A recent interview with BOTW developers revealed that during development, Kakariko Village was going to be at the position where Korok Forest is today and vice versa.
This later changed as the developers felt uncomfortable with the village and forest’s positions. After all, having Kakariko Village just behind Hyrule Castle wouldn’t make sense, since the player heads to the village early in the game.
The truth is, since the beginning of development to the middle of development, Kakariko Village was at where Korok Forest currently is, and Korok Forest was at where Kakariko Village currently is. In the final product, we swapped their positions.
The terrain leader suggested to change positions of (Kakariko) Village, and since everyone agreed, the suggestion landed on the director’s desk.
As time was precious, we were all prepared for the director to refuse our suggestion. Surprisingly, he agreed with us and said ‘Definitely, there are many good things that could come out of (changing their positions), so if the terrain designers agree with this, let’s do it.
If I think back at my personal times playing through the game I couldn’t even now picture the initial positions working out. Which seems to concur with the changes / feelings the devs had. So kudos guys, great job!