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  • Shona McCarthy

Tokaido: The Board Game Online


Since my hometown of Melbourne has continued to be under lockdowns, I've kept on looking for ways people can experience Japan or Japanese culture within their homes. So, much to my excitement, I came across the fact that Tokaido: The Board Game is now playable online via Boardgamearena.com!

WHAT IS TOKAIDO: THE BOARD GAME?


Tokaido, as a board game, is much what you might expect it to be. The game simulates exploring the Tokaido trade route between Kyoto and Tokyo during the Edo period. It's a very simple game, where you are given a character card at the start of the game to play as.. Each of the characters you could play as come with different advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you play as the poor urchin girl, you will be able to get free meals in some locations on the board (presumably because people pity you) but you begin with less money, meaning it is much harder for you to acquire souvenirs. If I recall correctly, the one who ends the game with the most souvenirs, experiences and meals wins.

WHAT IS BOARDGAMEARENA.COM?


Boardgamearena.com is a website that enables people to play boardgames together online. You can set up a room to play remotely with friends, or you can play with strangers. This makes it an excellent pass time under lockdowns, when you might be feeling sad and isolated. Since it is free, it is also a very cost-effective way of connecting with others.

MY EXPERIENCE


I've only ever played the game once, in real life. I found it very enjoyable, since the game designers really bothered to learn a little about Japanese culture. So, if you know as much about Japanese culture as I do, the game contains some pleasant surprises as you explore the line. The art style isn't quite to my personal taste, but it is tasteful enough. I haven't attempted to play the online version yet, but in my experience, the technology can take a little getting used to. Once you are used to it, however, it is quite rewarding. So, if you would like to play the game, you could start right now, through this link. If you would like to supplement your virtual experiences of Japan with real life, wearable objects, you could try perusing my online store. I try to keep my prices reasonable, and my products a blend of the fun and practical:

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(Images borrowed from Boardgamearena.com)

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