The prefecture that named the Water/Psychic Pokémon as its governor is now building him a park.

Back in 2018, Kagawa Prefecture, on Japan’s island of Shikoku, came up with a cute little April Fool’s Day joke. See, Kagawa is famous for udon noodles, so much so that it sometimes jokingly refers to itself as “Udon Prefecture” in tourism campaigns. And because udon sounds like “Yadon,” the name of Pokémon Slowpoke in Japanese-language versions of the video game/anime series, Kagawa announced that it was renaming itself as Yadon/Slowpoke Prefecture, and instating Slowpoke as the prefectural governor.

Obviously, on April 2 Kagawa’s human governor was once again in charge, but the partnership between Kagawa and Slowpoke is going strong to this day. The prefecture has now had Slowpoke manhole covers, Slowpoke buses, and special Slowpoke food at its regional airport. So what’s next? A Slowpoke Park.

Though the site is currently just an empty patch of land in Ayagawa, a Kagawa town with a population of about 25,000 people, come spring the area shown above will be transformed into Slowpoke Park. While the illustration is just an artist’s concept, and not an ironclad promise of what’ll be waiting at the park, the ideas it presents all look adorable and plausible. The ridge in the back of the giant Slowpoke the top of the hill looks like it’d be a perfect fit for a slide, sort of like the Godzilla slide in Kanagawa, and it even looks like Slowpoke’s reportedly delicious tail is dipping down from the arched bridge in the background.

In contrast to Slowpoke’s unhurried, arguably lazy personality, fans on Twitter can’t wait to visit the park for themselves, as shown by comments like:

“Can’t describe how badly I want to go to this!”
“Definitely going to Slowpoke Park.”
“That concept art looks so cute!”
“Totally looking forward to this! It’s awesome that Kagawa and Slowpoke have kept their partnership going for so long.”

Slowpoke park is set to open in mid-April of 2023, in time for the spring Golden Week vacation period. Yes, the wait will be hard for fans, but all we can do for now is what Slowpoke would do: sit back and relax with silly smiles on our faces.

Source: Kagawa Prefecture Tourism Association via Famitsu, Twitter
Top image: Kagawa Prefecture Tourism Association
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