Friday, December 29, 2023

Photo Report: Visiting Shenmue's New Yokosuka Harbor in Real Life (Nagaura Port)

Nagaura Port is the real-life harbor on which New Yokosuka Harbor in the first game is modeled. True to its depiction in the game, it can be reached by a short ride from the bus stop near Dobuita Street. This post contains photos that highlight how close certain features of the real-life location still match today with the game's 1986 version.

Current-day Nagaura Port

Ryo admires New Yokosuka Harbor

A satellite image of the harbor as used by the project team during the development of the game was displayed during the 1999 NHK "Making of" TV documentary.

For comparison, a recent satellite view:

Several factories and warehouses line the water's edge, including a very familiar-looking security office. (There weren't any forklifts to be seen, at least on the day of this visit).

The security office even featured a similar fluorescent light tube above the window

You can even buy a can of coffee for someone who's not "gainfully employed".

"Hey you! This is a prohibited area!"

Where to apply for a job on the forklifts...

Fishing at the harbor

View across the harbor towards the MSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) base - the US naval base is located close to Dobuita Street.

These concrete pillars used to support the large gantry crane that was a model for the one in the game (demolished in 2013)

Harbor topologies: game vs real life

Fan-made Enhancements! 

User Diego y movidas on Twitter / X (link to account) has enhanced some of the photos by overlaying with in-game models. They suit the backgrounds perfectly. The last even has an appropriate subtitle from the security guard!

How To Get There

Verny Park, conveniently located across the main road from Dobuita Street, also offers a superb harbor view with a similar atmosphere. However if wanting to experience the actual location behind the game's New Yokosuka Harbor, including a visit to Nagaura Port as part of a Shenmue pilgrimage to Yokosuka if time allows will add an additional memorable layer to the experience.

Nagaura Port can be reached by the #31 bus from the Honcho 1 Chome bus-stop on the main road near Dobuita Street (just as Ryo does in the game), and alighting at the Hokubu Kyōsai Byōin bus-stop. The fare is 280 yen for the 15-minute journey, a jump up from the fare of 160 yen Ryo pays in the game.

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