The Japanese teaser site for the upcoming WMMT5DX was updated today to show off a nice logo redesign, and two screenshots of an upcoming course; “Hanshin Expressway No.3 Harbor Road”.
Don’t be fooled by the name, this is not an extension of the current Hanshin Expressway in the heart of Osaka. This new course is roughly 30km away, and runs through to Kobe Port in the Hyogo prefecture.
Using the 2 screenshots on the teaser site I was able to locate the stretch of highway that the new course would be based on.
The first one was pretty simple to find due to the well known Kobe landmarks shown in the screenshot.
This highway is ‘Hamate Bypass‘ that runs alongside Kobe Port which features Kobe Tower, Kawasaki world, Kobe Harbor Land Ferris Wheel in the background, and well known hotels. On the right hand side of the screenshot we get a small look at what looks to be a giant fish with scales. Although obscured in the screenshot, this is actually ‘Cafe Fish!’ A harborside seafood restaurant.
The second screenshot was a little harder due to a lack of landmarks.
This is Kobe Ohashi Bridge that runs over Osaka Bay and the Ishiyagawa estuary about 6 kilometres away from the first screenshot. It’s on the same connected highway before reaching the bypass.
This road is called Kowan Kansen road or Harbor Road, which is the stretch of toll road that links Kobe Port and surrounding areas to the Hanshin Expressway No.3 toll road that runs alongside it.
A bit further up from the Hamate Bypass screenshot, we are lead to an offramp and drive on ground level. There are very few times in WMMT that you drive anywhere near ground level, so this is pretty interesting.
A few kilometres ahead of Kobe Ohashi Bridge we get to this nightmare of a tollbooth right at the exit of a corner! If this makes it into the final course, this will be an absolutely prime kill spot for ramming.
For your reference, here is an overhead map with the points of interest I’ve covered below. The entire stretch of Harbor Highway is about 10.8km.
While not exactly the same as the real road, it’s fairly true to life. The developers have always changed small parts of a map to make it more visually interesting and more challenging to drive. According to the teaser site, there is still one more update on WMMT5DX to be posted. I wonder what they’ll reveal next?
Thanks for reading!