Sakura salutes its Shiba star.

From its name, you might guess that the city of Sakura in Chiba Prefecture is famous for cherry blossoms. However, the town’s name is written with different kanji characters than the one used for sakura flowers, and is instead a reference to the fabric storehouses that the community originally developed around.

So no, Sakura isn’t famous for sakura. It does, however, have an international claim to fame as the hometown of the original doge meme dog.

Kabosu the Shiba Inu rose to worldwide stardom 14 years ago when pictures of the self-satisfied-looking pooch with comical text additions began being circulated online. In November, a Kabosu monument was created at the riverside Sakura Furusato Hiroba park, and now she’s receiving yet another honor with the creation of a doge manhole cover.

▼ Along with the iconic photo, the cover includes depictions of Sakura Furusato Hiroba’s windmill and tulip field, two of the park’s most popular attractions.

The Kabosu cover was publicly shown for the first time in mid-February at a special ceremony attended by Kabosu herself, where the Shiba seemed to be doing all she could to create yet another memorable pose for the camera.

The manhole cover was then installed on February 20 in front of the Sanranka snack shop inside Sakura Furusato Hiroba, just a three-minute walk from the Kabosu monument.

▼ Sanranka

Kabosu now joins such luminaries as Pikachu and Sailor Moon in the list of beloved figures with their own manhole covers, and with Sakura partway between downtown Tokyo and Narita, visiting the doge cover might be just the thing to fit into a detour on your way to or from the airport.

Related: Sakura Furusato Hiroba
Source, photos: PR Times

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