Mascot Overload: Japan’s Obsession with Mascots

6. Reruhi-san

With plenty of ski yuru-kyara floating around, Reruhi-san stands out as one of the most popular.

Falling under the weird-but-cute category, his character is based on Austrian Major General Theodore Elder von Lerch, a “winter leisure sports” ambassador who visited Japan. He looks a bit like a garden gnome, and is as sweet as he is creepy. Reruhi-san represents Nigata Skiing promoting the Omotesando Hills.

5. Meron Kuma

Also known as Melon Bear, Meron Kuma looks more like a vicious beast from a fairytale legend than anything else. Still, the bear that dons a crazy green mask and always has his fangs out is quite popular. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to this yuru-kyara which depicts photos of the bear taking a bite out of the other Japanese mascots — and sometimes even travelers visiting the city he represents of Yubari.

4. Nishiko-kun

Not cute, not cuddly, not sweet … at all! Nishiko-kun is far odder than anything else on the mascot spectrum.

How can you describe him? Well, he’s a dog, trapped in a sun, within a circle, that has legs and wears gray spandex tights. He caught the attention of many during the 2011 Mascot Grand Prix, where he won third place! Even more of a reason why being weird can be a good thing at times.



14 Ways to Screw Up an International Trip

There are countless things that could go wrong on an international trip, and many of them are out of your control. However, there’s possibly an equal number of ways to screw up your trip, and unfortunately no one to blame but yourself.

Love Holidays from Around the World

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it’s tempting to rail against the North American traditions that lead us to stress about dinner reservations and spend all our money on chocolates every February 14th. However, we’re not the only ones with elaborate holidays that celebrate love.

Around the World in Valentine’s Day Desserts

As we get closer to Valentine’s Day, it’s time to move away from thinking about presents to thinking about what’s really important — food! Forget buying fancy jewelry or elaborate gifts, making your partner a really delicious homemade dessert will show your devotion more than any present could.