Sunday, December 10, 2017

Where is Amihama in Real Life? (Part 2/2) | Route Information Signs



In Part One of this topic, we considered which part of Yokosuka is most likely to have served as the real-life inspiration for the harbor and warehouse area that Ryo visits in Shenmue. The placenames used in the game - New Yokosuka Harbor in Amihama - do not exist in real life.

Based on the clues gathered, the location that appeared to be the best fit was an area of the harbor that lies 15-20 minutes away from Dobuita, called Nagaura Port.

Related link:
In Part One, we identified this area as a candidate for Amihama in real life: Nagura Port
In Part One, we identified this area as a candidate for Amihama in real life: Nagura Port
But in fact, we have not yet exhausted all possible sources of clues.

In this second article, we will carry out an in-depth analysis of the road signboards that Ryo passes on his motorbike on the way to the harbor.

We will try plotting the placenames shown onto a real map (if they exist), to see if this helps to provide a confirmation of Amihama's location.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Cédric Plays Shenmue III: "So Cool" | Photo

Shenmue III co-producer Cédric Biscay has met with Yu Suzuki at the development studio in Tokyo, and tried out the latest build of Shenmue III, with an upbeat verdict.

In his tweet he describes the game as "so cool" and has attached a photo of Yu Suzuki posing at his desk with a PS4 controller in his hands, smiling cheerfully.


The tweet message reads:
"We are playing The game and it is so cool ! #Shenmue3"
It is heart-warming to see Yu showing a relaxed and confident face, in what must be a hectic development period for the game.

Also posted was a group photo:

Group photo (from left: executive producer Harry Morishita, creator Yu Suzuki, co-producer Cédric Biscay).
Group photo (from left: executive producer Harry Morishita, creator Yu Suzuki, co-producer Cédric Biscay).
The tweet reads:
"What a pleasure to play the latest version of #Shenmue3 today.
Yes we will really have the game we are all waiting for ! @YSNET_Inc @yu_suzuki_jp  @ShibuyaProd"
Many thanks to Cédric on behalf of fans and backers for this brief, but uplifting, informal update.

Source: tweet #1, tweet #2

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Download the Shenmue "Sacred Spot" Guide Map (Japanese)

The Shenmue "Sacred Spot" Guide Map that was recently announced as a collaboration between Yokosuka City and SEGA, is now available.

Related post:

This initial version is in Japanese, and according to the CocoYoko tourism page, an English version is in progress (no estimate of its completion is given). The length of the print run for the Shenmue map is not given.

The guide is in the form of a double-sided, folded pamphlet, densely packed with maps, illustrations, photos and shop information, all strongly tied to Shenmue.

Shenmue "Sacred Spot" Guide Map: first side

Shenmue "Sacred Spot" Guide Map: second side

Friday, December 1, 2017

Shenmue "Sacred Spot" Guide Map Announced | Translation

Surprise - Sega is promoting Shenmue again!

The association for the promotion of tourism in Yokosuka (the Yokosuka Action Promotion Committee) has miraculously managed to gain SEGA's cooperation to produce a Shenmue-themed tourist booklet entitled Shenmue Chapter One: Yokosuka 'Sacred Spot' Guide Map.

It covers points of interest around the area in which Shenmue I was set, and will become available at 10:00 am on Sunday, December 3rd (JST), in both physical and online form.

The cover of the Shenmue Chapter One: Yokosuka 'Sacred Spot' Guide Map.
The cover of the Shenmue Chapter One: Yokosuka 'Sacred Spot' Guide Map.
A short description about the guide map has been published on the association's site that is currently in Japanese only, so below is a translation of the text into English. Enjoy!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Where is Amihama in Real Life? (Part 1/2)

Where is Amihama in Real Life? (Part 1/2)


During the later part of Shenmue, Ryo seeks "gainful employment" at the New Yokosuka Harbor, in an area of Yokosuka called Amihama.

In fact, both of these placenames - Amihama and New Yokosuka Harbor - do not exist in real life. However with some detective work, we can investigate where the game's harbor would be positioned on a real-life map if it did exist.

The approach will be to gather as much information as possible from within the game (as well as any clues found elsewhere) and through a process of elimination track down the secret identity of Amihama.

From Dobuita to the Harborside


As fans who have visited Yokosuka in real life will know, the harborside can actually be accessed in a short 5-10 minute walk from Dobuita Street (to Verny Park). The US Naval Base at Yokosuka is also situated nearby:

Aerial view of Yokosuka. The harbor can be reached by a short walk (marked in orange) from Dobuita Street.
Aerial view of Yokosuka. The harbor can be reached by a short walk (marked in orange) from Dobuita Street.
While the location of the US Navy Base makes it natural for sailors to feature in the plot of first Shenmue game, the ease of foot access to the harbor in real life may seem to contradict its portrayal in the game, where Ryo must take a bus or other form of transport.

The need for transport in the game could be explained away as a contrivance introduced for plot purposes, but a more compelling possibility exists: that New Yokosuka Harbor is based on an entirely separate part of the harbor.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ryo spotted joy-riding through Dobuita

On a recent visit to Dobuita Street, this crazy biker almost ran me over!

Ryo spotted joy-riding through Dobuita

(The photo was taken at the quieter end of Dobuita Street.)

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Road to Amihama | Shenmue Realism


The Road to Amihama | Shenmue Realism

Amihama is the fictional name of the area in Shenmue where the harbor is located; it is where Ryo finds Warehouse #8, Mad Angels and learns how to operate a forklift, among other things.

The last post delved into the bus service in the game that takes Ryo to the harbor, such as where the bus-stop is located in real life and the similarities in signage with the actual bus system in Yokosuka.

Related post:

Later in the game, Ryo borrows a motorcycle and rides to the same destination, this time under player control in a high-speed dash to the harbor. Unlike with the bus ride, which does not show any scenery, with the motorcycle ride we get to see the entire stretch of road.

In this post we'll compare the appearance of the roads and urban landscape Ryo passes through, to actual roads in the Yokosuka area. Consistent with the Shenmue approach, Yu Suzuki and team have incorporated many recognizable features that are representative of the area.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Bus to Amihama | Shenmue Realism

The Bus to Amihama


In the first Shenmue game, Ryo makes good use of the bus service that runs past the end of Dobuita Street, to take him over to the harbor area at Amihama. Although it was created for the game, as with most things in Shenmue it is grounded in realism.

In this post we'll run through the information the game gives us about it, and see how closely it matches up to the present day.

Location of the Dobuita Bus Stop


To start off, below is a photograph I took recently in the vicinity of the real Dobuita Street, at a corner intersecting with the main road - called the Yokosuka Highway - running nearby.

Although this corner is not situated at the actual end of Dobuita Street, the location's similarity with a certain tobacco shop at the end of Dobuita Street in the game can be readily appreciated.

I expect to see Hirata-san coming out through the door at any minute.
I expect to see Hirata-san tottering out through the door at any minute.