Friday, April 1, 2022

Shenmue The Animation vs Real Life: Xuhe Hall

In Episode 3 of the Shenmue anime, the exterior of a restaurant called "Xuhe Hall" is shown in a short flashback scene in which Lan Di and his men shake information out of the unfortunate owner regarding the whereabouts of the mirrors.

In a previous post, we saw that the restaurant's name in the anime is a small Easter egg of sorts, with the Chinese characters in its name actually being a subset of those in the word "Yokosuka".

How about the appearance of the restaurant itself? Thanks to the sharp eyes of Kohji on Twitter, it has been identified as a real-life Chinese restaurant called Heichinrou in Yokohama's Chinatown. Features such as the bamboo, decorative statues, signboard and even the positioning of the menu boards all match closely.

Here is how the restaurant looks at a wider angle, showing other surrounding buildings in Chinatown:

Heichinrou is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Japan, with several branches throughout the country. The main Yokohama restaurant was founded as many as 130 years ago.

A New Pilgrimage Spot Is Born... But Not For Much Longer?

It seems that Lan Di and his men scared the owners to such an extent that they have made the decision to move out from the present building! A recent notice on the restaurant's homepage advises that the Yokohama Heichinrou will be closing on 15th May 2022 and will be reopening elsewhere. This is unfortunate news for Shenmue fans wanting to visit the restaurant at its original location as part of their Shenmue pilgrimage on a future visit. If you living in Japan and able to make a visit to Yokohama, now would be a great chance to head along before it closes.

Update 15th May, 2022: plans regarding a potential reopening have not yet been announced.

Other Shenmue The Animation vs Real Life comparisons:

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