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Virtual Journal #4: OKIVFES 2023, Future 20th Square

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Had some fun exploring Virtual Okinawa in OKIVFES.


The logo for OKIVFES, floating above an island. Various logos and posters can be seen on the island, along with a few floating buildings from further away.

Since it’s the holidays, I decided to go through the many random VRChat worlds that I had planned on checking out. OKIVFES wasn’t a part of it, but I randomly saw it while I was grappling around with VRChat’s UI, haha. Looking into it further and seeing Fuji Aoi in the main visual, I had to visit it at least once.

It’s a virtual festival that promotes Okinawan culture and tourist attractions. There’s also musical performances, an artist gallery, and a lot of ongoing events. I think you can watch some, if not all of them, on their YouTube channel. You can also enter the public instance of the VRChat worlds in time for the events that you’d like to experience live.

(Speaking of lives, they’re still selling tickets for OKIVFES Sound Wave on the 23rd. You can find more information on the ticket-selling page.)

It’s not like I’ll go out and spend the holidays somewhere in real life due to COVID anyway. Might as well have fun and learn a bit more about Okinawa!

At the event’s entrance, you are greeted with flying schools of geometric fishes in an island environment, where the sea gets reflected onto the sky. I’m not sure how to explain it, but I’ve always liked this sort of underwater feel.

The event schedule is posted at the center of the area. Around it are the various themed locations that you can visit. There’s also a small booth where you can make your avatar wear clothing based on the event.

You can go through most of the event’s locations in English aside from one location, if I remember correctly. I think it was the art gallery one that didn’t have an option for that. You don’t really need it in that part though, so it’s all good.

A sofa with sand-like colors and a campfire on the shoreline. To the left, a giant screen is on the ocean in the background, playing a video of a band. To the right are a few beach parasols with seats under them.

The first location that I went through was the beach. It’s probably the smallest location, with a bunch of chairs for relaxing and hanging around with friends, or watching music videos by the ocean.

Okinawa Song Book is held here at a certain time every day. The band shown on-screen in the picture above, What at lazz, is one of the performers. There was no event when I was roaming around, so I only got to see a few music videos looping on the screen.

You can also drink and even cook a few things on the grill near the campfire! Since I was playing on PC, I didn’t have much controls for my digital hands, but I enjoy small interactions like these.

There was also an area where you can watch a few diving footages in a 360-degree view, observing different sea animals go about with their daily life.

A view in Kokusai-dori. The road is covered with stripes of blue. Various buildings, stalls, statues, and more flying fish can be seen.

After going to the smallest location, I ended up roaming around the biggest one next. Kokusai-dori was a colorful and lively place with a variety of stalls and interactions like a shooting game, playing squash or tennis, and dragon boat racing.

Just like at the event’s entrance, there’s a stall for wearing things related to Okinawa. This one has more things though. From what I remember, there was… some type of cucumber I think… and a bowl of food. There was more, but I just ended up going around with the food bowl as my head.

A personality test for what type of Awamori best suits you was also present. You get to use a zip-line through the street as you answer the questions! It suddenly felt like I was playing Apex or something.

You can also try playing the Sanshin from one of the stalls. I don’t remember if they were also using the same instrument, but someone was singing nearby. If you’re playing on PC, instead of playing the instrument like in real life, you get to play notes on your keyboard, which was nice.

There were also a few dancing characters in the small restaurant beside the same Sanshin booth. I think a few small events are also held inside. I liked the models for the dancers!

A pink and orange booth with a beach wallpaper in the inside. A giant character with black twintails and green highlights is lying down from above, smiling cutely. A blue dog-like creature is behind her. A logo for Nema Ui Haitai Museum is seen at the front.

I liked the presentation for the booth of Nema Ui, who is kind of the main face of the whole event. She seems to be a VTuber who wants to become the virtual tourism ambassador of Okinawa.

You can read a bit more about her history in the booth, along with some of her music videos, which has her dancing and singing in various locations in Okinawa, from what I can tell. I only watched a few videos in there, since I don’t think YouTube will count watching in there as a view…

…ah, thinking about algorithms again… well, it be like that. I’ll watch and listen to more of her songs later since 3D characters moving around in real life is very much my thing.

While you look around, a mini version of Nema Ui also walks and follows you wherever you go! How cute. She doesn’t go with you to the second floor though, where you can look at the giant version of her instead.

A wall with the Japanese writing for Okinawan Seaside Gallery on it. Bushes cover up the wall. At the side, a circular platform where you can sit can be seen, covered from the sun by a small shed. A pair of what I believe to be Shisa statues sit above the shed.

The next location that I went to is the Okinawan Seaside Gallery, which showcases artworks made by the locals of Okinawa.

It doesn’t seem like there’s links for each artist on the main website, but you can look at it here. There’s proper links when you view them from the world itself though.

Some of the artists that I discovered through this world were Piroshiki with their plant princess illustration, Nanami from Freedomade with their beautifully-made paper cut-out, and Uduki Runa with their idol artwork. I’m not sure if that should be written as “Uduki” or “Uzuki”, but I’ll just go with how they wrote their name on the provided link.

There were a lot more artworks in there, so please check them out!

(I feel like I should note that there’s a portion of this world that showcases one or more artists’s NFT pieces. While I was walking around, a few artworks felt like they’re used in NFTs. It wasn’t really mentioned in the world, so I had to do a quick search on one of the artists of the said artworks.)

Entrance to Shurijo Castle, surrounded by walls and trees. Giant performers can be seen from a distance.

After drowning in inspiration from looking at everyone’s creative works, I took a quick history class by going into the Shurijo Castle world next.

You get to walk inside the castle, learning more about the various buildings inside through the characters that introduce them. Along the way, there’s also a quiz about Okinawa, in which I got the very high score of… 20! I only got two questions correct with my non-existent knowledge, haha.

Going through the castle gave me flashbacks from having to make a similar type of game in college… I vaguely remember it being about the history of Mesopotamia…

…in any case, there’s a lot of screenshot-worthy angles in here. There’s also a few booths near the end of the area. One of the booths lets you dance with Nema Ui and… some of the airport staff, from what I remember.

At the center of the castle, you can perform an Eisa with a friend and two of the guests for the event. The guest dancers change based on the day. You can also change the music to dance to. The music choices were unexpected. I’ll leave it to everyone to experience it.

I took a lot of pictures of my avatar dancing in there, but all the screenshots that I took from within VRChat during this time ended up being in first person for some reason.

All I could see were my hands.

It be like that sometimes.

Entrance to the horror-themed world of Shurijo Castle in the event’s main area. Two statues guard the gate, with scary hands appearing from behind the wall.

I ended up not being able to go to the final location, the horror-themed version of the Shurijo Castle. I tried walking around in it despite knowing that I’m bad with horror or thriller stuff, but it was a bit too unsettling for me. I’m sure that people who enjoy those kinds of things will have fun with this one though!

Since I was going around these locations at night, I felt like ending it with a failed run-through in a horror area would give me nightmares. I went to a place with a Christmas feel before ending the day to forget the scary stuff.

From far away, a tall building stands out from the rest. It is illuminated by a Christmas tree and various lights in the area. There are also things like hot air balloons, tables, and a fountain, which livens up the night atmosphere.

Future 20th Square is a VRChat world made to celebrate an e-commerce site’s… 20th year I think…? I honestly didn’t look into it too much as soon as I saw that it’s something business-related.

I only knew about this world from seeing a few people that I follow go into it. It looked like a good place, so… yeah. I’m sorry, event-maker… I just wanted some Christmas time…

There’s a giant Christmas tree, along with some fancy lights, food stands, a big screen for viewing any video you want, and a few other small interactions, like playing the drums or arranging your own dessert.

A food stand with a mint and white color scheme, decorated with Christmas lights. Assortments of fruits on plates are displayed on the front, alongside a sign that says “Kyobashi Sembikiya, Tokyo 1881”.

I’m not sure if it was due to how long I was in the world or because it was exactly 12AM, but fireworks started to appear while I was just sitting on a chair in the central area. It was a nice surprise.

There’s also a slightly-hidden mini garden in here. It looks like a good place to relax! You can’t sit on the benches in it though.

Once I was done roaming around, I also found a path where you can slowly fly around the whole area with a hot air balloon or other types of things.

A good way to end the adventure for today.

Going back to talking about OKIVFES for a bit, it was the first world that I’ve been to that’s based on the real world, which made it a fun experience.

I hope that everyone tries it out, if you have no plans for the rest of the year. I believe that the event runs until the 24th. I’m not sure if they will, but I wish they’ll keep the place open even if the event ends.

I have a few more worlds bookmarked that’s similar to it. Something to look forward to! I hope there’s more of this kind of thing in the future.

Thank you for reading!

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