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Sakuragaoka is the residential side of the area. Set not a two-minute walk away from the bustling shops and minor dual carriageways is where the local residents live. As you roam, you will see many signs stating that U.S. Navy members are not allowed on these sites. This is where the Japanese live, and they don’t want their peace ruined.
And you can see why. Within moments, the noise of Dobuita is gone. I am surrounded by trees, houses, and hills. Again, the team at Sega did a marvelous job of re-creating and highlighting that difference between the two locations in Yokosuka. I always thought the high walls around the rendered Dobuita was the designers just setting boundaries, but it is in fact really like that!
Look familiar? This road which adjoins Dobuita Street now leads to a hospital.
I’m pretty sure this is where Enoki would hang out (Sakuragaoka Park).
Well, that is the end, folks. Thank you for joining me on my journey into fandom. If you read through all of this, then I would presume that you are as avid a fan of Shenmue as I am — or at least that you empathize with the passion that drove me to travel across the world just to get a different look at something I love. If that is the case, I would love to direct you to a couple of websites.
Firstly, TeamYu.net runs a Tweetathon every month to raise awareness of Shenmue and demand a sequel. Secondly, Shenmue Dojo is a resource for everything Shenmue, with a wealth of information and an active, passionate community.
Exploring these locations has been great as it’s rare that entertainment in this medium is set in real-life locations and represented so well. The Getaway on PlayStation 2 and the more recent ZombiU for Wii U have done an amazing job of re-creating my home town of London, and I would love for more games to follow this trend. For me, this idea is so interesting because it allows the creators to show players a peek into a culture they love.
That is why I fell in love with Shenmue — it’s faithful, quality presentation of an unknown culture was an experience I will never forget. It was why I started martial arts as soon as I could and what sparked my interest in learning Japanese. It was similar to being carried away into a fantasy world when reading a book, except it was real — it was tangible. I really was able to get a better view. I experienced a whole lot more than just this story, and I am now able to carve out my own.
I would personally like to thank Sega for making this trip more affordable. If it continued making installments in the Shenmue universe, who knows how much this trip would have cost me! But for the sake of those who missed out, I kindly remind Sega to consider returning to Shenmue once more.