Oriental mornings in Second Life

Tatakai Tochi; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Tatakai Tochi – click any image for full size

I was drawn to Tatakai Tochi for two reasons. The first is that it features the work of Shen Molinaro. The second is that it offers an oriental theme, something guaranteed to attract my attention much like a moth to a flame 🙂 .

A homestead region held by Regina Mills, (heatherfury) Takakai Tochi literally means “land of flight”. In keeping with this name, it presents visitors with rugged highlands pushing their way into a misty sky, an early morning sun just edging over the highest peaks.  Sitting atop the shoulders of several of this craggy hills are flat-topped plateaus occupied by traditional Japanese houses and buildings which overlook the deep slices of the valleys and gorges dividing up the land.

Tatakai Tochi; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Tatakai Tochi

Water flows through these deep valleys, fed by high, tumbling falls and winding its way out towards the surrounding sea. Several of these channels are bordered by wooden board walks or stone footpaths, offering the traveller paths through and around the region and a chance to explore it in detail.

“When I set out to make this sim,” Regina says of Tatakai Tochi in the notes presented to visitors on arrival, “My intention was to create a peaceful and serene place where I could come and hang out with my friends without any distractions or bothers.” For a time she toyed with the idea of adding rol-play to the region, but in the end decided to offer it as a place others could visit, enjoy and photograph without the added distraction role-play might have brought with it, and Shen Molinaro, Regina’s friend, and who designed the equally atmospheric and stunning Suomi, a place I wrote about in early March.

Tatakai Tochi; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Tatakai Tochi

While described as a Japanese themed region, Shen has drawn on both Japanese and Chinese influences – as is fairly common in many oriental themed regions in SL – whilst building Tatakai Tochi. The former is by far the more dominant of the two, but the latter eases into the consciousness as one comes across the occasional giant panda or when encountering a Foo Dog (Chinese imperial lion) standing guard at a fork in a walkway.

This is a place for quiet contemplation as well as exploration. Walk through the meandering valleys and gorges and you’ll pass through bamboo groves or under the gently rocking arms of blossoming trees to small shrines and past figures of Buddha, very occidental wrought iron benches offering places to sit and listen and think.

Tatakai Tochi; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Tatakai Tochi

From the bay alongside the landing point, visitors can embark on a walk around the island, following one of the wooden walkways mentioned earlier, before these also turn inland. For the energetic, there are also various paths to be found up to the high regions – and climbing quickly reveals the more panoramic nature of the region.

Tatakai Tochi is a picturesque region, beautifully capturing the orient from which it draws inspiration, and offering some excellent photographic opportunities, making for an ideal visit. You may need a little time to explore all of it, but it is more than worth the effort.

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