When COVID-19 brought about a stay-at-home spring, Animal Crossing provided us with a digital island escape.

In Episode 2 of Recultured, we look at what happened when the world was made to stay at home, and how one game from Nintendo provided us an escape into a fantasy land full of fishing, decorating and bug collecting.

Guests on this episode:

  • Chris Broad, YouTuber and podcaster, Abroad in Japan: YouTube
  • Claire Williamson, Japan Times food and lifestyle editor: Author page
  • Farrah Hasnain, Japan Times contributor: Twitter
  • Imad Khan, New York Times contributing writer: Twitter
  • Jay Kogami, writer for All Digital Music and Music Ally Japan: Twitter
  • Ronald Taylor, writer for Arama Japan and Japan Times contributor: Twitter
  • Tom Hanaway, Japan Times social editor: Twitter
  • Tomohiro Osaki, Japan Times features writer: Twitter


Recultured is brought to you by Food-e, Tokyo’s first gourmet restaurant delivery service. Food-e delivers from some of Tokyo’s finest restaurants, such as Nobu Tokyo and The Oak Door Steakhouse, to homes, offices and parties. Premium dining — now at your fingertips and available exclusively at www.food-e.jp.

This episode is sponsored by Kokoro Care Packages, delivering curated care packages from Japan, filled with locally made, premium-quality, artisanal Japanese foods. For Deep Dive listeners, use the code “DEEPDIVE” to get a 10% discount off your first order of a subscription purchase at kokorocares.com.


This episode was hosted by Shaun McKenna and Alyssa I. Smith. It was written by Patrick St. Michel and Oscar Boyd, with extra help from our intern Tadasu Takahashi. It was produced by Oscar Boyd. Our theme music was by LLLL, and this episode was recorded at the Temple University Japan Campus in Sangenjaya, Tokyo. Illustrations by Ming Ong.


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