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In the year 1605, during the Edo period in the country known as Japan, the importance and popularity of the now-famous Tōkaidō road became well known, as well as the fifty-three stops along its path. Starting in Tokyo and ending in Kyoto, the road was accessible, easy for most to travel on, and incredibly efficient in its direction. The most famous portrayal of the path in question comes from the painting series known as The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō by the historically-popular artist Hiroshige, who created scenes from each station during the grueling journey across Japan.
In 1619, the road was extended to reach Osaka, then even further in the future, modernized as the Taiheiyō Belt, one of the most populated megalopolises on Earth. But the grueling nature of the travelers has been long forgotten, with modern technology and developments in transportation and long-distance travel in general, with the invention of the bullet train. Now, in our modern day and age, Tairō Tokugawa, a business mogul and believer in the ideals of his ancestors, has allied with the Japanese government and several other world powers to hold the Tōkaidō Stretch, an international sensation that spurred many across the globe to either travel to Japan to spectate or apply for the length itself.
The Tōkaidō Stretch was to be spectacular, and all the pieces for such a feat were there. Over the span of two years, government officials moved construction teams across where the road in question once stood, and paved it with the same gravel and style as the original. Of course, it veered off the course of the traditional path a bit simply to add the challenge that the Stretch presented, but that was neither here nor there. Applicants were considered, businesses notified, spectator areas marked and advertisements placed. It would seem as if the Stretch would be the biggest event of the new decade, with 75% of the Earth watching it happen or becoming a part of it themselves.
But of course, such things could not go off smoothly, not if the divine and infernal beings of Japan had anything to say about. From demigods to mystical Yōkai, supernatural beings or humans who have supernatural abilities themselves have been mixed in with the normal crowd, and joined the Stretch, determined alongside their mortal rivals to get the reward of the Stretch: Twelve Billion Yen, which can be converted easily between nations. But even this seems suspicious, with such extra power going against one another for such a stingy prize, could there be an ulterior motive behind the entire event?
Inspired by Part 7 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run and other such races as well as traditional Japanese folklore and mythology, the Path of Tōkaidō features 4-5 travelers as they journey across the country for the money that will either save or break their lives back at home. These travelers, of course, will be you, traversing the locations and cities on the Stretch, and figuring out the mystery behind the extra-normal fiends that plague the global mega-event.
Tōkaidō Stretch Rules and Roles
1. Any signs of violence or obstruction of travelers competing 2. Things such as trains, cars, and other modern modes of transportation cannot be used. Carriages and feet do not count.
3. Things can be bought during travel, except for quicker modes of travel, drugs, or anything of the like that is either against the rules or illegal.
4. Rest must take place wither in campsites, makeshift shelters, the ground, or traditional Inns who have been certified for the Stretch.
5. You must have your Stretch Passport stamped with each stamp per required location to win.
6. People may travel back and forth on the Stretch, though the live following will not focus on them. 7. If you have to accept equipment from officials, you are disqualified.