melonpan

Yuru-kyara, or regional promotional mascots, are so ubiquitous in Japan it can sometimes be hard to recall which one’s which, where they’re from, or even what type of brand or product they’re promoting.

Over 1,000 mascots represent different regions in Japan, which means the need to leave a lasting impression is a constant driving force in the creation of cute products like the sweet puppy above. Can you guess which region he represents and the even more unusual place where he can be found?

This is the adorable character in the furry flesh. His name is Mori-ken (lit. Protection Dog) which is a play on words that corresponds to the area he hails from: Moriya in Ibaraki Prefecture.

▼ It’s a dog. And it’s wearing a frog hat. That gets high points on our scale of cuteness!

The sweet product that’s got everyone talking is the “Mori-ken Melon Bread“. This type of sweet bread, with its melon-flavoured dough and thin cookie-style crust, is popular throughout Japan but you won’t get one as cute as this anywhere else in the country!

What’s even more surprising is the fact that you won’t find it at most local bakeries. This unique product can only be found at the Moriya Service Area highway rest stop in Ibaraki.

▼ These puppies are filled with chocolate cream and sell for 350 yen (US$2.82) each.

▼ The pup is so adorable that motorists are stopping by just to eat him!

According to his tagline, Mori-ken is concerned that some people might confuse him for a frog instead of a dog. Not hard to do with a bonnet so green and big!

Highway rest stops, with their spectacular views and exclusive goods, are great places to stop and enjoy the journey. Who knows how many more cute finds like this are hiding around the country just waiting to be found!

Source: Naver Matome
Top Image: @EmilyHusky