Who the hell is this dancing foreigner advertising products in Japan?
The mystery deepens once you enter this store.
Our Japanese-speaking journalist Haruka Takagi loves traveling around Japan because it opens her eyes to new sights and her mouth to new ice cream.
On a recent trip to Hokkaido, however, Haruka stumbled upon a sight she had never seen before, and it blew her away. No, it wasn’t a temple brewery – she’s seen that before. It wasn’t a wasp larvae bento – I was there before, I made it too.
The sight that baffled Haruka was waiting for him at the Akkeshi Gourmet Park Conchiglie bus station in Akkeshi, a city in the eastern part of Hokkaido, and this is what it looked like.
That’s right – Haruka had found a life-size panel of a man who appeared to be dancing in an unzipped hoodie. “If he had a life-size cutout dedicated to him, that man must be famous,” Haruka thought, and so she stepped in for further examination.
No. She had never seen this man before, and even more, she had no idea why he was there. She looked around the sign for a mention of her name, but couldn’t find one anywhere. The only thing she could make out was the sign he was holding in his hand, which was shaped like an oyster and simply stated that the Conchiglie Road station had won a satisfaction rating for 12 consecutive years.
▼ What is your name, mysterious stranger?
This roadside station is famous for oysters, which are a specialty of the region, but what was this mysterious man’s connection to all of this? Haruka’s curious journalist side couldn’t pass up, so she walked through the automatic sliding doors to see if she could get to the bottom of the mystery.
However, upon entering, she became even more confused. He was there again, and now it was as if he was taunting Haruka, challenging her to find out his identity.
She decided to head to the fridge to clear her head with a bottle of water, but…
▼… he was back!
There was a lot of information about the water inside the bottle, but again, no mention of this guy’s name, or his connection to any of this.
Her curiosity piqued, she stops in the bathroom to think about all this, and voila…
▼ …he was there, AGAIN!
▼ Was there no way to escape this man?
Haruka came out of the bathroom and headed to the memories area, and – yes, you guessed it – there was the mysterious man again, only this time he was on a screen, placed between rows of oyster soy sauce bottles, dancing a storm in what seemed like an advertisement for the bus station.
▼ Now she was dancing him on an endless loop, and this time he was baring even more skin.
Haruka thought he was probably a well-known face to the locals, but since she lives on the mainland, it was the first time she had seen him. Her dancing in the commercial was so lively and intense that even now, when she closes her eyes, she can see her body writhing vividly.
Sure, she thought he was handsome, but her growing obsession with him had more to do with her reporter’s curiosity. Ever since she was young, Haruka always wanted to get to the bottom of things, and she wasn’t going to let this man’s backstory hint at her anymore. Then she went to the clerk at the counter, where she had this conversation:
Haruka: “Is the dancer I see everywhere in this bus station an Akkeshi dancer?”
Clerk“I’m sorry, but we don’t even know who this person is.”
Haruka couldn’t believe that a completely unknown person would receive a life-size sign and so much attention in such a big Road Station like this – in Japan, that would only happen for a connection with a famous celebrity.
Haruka“You really don’t know? What do you mean?”
Clerk: “I literally have no idea who he is.”
Haruka“So even though he’s on all these exclusive products in the store…you don’t know who they are?”
▼ Haruka didn’t hesitate to ask questions, pointing to all the advertisements around them.
Clerk: “I really do not know.”
Never one to let a dead end stop her from her investigations, Haruka decided to direct her questions higher up the ladder, calling the company that runs the bus station. However, according to the PR representative she spoke to, they also had no idea who he was, saying:
“The dancer is from paid video material selected by the production company, so we at Conchiglie have no information about him.”
Well, it was really a dead end. During her investigations, she discovered that this man had appeared in five advertisements for Conchiglie Road Station since 2018with a new one appearing every year.
▼ Each features very enthusiastic dance moves…and bare skin.
If you’re ready to have his moves imprinted on your mind, be sure to check out some of the commercials he appears in below.
▼ His debut in 2018
▼ A camo costume change for the 2021 ad
▼ The latest announcement
Who the hell is the man behind all those daring and sexy dance moves? Haruka was now more curious than ever, and all that oyster talk had made her hungry too. So she sat down with a cream croquette (180 yen [US$1.28]), an oyaki ball (150 yen), and yes — a bottle of this water.
Both the croquette and the dumpling had oysters in them and they were absolutely delicious. It was like gourmet versions, and Haruka understood why this Road Station had become so famous for its food.
What she didn’t understand, however, was the identity of the man who was so important to the Road Station. Even as she was about to leave, there he was, dancing an endless goodbye.
▼ Before getting back on her bike for the rest of her Hokkaido adventure, she couldn’t resist stopping to mimic her pose.
Whoever he is, his dance moves add a touch of energy and excitement to the place, so much so that Haruka ended up succumbing to his charms. The ads also appear to have been well received by audiences, with a number of commentators praising them for their impact, and some even saying they are addictive to watch.
Still, Haruka would like to know who this man is and if he knows he is the face of a Japanese bus station. If you have any leads, let us know, and if you have any leads on the mystery of Suzy, the Yamazaki bread girl, we’d love to hear them too!
Akkeshi Gourmet Park Conchiglie Road Station
Address: Hokkaido-ken, Akkeshi-gun, Akkeshi-cho, Suminoe 2-2
Open: 9am-8pm (April-September); 10am-7pm (Oct-Dec); 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (January-March)
Closed on Monday (Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday); Open every day in July and August
Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]