20 Japanese Island Design Ideas For Animal Crossing: New HorizonsThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
So you’ve seen all these gorgeous Japanese style islands, and you want to create your own. But you’re not sure where to start.
I’ve got you covered!
New Horizons give players the opportunity to customize their islands with hundreds of items, with lots of Japanese themed items in there too.
It’s easier than ever to create the rising sun island of your dreams.
20. Cherry Blossom
How amazing is this gorgeous cherry blossom area?
Your island is simply not complete without trying this design.
To create this, build a cliff and then create a waterfall running into a river through your island. You can see this in the middle of the screenshot above.
You can then add two brown zen bridges, one on top of the cliff and one on the bottom level.
Be sure to add lots of cherry blossom items, and of course lots of cherry blossom trees too.
To complete the finished look, add a bunch of custom stalls with added bonsai trees. And of course don’t forget to add a pagoda.
19. Rock Garden
This meditation area is the perfect addition to any Japanese style island.
It’s really easy to make, too.
All you need is a custom design for some wooden flooring. Pop that down in your designated area.
You can also add a custom sand design too, and throw down some different styles of rocks around the area.
Be sure to add lots of bamboo items and trees to complete the look.
Then finish by adding some cedar trees and some shrubs around the edges.
Create this Japanese-inspired monument and praise it every day.
You can do this by building a cliff, then adding some simple panels to the top.
You can then customize these panels with your own design to give it a true Japanese style theme.
Add a bunch of tall lamps around the area to fit in with the vibe.
And don’t forget to add lots of pagodas up on top of the cliff, and also around the bottom area if you like.
Finish by surrounding the area with lots of different plants and bonsai trees.
To create this bustling shopping area on your island, you can start by laying down some stone paths.
You can add some cliffs on either side of your main path area and fill them up with custom stalls, and you can customize these with your favorite designs and products to sell at your market.
Don’t forget to add lots of neon signs and utility poles to get that true Tokyo market vibe.
Lastly add lots of cherry blossom items, and of course don’t forget the moon to cast that evening glow.
16. Zen Island
Throw on your kimonos for a cute photo opportunity on this Japanese inspired bridge area.
It’s super easy to create this Instagram worthy space, too!
Start by creating a waterfall surrounded by a forest of bamboo trees to act as backdrop.
You can start to make a lake, but be sure to leave an island in the middle of the lake so you’re able to connect the bridges.
Add two red zed bridges leading over the island, and you can also add some flowering shrubs too.
To finish, pop on your kimono and strike a pose!
Create something a little different on your island… maybe this futuristic Japanese-style city.
You can create this impressive design by first making a giant lake on your island.
Hint: custom designs are a great way to transform your paths into city drains.
On the other side of your lake, you can place some simple panels that have been customized with some custom light designs.
You can use simple custom designs to create the illusion of high-rise buildings, and you can also add a pagoda to this area too.
Finish by adding some utility poles to make it look like true city vibes.
14. Pancakes and Dumplings
I’m living for this pancake and dumpling shop!
This is the cutest setup out there.
You can create this by gathering some custom stalls and customizing them with your favorite Japanese style designs.
The secret to having pancakes on a plate & bowls of dumplings is using custom designs on hats, and you can add these straight to your stalls.
You can even create your own custom menus for your store, too.
Complete your little retail space by adding some iron tables and chairs.
13. Picnic Area
A picnic is not a picnic without a Japanese-style picnic area, right?
It’s so easy to create this little space. All you need to start is to place some stone flooring all around your chosen area.
You can then add a stone tables and some stools, so you and your villagers have a place to dine.
Surround the area with some zen fencing for a feel of exclusivity.
Lastly, add a bunch of bamboo items and trees to complete.
12. Japanese Garden
Kick back and relax in this Japanese-inspired garden!
Start by grabbing a custom design for the stone path and lay that down through your garden area.
You can place your garden next to some cliffs and waterfalls for that ultra-relaxing vibe.
Be sure to add a host of bamboo items too, and also lots of bamboo trees to bring this area to life.
Want some beautiful rocks? Throw ‘em in there!
You can add the finishing touches to this area with a pagoda, and your Japanese style garden is finished!
11. School Area
Everyone wants a Japanese inspired school on their island… not just me, right?
Start by building a cliff, and you can place custom panels and stalls in front of the cliff edge, then you can decorate these with any of your preferred Japanese designs.
Add some brick steps leading up to the first level, then you can then add marketplace decorations all around.
Maybe add some golden seats too, and watch your school come to life.
Throw in some frozen pillars and arches, and you can edit the colors of these to match whatever you want. Red fits the theme perfectly.
Finish by adding some bonsai trees and bikes outside.
This Japanese-inspired area is every cherry blossom lover’s dream.
If you want to create this paradise on your own island, you just need some paths and bamboo.
Start by creating a stone path leading through your island. You can also add some bamboo fencing around the area.
Mark the entrance to this area with a stone arch and some hedges.
Be sure to add lots of cherry blossom items and trees to keep with the theme.
Then finish by adding lots of shrubs, rocks, and a of course, a rockpool.
9. Small Neighborhood
You can create this Japanese-inspired neighbourhood street by customizing some simple panels with housing designs. You can also customize stalls in the same design to place on top.
Be sure to add lots of different types of plants to the area as well!
You can also add some washing lines outside, and some utility poles to stick with the theme.
Also, look into custom pavement designs on the ground. The right design can make or break your little street.
Finish by adding some cardboard boxes and a bike outside.
8. Downtown Tokyo
If you’re leaning more towards downtown Japan on your island, then this is the design to try.
To create this downtown area, start by laying down some stone paths to prepare for your busy city life.
You can make your own street advertisements too! All you need is your own custom designs added onto simple panels.
Then add two cliffs at either side, then pop in your simple panels & some custom stalls on top to look like high rise buildings.
Finish by adding vending machines and some utility poles for that Japanese city life aesthetic.
7. Meditation Area
Who doesn’t want their own private meditation area?
It’s not as complicated as it looks. All you need to create this area is a few bookcases and simple panels.
First flip the bookcases so you’re looking at the back of the case. You can then create some simple panels with your favorite Japanese-style design and push those up against the bookcases to look like walls.
Then put down some custom wooden designs for some flooring, and fill the area with books and pillows. You know, calming stuff.
Maybe add some plants in there too, along with some flowers to complete the look.
6. Restaurant Space
Is your island even complete if you don’t have a Japanese restaurant?
The outside of this restaurant was created with custom stalls lined up around the edges. You can also place your restaurant next to a river for the ultimate view while you dine.
Then you can then decorate your restaurant by adding some rugs, or your own custom designs to the floors like you see above.
Make sure you add some tables and some floor cushions for seating.
Finish by adding condiments to the tables and some cherry blossom lamps outside your restaurant.
If your island is a mix between the city and the forest, you’ll adore this look.
Create this yourself by building a section of cliff in your favourite spot. You can then add some waterfalls running down through the cliffs (if you like the fancy stuff).
Make sure to add stone steps going up to the top level, and on each of the cliff edges be sure to decorate with lots of lanterns.
Finish the look by placing a pagoda on top, overlooking the whole island.
4. Japan Haven
This simple design can instantly turn any area into a Japanese haven.
This is perfect for small areas of your island for an instant makeover.
All you need to do is add a host of cherry blossom items scattered around.
You can also add a custom cherry blossom design for the road to tie in with the theme. This is probably the coolest part!
And to really complete the look, wear a kimono around town. Trust me, it will look amazing!
3. Zen Bridge
Even Celeste approves of this Japanese island bridge.
This is such a simple design, but looks amazing!
To create this area, all you need to do is start by digging out a river running through your island. You can then add the zen bridge going across to stick with the theme.
Decorate either side of the river by adding lanterns, bamboo items, and maybe a gong.
Don’t forget to add plenty of flowers around the area, too.
And maybe help mother Earth by planting a host of bamboo trees.
2. Japanese Forest
Kick off your Japanese island with this vibrant forest area.
I love this design with the waterfalls and the pagodas in the background, so if you want to try this look for yourself, here’s how.
Make sure you have lots of cedar and bamboo trees. You can also add lots of stones too.
Be sure to add lots of flowering shrubs and red flowers as well.
Add some butterfly models in there as well. How?
If you give Flick three of the same bug when he visits your island he’ll send you back a commissioned bug model.
1. Japanese Temple
This has to be my absolute favorite Japanese themed area, created to look almost like a temple.
It really is a spectacular addition to any island.
The bulk of this design is created with simple panels customized with easy-to-make designs; you can layer these up on different levels to create the temple in full.
Make sure to add lots of cherry blossom trees for this theme as well.
You can also add a bunch of candles to give it that calming glow. Maybe toss in some tall lanterns, some Japanese-style fencing, and of course the big rock-head statue.
And now we’ve got our very own benevolent Japanese island god.