Umi – click any image for full size
In October 2018, I wrote about our trip to Tokyo Street Subway Entrance, created by Paradox Ivory under her Dox brand and about which you can read more here: Emerging from a Tokyo Street Subway Entrance. Since then, Paradox has been busy extending this full region, both up in the air and down on the ground.
The main landing point remains unchanged, delivering visitors to the subway entrance from which the sky build takes its name. This leads up to the same street level, with its tall buildings and side alleys and roads, but whereas the tunnel at the far end of the road once ended in a blank wall, it now provides access to the extension to the sky build.
Here, laid out around a grid of narrow roads are further buildings, including the Tokyo South Gallery, a small carnival area (with a tunnel linking to a temple on its far side, an apartment building and surface railway station. As with the original build, the attention to detail is excellent, complete with an atmospheric sound scape, with the outlying building shells giving a further sense of depth.
However, it is on the ground level and reached via a separate LM, that the village of Umi is to be found, hugging the coast of a small island (so far as I could tell, there was not TP connections between ground and sky). This is where the city can be left behind and visitors can explore the beauty of a coastal setting.
The village is a curious and oddly attractive design. A sweep of buildings are nestled under the steep slopes of the island, partially sheltered by trees and rich foliage. These face another arc of wooden and cement buildings standing on what might have once been a sand bar or a sweep of rocks, but which is now clearly a man-made breakwater.
Examination of the houses on the breakwater will quickly reveal they are perhaps a little unusual. Their lower floors are open to the sea on one side, offering moorings and work spaces for small boats, although some have been decked out to provide extra accommodation space, perhaps to offset the somewhat compact – some might say cramped – living spaces of their upper floors. Be aware that four of them – the cement-faced units – are available as private residences.
To the west of the village are working wharves and a warehouse. Fishing boats are tied-up alongside, possibly waiting for the next tide and nets are set out to dry. To the east of the island is a fuelling station, it and the wharves neatly bracketing the village. Alongside the fuelling station is a pedal boat, if you’re careful you can ride own around the island – but take care getting off the boat, any attempt to double-click TP to land will bounce you back up the the main landing point in the sky.
When we first visited Tokyo Street Subway Entrance, we found it to be engaging, detailed, beautifully modelled and presented. That is still the case now – although I admit to finding the Tokyo Street South extension a little too hemmed in and claustrophobic in places. It does, however, provide an interesting contrast with the ground level village setting, which is eye-catching, taken together. they both sit as a visual reminder of the different faces of Japan.
The one major complaint that might be levelled at the region is that of performance; there is a lot packed into it, and depending on local settings ant the use of things like shadows, a viewer and computer can take a hit and end up struggling. So, be prepared to make some adjustments to your viewer, should this prove to be the case. This said, for those with the patience, the region is worth a visit, and offers very different opportunities for photography within the ground and sky builds.
With thanks to AJ and Shakespeare.
Dox, the region on which both city ad village sit, is rated Moderate.