Potato Boy is Zyagatakun

From our hotel in Niseko in Hokkaido Japan, home to some of the best skiing in the world, or so I’m told. Unfortunately I pulled my quad first day out. Still, my wife and daughters enjoyed the deep powder, which really was remarkable. Anyway Hokkaido is known for its excellent milk all across Asia, but in Japan its also famed for its potatoes. So it comes as no surprise then that the local mascot is a skiing potato, which I admit is preferable to a skiing dairy cow. He is a ‘zyagatakun’ which I’m guessing translates loosely as ‘local specialty character’. Mangled grammar notwithstanding–‘So,It’ s’ very Popular character – the fact remains he is very popular. They have a fireman version on the local firehouse, and Potato Boy graces street signs and tourist kitsch all over town. And in the interest of full disclosure, he did his job; at the end of our trip, I bought that t-shirt…

potatoboy
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