Wednesday, December 14, 2016

To Funabashi, Funassyi's hometown! :)

Where can Santa hat-wearing Funassyi plushies be found 

At whose tourist office is free Funassyi pear jelly and 
Funaemon carrot jelly snacks handed out to visitors?

 Why, Chiba prefecture's Funabashi, of course! ;b

While Hakone is a bona fide tourist destination, few foreign visitors go to the city of Funabashi despite it being a good distance closer to Tokyo.  Actually, I'm prepared to wager that few non-Japanese have heard of the city with a population size of over 600,000...unless they happen to be fans of a certain 1,878-year-old (as of 2016) pear fairy who only came down to earth in April 2012!   

Because I've become quite the fan of Funadius IV (or, more informally and popularly, Funassyi), I decided to make a pilgrimage to The Pear's hometown.  Thus it was that the day after my two friends, my mother and I returned to Tokyo from our Hakone sojourn, I dragged one of those friends (who is a fellow Funatomo (Funassyi fan)) and also my long-suffering mother along to Funabashi.  

Part of the vast metropolitan area referred to as Greater Tokyo, Funabashi is easily accessible by train from Japan's capital city proper.  While Funabashi is known -- surprise, surprise -- for its Asian (or nashi) pears, the sections of it that we visited had a pleasant small city feel.  In particular, the area around Funabashi Station and Keisei-Funabashi Station was very nice to walk about in, with atmospheric alleyways and colorful streets containing sights that will gladden the heart of those who love Funassyi.

I must admit to wondering if I'd see much expression of Funassyi love in its hometown on account of The Pear being "only" the unofficial mascot of Funabashi (rather than an official one, like Funaemon).  But upon walking into the tourist information center near Funabashi Station and being offered a sample of pear jelly with hyperactive yellow mascot's visage on its cover (along with carrot jelly with Funaemon's face on its container) and leaflets featuring the colorful character with the words "fun" and "ass" in its name, I got to definitely feeling the community's happiness -- and pride, even? -- in being associated with the popular, lovable gotouchi chara.

More than incidentally, it's that time of the year when the Japanese exchange nengajo (New Year's postcards).  And The Pear's posted on its Twitter page that postcards can be sent to it at the following address (which the wonderful woman behind the We Love Funassyi website has translated into English):-

C/o Funabashi East Post Office
Funabashi 274-8799
Chiba, Japan

And should anyone wonder: yes, I've already sent mine -- and I encourage other Funatomo to do so, especially those living outside of Japan, so that Funassyi will get some idea of how many fans it has beyond its home country, never mind hometown! :)


peppylady (Dora) said...

Love pear jelly my mom made it when she was a live. Never had Carrot Jelly. But jalapeno preserves are the rage here now.

Coffee is on

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

Feel obliged to point out that I was using "jelly" in a British English way. So it'd be pear and carrot jello in American English. So... have you ever had pear flavored jello? :b