A Japanese shrine in Tokyo has been recreated complete with festival activities and decorations on the popular Nintendo Switch game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Players can visit the surprisingly detailed replica of the historic Kanda Shrine and experience a Japanese summer festival through the colorful world of the game.

Kanda Shrine is a 1,290-year-old shrine located in Tokyo’s bustling Chiyoda prefecture. In 2016, they started holding their own nōryō festival for shrine visitors. Nōryō (納涼) means “escaping the heat to enjoy coolness” in Japanese, and the nōryō festival is a common event held across various shrines in Japan during the summer.

Since the coronavirus has been limiting public gatherings in Japan, traditional events have seen cancellation after cancellation, and one of the affected events was Kanda Shrine’s Nōryō Festival. Not ones to be easily deterred, the shrine’s officials figured out an unconventional way of attracting “visitors”, by recreating their entire shrine in Animal Crossing and releasing a video to entice in-game visitors.

You can watch the video (in Japanese) below.

Upon entering, players are greeted by a signboard saying “Nōryō Festival” in Japanese and traditional music from the game’s resident musician, K.K. Slider. The food stalls and various decorations give the shrine grounds a cute, festive atmosphere. Buildings, monuments, and signboards that bear special importance to the shrine’s history have also been faithfully recreated.

The Animal Crossing Kanda Shrine location can be accessed by using the dream suite and inputting the island’s dream address: DA-0760-0601-9410 Players are able to visit the shrine until September 30, 2020. All of the codes for the Kanda Shrine custom designs can be viewed on their website.

By - Jen Laforteza.