. In the manga [2012-06], she leaves for a similar reason: to go stay overnight with a friend in Tokyo. In any case, it seems pretty easy for the girls to travel across the region from Midori.

Time

The setting can be simply presumed as “present day” and not restricted to one particular calendar year. Approximately 2 years have passed in the story since the manga’s launch in 2004. It is currently April of Yuno’s third school year, which will end when the story reaches March again.

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