Kisaragi Town – click on any image for full size
We were first made aware of Kisaragi Town early in January 2018, when Shakespeare (SkinnyNilla) dropped a landmark over to me. Various things prevented a visit at the time, so it wasn’t until the start of February that we finally got to go and see it – and I’m glad we did.
Covering a half region, the build has been designed by xLinzerTortex, who from his profile appears to be a relative newcomer to Second Life. While profile age is no guarantee of overall time in SL, if he has only been in-world a year and a half then additional kudos to him for presenting such a carefully designed, richly detailed location for people to enjoy.
A visit begins on a main road running west-to-east through the town, with tunnels at either end linking Kisaragi Town with the two neighbouring parcels / region (the town sits within a series of Japanese themed private regions). Along this road are assorted businesses: a post office, movie theatre, garage, coffee shop, metro store, eatery and so on. Cars are scattered along the streets or sit parked in assigned bays; traffic lights blink, and advertising hoardings hang from buildings, with posters wrapped around lamp posts and sign poles.
From the style of the buildings, this would appear to be an older part of town; many of the structures are flat, cement-sided blocks, colour provided in splashes by small tiled areas of walls or by the advertising boards or the simple contrast of wood against cement. The exceptions to this are the movie theatre, located towards the eastern end of the street with its painted façade and tiling, and the metro store and gacha standing either side of a small shopping arcade – or alley, if you prefer – running southwards from the eastern end of the street.
This little precinct, protected from the elements by a discoloured glass roof, again suggesting it has some age to it, has little boutique stores on either side and offers a route to a back street where the snow is falling a little harder. A small temple is huddled into a corner, banners offering greeting, the shrine subject to occasional rattling as cantilevered train cars rumble by on the elevated track behind it. A house and flat-roofed apartment buildings also occupy this southern side of the town, again subject to the passage of trains on the elevated track. A little row of market stalls sits beneath the wall supporting the rails, perhaps serving the locals living in the apartments.
Small it might be, but the design of Kisaragi Town is such that when walking the streets, it is easy to get a feel you are exploring a corner of a much larger setting. To the north, forming a natural border along one edge of the parcel, rise as series of more modern apartment blocks. These serve to both contain the town and suggest that if we were to travel beyond them, we’d find yet more of this town to explore. Similarly, to the east and west are raised lines of trees which again provide a natural border for the town and break-up the rooftops of the regions beyond, further adding to the sense that Kisaragi Town is part of something bigger, even though it is not in any way thematically connected to its surroundings.
What we liked most about this build is the sheer attention to detail that bring it to life. There’s the vending machines and bicycles racked up under the lee of a building at one end of the street; the parking ticket machines and sign board outlining the use of the car park at the other; the waste bags at the side of a street awaiting collection; the just-delivered bundles of the morning’s papers outside a store; the care taken in selecting the cars on the streets; the overhead power distribution system… it all adds up. Climb a set of steps up from one end of the main road and you’ll find a little rooftop area where people can practice their baseball batting – so typical of the use of space seen in places like Japan, where land can come at a premium price.
I also liked the way that the western end of the parcel has a small undeveloped “buffer zone” beyond the road tunnel. This not only offers a break between Kisaragi Town and its immediate neighbours (currently undeveloped at ground level), but also potentially offers room for expansion.
Kisaragi Town is a treat to visit. Small, finely detailed, and offering a compact opportunity for exploring and discovering. Should you visit and enjoy the setting, please consider a donation towards its upkeep at the temple in the south-east corner.
- Kisaragi Town (Ueno, rated: Moderate)