This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.



A fan-made HD remaster of the Dobuita area.

Yokosuka is where it all started — where Ryo would nonchalantly ask strangers about Chinese people and sailors, where Nozomi and the rest of Ryo’s school friends lived, and where, on the day that snow turned to rain, Iwao Hazuki was murdered.

Yokosuka is just under 90 minutes south of Tokyo. Set along the coast, it harbors an U.S. naval base, some pretty good burger joints, and some of the most colorful jackets in Japan. Traveling there, I felt slightly odd. As the large city of Tokyo and I became farther separated, the crowds on the train started to thin. It became obvious that I was heading to somewhere that no tourist would travel. As I stepped off the train, however, I was greeted by the sight of a group of Westerners. “Are they here for the holy Shenmue pilgrimage as well?” I asked myself.

It turned out they weren’t. As you may expect, due to the naval base, there are many American visitors to this largely out-of-the-way town. This sets the scene for Shenmue, where if you look closely around the harbor in the game, you will see signs that indicate this. Dobuita Street, where Ryo spends his days invading the personal space of pedestrians and playing in the arcade, caters to this American crowd. Many shops accept U.S. dollars, and, as previously mentioned, burger bars (and regular bars) advertize themselves to this source of revenue.

Out of all the locations I visited, game director Yu Suzuki and his team at Sega really captured the feel of Yokosuka. It isn’t a brick-for-brick re-creation, but it gives you the sense of what living in this town is like. So, squeezed between the sea and a highly residential area, set atop the hills and intermingled with the wood life, is Dobuita Street.

Yes, that is a flag, decorated with a naval ship, the American flag, and a sailor holding a burger.