Through the power of VRChat (and starting late next month through smartphone devices), Ashibi Company has recreated a virtualised version of Okinawa, Japan in “Virtual OKINAWA“. In a society where COVID-19 has made travel difficult for many, virtual reality and select video games have allowed their users to experience sights and sensations outside the ordinary – with this being one of the latest projects to do so.
Within Virtual OKINAWA, there are tourist attractions like “Kokusai Street Area” and “Beach Area”. The developers have also added the “Shurijyo Castle Area” to “help develop and revitalise the tourism industry in Okinawa for the post-Corona era”. The project seeks to ” allow visitors to experience Okinawa’s World Heritage sites from anywhere in the world and also enjoy virtual tourism while chatting with other visitors”.
Ashibi Company claim that they hope “will strengthen the desire to rebuild Shurijyo Castle and contribute to the preservation of traditional Okinawan culture”. This is because Shurijyo Castle was destroyed by fire on 31 October 2019. The Shurijyo Castle area includes a “faithful reproduction of Shurijyo Castle Park, which includes the Shureimon Gate leading to the Shoden (main hall) of Shurijyo Castle”. In addition, the “Shurijyo Castle Area” is not only a place to see and enjoy Shurijyo Castle, but also a place where you can talk to an area guide to learn more about Shurijyo Castle and its history.
Ashibi Company has plans soon to hold various events such as guided sightseeing tours, Eisa (Okinawa’s traditional performing art) events, and more.
Interested? To find out more on how to connect to Virtual OKINAWA, visit the project’s official website.