No, this is not the Singapore Merlion we are familiar with.
Believe it or not, this is in fact a Merlion sibling statue sitting near the city of Hakodate, one of the main cities on Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island.
Here’s a closer look.
According to social media influencer and photographer Xavier Lur on Twitter, the Merlion statue was erected well over 30 years ago as a symbol of friendship between the two cities.
The Japanese cousin to Singapore’s Merlion in Hakodate, Hokkaido ?? as a symbol of friendship between the two cities. This Merlion statue was erected 30 years ago. pic.twitter.com/vpxdU3LYDU
— Xavier Lur (@xavierlur) October 11, 2019
Merlion in Winter
You can also catch the Merlion covered in snow during winter in Hokkaido, a scene that we will never see in Singapore.
The actual location of the Hakodate Merlion is actually in the city of Hokuto and the nearest railway station is Nanaehama Station, although it’s around a 20-minute walk away.
Here’s a 3D view of the area on Google Maps.
There’s even an indoor bath facility with a view of Hakodate Bay and Mount Hakodate next to the lonely merlion.
Totally worth a visit next time you are in Hokkaido.
Singapore-Nanaehama’s Friendship Merlion
Address: 8 Chome-4 Nanaehama, Hokuto, Hokkaido 049-0111, Japan
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily