The COVID-19 situation halted vacation activities for many who want to visit Japan. Even residents of the country are staying off the streets and socially distancing. Businesses have attempted to compensate for the lost in-person traffic by using popular online media.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has quickly become a popular method to keep potential customers interested in various brands. Companies across the world have released free designs and other content. The content is accessible as long as the player has the Able Sisters shop set up and an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
Meanwhile, other locations have been struggling to get more in-person traffic. Some travel companies have resorted to recreating a piece of their country in the game in hopes that visitors will travel there in the future.
Kanda Shrine, which is almost 1,300 years old, has recreated the environment in the game. Since 2016, the shrine has held a “Noryo” festival to invite visitors in to escape the Summer heat. The event brought in 40,000 visitors each year, but unfortunately, it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Kanda Shrine doesn’t want visitors to miss out on the Summer event, so they recreated it in the game. A YouTube video, in Japanese, takes players throughout the shrine. The video was also posted on the official Kanda Shrine website. Players can visit the area through the Dream Suite (accessed by sleeping in a bed and inputting the Island Dream Adress). However, visiting time is limited. The Kanda Shrine Dream Island will only be able to visit until September 30, which is today.
Although the content is in Japanese, players across the world can still access the video to watch the detailed recreation in the game.
Kanda Shrine has also released additional Summer yukata designs. The designs are modeled by men and women but can be worn by anyone in the game. Additional designs contain tops, a cap, kanji artwork, and shrine maiden clothing. Players can download the designs with the provided codes through the Able Sisters shop.
As an additional bonus, Kanda Shrine has included special Japanese artwork using QR Codes. Players will need to use the Nintendo Switch Online app to scan the QR codes to access them in their games. The artwork can be used to decorate the island or a player’s residence.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on the Nintendo Switch now.