If you’ve been on social media sometime in these past few days, you might’ve seen this adorable video going around:
In case you’re wondering why a Lapras mascot has suddenly waddled into existence (apart from the usual Pikachu and Eevee mascots, and the newest Mimikyu), here’s your answer: it’s one of the official mascots of Japan’s north-eastern Miyagi Prefecture.
Earlier this week, Lapras was officially introduced as one of Miyagi’s tourism ambassadors. This has presumably been done in order to boost tourism to the prefecture, which is still recovering from the effects of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s Tohoku region.
Though it’s status as tourism ambassador has been confirmed, Lapras will only officially be considered as one in October. In that meantime, though, that mascot isn’t the only Lapras-related item that will be residing in the prefecture!
If you’ve ever wanted to ride on a Lapras, here’s your closest chance of fulfilling that dream. A fleet of Lapras-shaped pedal boats will be available for rent at Miyagi’s Michinoku Park lake from July 21, as well as the Hanayama Aoshonen Ryokomura camping and outdoor activity area, from August 3.
Here’s a look at the pedal boats in question:
If you’d prefer to ride on a Lapras without having to put in any leg work, fret not, because there’s an alternative. Inflatable Lapras swim toys will also be available at 16 public pool facilities throughout the Miyagi prefecture, which will include the hot spring resort area at Akiuo Onsen.
The Pokémon partnership organisers have also promised more to come! In the meantime, Miyagi Prefecture’s official website has been updated to add in a page for their newly-crowned mascot Pokémon.