Taking a drift through Tokyo in Second Life

Mitsumi-Town in Tokyo; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrMitsumi-Town in Tokyo – click any image for full size

Stretching across the skies of three Full regions (each making use of the additional 10K LI allowance available to private region holders to increase their overall capacity to 30K), is Mitsumi-Town in Tokyo.

Designed by a team led by Eripom Moonwall, it’s a meticulous build, one which has taken several months to bring together, but which is stunning in its look. Blending together elements powerfully evocative of modern-day Japan and periods from the city’s earlier history, it is awash with detail, and only lacking an active population- hopefully that will change over time.

Mitsumi-Town in Tokyo; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrMitsumi-Town in Tokyo

As the build is spread across three regions, it can be a little bewildering to find your way around – and there is a heck of a lot to see and discover. The middle of the three LMs for the city – which delivers visitors to the Morpire City downtown area – is a good place to start, setting visitors down in a small open air area alongside a cafeteria-style restaurant (the Mitsumi-Town LM disconcertingly drops visitors in the middle of one of the city’s expressways). The restaurant provides access to a shopping mall awaiting occupation, and is bracketed on the other side by an elevated train track paralleled by part of the city’s impressive road system, while skyscrapers push their why into the heavens beyond.

The road system winds its way around, over, through, and under the city, slicing it into blocks and districts, which can vary in look and feel – just like no two areas of a physical world city really resemble one another beyond superficial similarities in building height, possible road layout, etc. It’s a system which can also – with consideration and care – be driven along. Rezzing in the city is (at the time of writing) allowed, and auto-return is set to five minutes.  This being the case, I pulled out the Beverly 812 that so far has only really seen one outing as a prop, and we took a little drive around the streets.

Mitsumi-Town in Tokyo; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrMitsumi-Town in Tokyo

However, exploration on foot is perhaps the best way to fully appreciate the overall design. Head westward from the landing point, for example, and you’ll pass through canyons standing between high rises towering overhead, pass entrances to subway stations and then – suddenly – come to the “old town”, where the skyscrapers have yet to encroach.

This is an area where the buildings are clearly of an older period – the 1960s or 1970s, perhaps. Advertising boards are mounted on walls, awnings shade doorways and vending machines, street lamps fight off the long finger shadows from the neighbouring towers of steel and glass. Among these older building, the streets are narrower, often lined with ranks of power distribution poles bringing electricity to the shops and apartments.  Little arcades vie with low-level plazas to tempt the wandering feet into exploring.

Mitsumi-Town in Tokyo; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrMitsumi-Town in Tokyo

Here and elsewhere, many of the buildings are accessible. Climb the stairs in one and you might find your way to a roof garden or all the way to a rooftop coffee-house; ride the elevator in another, and you could find yourself in a dragon-decorated restaurant. Teleport disks might also be found here and there, waiting to whisk you some place, while pedestrian walkways and travelators offer competition to the roads and rail tacks in pointing ways around the city.

Some businesses are already talking up residence in Mitsumi-Town. Eripom’s own combat weapons business sits towards the east end of the city, with fashion stores close by. To the west, hanging in the sky over it is the huge glass and steel edifice of the R2 Fashion headquarters. This looks down on the hanger-like hall of where US military hardware can be found. Other building look like they are awaiting occupancy – although this is an assumption on my part.

Mitsumi-Town in Tokyo; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrMitsumi-Town in Tokyo

What helps to make this build immersive is that it actually extends beyond the boundaries of the three regions on which it sits. Off-sim builds have been used to extend the look of the city to great effect (so much so that on a couple of roads, it’s easy to miss the fact you’re heading towards a region boundary until you bounce off of it!). The most impressive of these off-sim areas – which appears to be still under construction – is to the north, where two massive bulk carrier vessels lie alongside the makings of a docks area.

Presented under a bright sky in which horizon haze has been used to good effect, softening the more distant views over the city, Mitsumi-Town is a magnificent build offering plenty of scope for photography – and perhaps more over time. Certain more than worth a visit!

Mitsumi-Town in Tokyo; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrMitsumi-Town in Tokyo

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