Vacation plans across the globe have been put on indefinite hold due to the current COVID-19 situation. Japan tried to promote tourism to its residents within the country with the “GoTo” travel campaign but had to put their plans on hold after the virus cases rose.
Some cities turned to digital tourism as a result. Sado City, located on Sado Island within Niigata Prefecture, recently launched a new digital tourism campaign. Using Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Sado City has recreated several of its landmarks within the game.
From the air, players can see the shape of the island, which resembles it in real life. The designers used all of the tools available to recreate special areas on the island, including a rice paddy with art and more. According to the designer, there are six total special real-life locations recreated on the island.
Players can visit the area by using a special Dream Code. Players only need to lay down in a bed and input the correct code. While players can’t take anything from the island, they can experience the beautiful location in Japan from the safety of their home.
The Sado gold mine is one of the replicated locations. The area is filled with gold and bells that cannot be taken. The real-life area is no longer operational but has been preserved. A cityscape was also recreated. Players can walk by the island residents’ homes, which are lined with various “food stalls.” Although it is a small space, it replicates what one may see while visiting the city.
Sado City also released a code to download a free “I Love Sado” t-shirt to wear while exploring the island. Also predominantly featured on the Sado City island is Cranston, an Ostrich-type villager that debuted in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. A visitor to the island is shown wearing a hat with the “eye mask” of the bird.
It’s unknown how long the Sado City Island will be available for visitors. Those interested in the location should try to visit as soon as possible.
In 2011, Saco City was designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site. In 2021, Sado Island will celebrate its 10th anniversary of the certification.
A Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required to visit Sado Island and to access the free t-shirt design.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now on the Nintendo Switch.