So yes, everyone's been to Japan and taken photos of lots of SEGA Worlds. Well done you and your three grand holidays. Here are some of your Japan snaps, including, incredibly, one of some cosplaying girls a reader claims to have "chatted up".
#1: A PHOTO OF DOBUITA STREET FROM SHENMUE
"Here's something I'll regret sending to you, although I at least had the good grace and sense to Paint Shop Pro Ryo over my pasty white torso. This is a photo of Dobuita Street from SHENMUE. Taken at 1600x1200 as that's the only sane resolution to take pics at. Although, if my pics from 8 years ago are anything to go by, I used to say that about pics taken in 640x480 and they look shit and are blocky and low detail now. Anyway. Tom's hotdog stand would be about opposite that Yakuza wagon that's just about to disappear me. That silver bag contains a Yokosuka jacket that I haven't worn once as it has dragons and shit on it and makes me look like some kind of gang member and has hung in my lovely wardrobe ever since.
"No pics of Akihabara as the SHAME of even being present there means it's strictly a brisk walk down the street with head DOWN until it's time to duck into one of the 2nd hand game shops to update your list to see who's selling what game for 100 yen less than the other guys. Stopping to take a photo would involve so many eyes being rolled at you that even the Japs that camp outside gaming stores for three days to catch a glimpse of some idol or other would look down at you in pity and disgust. So no way. I don't know how the other guy managed it. Must have been Nyarth. Or an American. I do have some school girl pics but she's six and no I'd probably better not.
#2: A PHOTO OF A SEGA CRANE MACHINE IN KAWAGUCHIKO
"I know it's not a Sega World but it:
a) has Sega in it b) is a big photo c) has a (kind of) video attached
"It was in Kawaguchiko - yet another crane machine but this time someone has dared to put Disney crap inside it. Played a nice selection of Sonic themes though. Couldn't be bothered to film it in action, so just put the camera on the bench - it was too hot to piss about."
We nearly didn't use this photo as the photographer seems to be wearing cropped trousers and a sleeveless t-shirt, as is clearly visible in the reflection:
However, the original photo's a WHOPPING 2448 x 3264 pixels in resolution, so we pretty much had to use it seeing as it stopped the Hotmail servers responding to all of Europe for the two hours it took to download.
He did indeed attach a sort-of-movie in which you can hear the machine playing a decent rendition of the Starlight Zone theme. This is top quality reader interaction, especially over the festive holiday period when people usually don't give a shit.
#3 A LOAD MORE FROM SIMON '777' STALLWOOD
Simon went to Japan in January of 2002. He embarrassingly didn't have a digital camera in 2002, so these are primitive 'scans' of the photographic plates he made of his trip:
"It's the same arcade in Electric city near the subway entrance that everyone likes to take pictures of, but from a different angle!"
"The famous Sega Joypolis, there were pictures on the Saturn game "Sonic Jam" of Sonic and Tails near this building. The Joypolis is located on Decks Beach in real life. This is coming up to the entrance in the photo."
"When I came to the Joypolis early one morning, it was shut so I took a walk round part of the beach. This picture shows the Joypolis from the other side of the beach."
"This is the front of the Joypolis guide book."
"While in Electric City (near Club Sega) a nice Japanese women gave me this flyer. I don't believe there is a real place called Sonic Cafe, I bet it's just some web site somewhere, but it's nice to imagine."
"It's the other side of the flyer."
"Leaving the Joypolis, and its time to cool down. What better way then beer/spirit/sake/cigarette vending machines out in the street!"
#4 SEGA GIGO, AKIHABARA
"Really good as they had all the arcade versions of Virtual On you could ever imagine. Which was obviously great."
#5 CLUB SEGA AND SOME GIRLS!
Our fifth entrant, and the obvious winner, sent us one very boring photo of Club SEGA from far away, plus two photos of girls he claims to have spoken to and stood quite near with their implied consent.
Happy holidays. Come back tomorrow when we'll have what will be 2007's most boring update about the time we went to find a closed SEGA World in London that had been turned into a newsagent. All you could see was the old sign. We took 100 photos of it. It's boring, but relevant.