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XXXII ・ Higher Ground




Hello there. I had work this month and I have a different focus (mainly work, friends, architecture and Cities:Skylines). So the updating cycle slowed down to a standstill but it's better late than never, eh? Also, I will be doing an extremely slow transition of balancing this and my future studies, which would slowly deviate this journal into a new orbit of landscape design and city planning, which is the major that I had chosen for my career. I hope you enjoy this update, and I'll see you soon.

By the way, you might remember the music that I used last update. The composer of that music, Tomita Isao, passed away a few days after the update was released. This update is released in his dedication.


At some forest southwest of Okami, lies a river that runs straight to the ocean. Its journey had started in the mountains where high summer temperatures melt the last season's snow. These then fall in a valley as straight as bamboo, and gather in a small river. These give life to the people who were living at that area. Today, many people depend on the gifts of the river, but the area was made a nature reserve in 2007 to preserve the river and forest ecosystems. 


It can be said it is easy to get lost in the forest. Many people came and never got back. But this is not a scary forest and should not be told as a gloomy, scary forest. People actually quite enjoy the beauty of the valley and its abundant number of trees and plants. Various species of insects, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds live in the National Wildlife Refuge, and this is where the Sanese People are allowed to interact with them in the most natural way as possible.


The river, although straight in its path through the valley, can encounter steep falls and rapids. Here, the brown, almost murky water becomes white and dynamic. These are very popular swimming holes for locals and tourists alike, and it can be almost compared to Okaiken's more famous hot springs, or onsen


Settlement is not permitted without moderation in the refuge, with only traditional Sanese housing used to house park guests and employees. No running water is supplied to them, and toilet facilities were made to operate independently. However, this only enhances the experience of what Sanese people experienced hundreds of years ago. 


The river upstream is much smaller and shallower. However, there are larger rocks in the area. The forest is also much thicker, with different species of plants growing side by side. Here, maple trees and pines dominate the forest. During winter months, the maple trees in the area die out but the pine remain. This area is one of the most visited areas in Okaiken.


Downstream, the water flows slowly, but sometimes it would still encounter rapids such as this one.


Back in the centre, tourists are treated with a relaxing spa experience as well as refreshments such as vending machines. However, one of these houses retain its traditional structure. A well can also be found in the area as well.



In contrast, we welcome you back to Okami. Now you may have seen the city before, but this city is not perfect. It is also ridden with crime, extortion, sex, and drugs. The buildings are tagged daily; and a burgeoning rap culture began in the city about 10-15 years ago. Today, it had been quite popular with the younger generation, which sees S-pop as being too old and directed towards adults. SET48 was hugely unpopular in the recent years and the broadcasting council recently revoked its license to the group after allegations of misconduct. Today, we come to the government centre, which was recently tagged by a Yakuza member. The parliament would not press any charges to the gang.


This district, the Setagaya district, is the centre of the Sanese Rap culture. At the Sanyo building, rap battles were usually held. Due to overcapacity, they recently acquired a space in the Setagaya Centre (to the left of the photograph). A new channel called Grand Master (124ch) was also established, and here, popular artists such as Doberman Infinity and 2Win flourished. Today, the centre hosts several rap battles. 


The Ginbashi area of the city has also caught on with the rap culture. Although today it is still full with office workers, gangs usually take during the night, with streets closed off to traffic and legal street racing was done. In its history, Okami had several illegal street racing gangs on its streets (like its infamous expressway racing club during midnight), but stricter laws prevent such precedents from happening today. Now, the government is now allowing some street racing to be done, but in consideration and moderation of the aforementioned groups.


The Tozai Main Line and the Tozai Shinkansen were deemed off limits to gangs. One yakuza gang tried to tag one of the Tozai line trains operating on their rival's route, but then Okaiken Railways caught one of its members and sent him to more than 15 years in prison. It can be said that the company is running like the yakuza itself, but the company continue to decline on its staffing practices.


Okami is after all, a nice city to live in.




@ThuanLy good luck! :) I hope to see your city soon. @feyss double thanks man, I strive to have some updating of the journal each month, it seems that it had slowed down a bit. @MushyMushy thanks! Your comment is always a good motivator. @sunda gracias! @raynev1 thanks man! @gviper thanks! Interview with actual Japanese people helped a lot with the way of living, and so when I built it worked like bread and butter together :P @kschmidt thanks for the comment. Japanese is not always about compact however; there are areas where there is still a lot of space to develop. @Ln X thanks! @fdjw88 thanks! Although I always strive to not make my journal non-kawaii and sometimes outright scary. It offers a good contrast with other Japanese-inspired city journals and keep me in a very open mind. 

@MilitantRadical thanks! I would keep up the work that I had worked on for the past 5 years. :P @philforhockey51 thanks! Cheers to another 5 years :) and congratulations to you @takemethere you win a prize. Just kidding I don't have any prizes at hand; here's a virtual cookie. Nope, I don't have that either. :P @korver I was going to send you through PM where to find it but Gobanboshi's site went down after the last update was released. It can all be found here. This can be also applied to @Yanita Channel's PM. @tankmank thanks! You have been always a dedicated follower of the journal.

As a special, you can take a look at my other, continuing work at this wiki to know more about Okaiken. Who knows that we had a wiki?

Also, don't forget to visit the Okaiken website. Who knows that I have a website?

じゃあ~ いってきます!(^も^)>


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Sweeet!!! Thanks for reminding me that I need WAAAAAAAAY more practice with the RFR plopwater tool.

Also, where did you get the Sanyo building in the second urban picture?

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Some beautiful nature work, it looks so realistic. And its eye opening to know about the other side of Okaiken, its crime and potential corruption in the government 

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Unfortunate you put SC4 to the side line ! River extremely nice MMP´d. Awesome pictures downtown, very nice CJ, well done !

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Very distinctive photoshopping. Great streams by the way, while the urban areas are really varied and there are some buildings I have never seen before. But good buildings- big, fat, squat office buildings which are hard to come by.

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   Splendid update Tonraq . Sorry to hear of the music composer's death , some very relaxing stuff . I enjoyed this entry very much . The images look so real and the streams are fantastic . Great mmp work and a cool narrative as well . 5/5 :thumb:

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Your work never fails to impress! The Photoshop work you do is always great - it really helps bring out the theme you're after. Another thing I've always liked about this City Journal is the story; lots of CJs have good pictures but there aren't that many with interesting stories to match.

I always think that I've scoured every last thing of quality to get from the Japanese SC4 sites, but I always later learn that I've missed some gems :lol:.  There were two buildings that really caught my eye. Do you know where you got that really long and relatively squat building shown in the first picture of Okami? The other one I noticed was the rectangular "+" shaped one in the top left of the 3rd picture of Okami.

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Great MMPing and wonderful use of RFR water !!! (but how do you get that brownish color ? I seem to remember its more in the blue range). And it is neat to have both the wilder parts and the built sections. (Again, watch out for the brightness & contrast of the built parts' pictures.)

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That is some sick eye candy, just breathtaking work on that river front. The city-scape looks fantastic as well. It's cool how you have an  El-rail line running down the middle of the highway, it's a network type that I rarely use but I see now that I might be missing out on creating interesting scenes - for one I never knew you could run an EL line over an elevated highway ramp(level 1). Love the transportation corridor in the second last pic and would really like to get my hands on that freight rail depot and that 3-sided circular building in the pic above ;) 
Overall you just killed it with this update. :thumb:

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