Monday, February 9, 2015
There is a place outside Sapporo called Yubari, that is famous for melons (and for going bankrupt so no public services such as snow removal or ambulances works). They have a mascot (every place/company/entertainment event/whatever has a mascot in Japan) promoting Yubari and trying to get tourists to go there. This mascot is called Melon Kuma ("Melon Bear") since they mainly have melons and bears in Yubari.
Unlike most Japanese mascots that are very cute, Melon Kuma is more frightening. It usually makes children cry when it appears in the airport and at other places. Melon Kuma showed up at the Sapporo Snow Festival and violently attacked some celebrity presenter doing something in front of one of the huge snow sculptures. I am not sure this is the best way to get people to actually want to go to Yubari...