Giant squid statue in Noto Town

Located in Ishikawa Prefecture is Noto Town, a small fishing town known for squid fishing. In March last year, the town’s local authorities built a 13m-long giant squid statue using Covid-19 relief funds, sparking a debate of ethicality. 

Amid the heated discussion, the authorities had insisted that the statue, also known as Ika King (イカキング ; squid king), would help stem declining tourism in the area. And they did deliver a year later today – or did they?

Some remain unconvinced by the estimated revenue generated, embroiling the town in yet another controversy.

Generated 22 times the revenue for the town in the past year

Visitors can find the giant squid statue in front of the Ika No Eki Tsukumōru (イカの駅つくモール; Ika No Eki Tsukumall) tourist information centre.

On 29th August, Noto Town announced that the giant squid statue, which cost ¥27,000,000 (~USD187,894.35) to build, had generated 22 times worth of revenue for Ishikawa Prefecture at  ¥594,440,000 (~USD4,233,586.22) thus far.

Noto Giant Squid Statue - Collage of squid statue
Image adapted from: @TO_tuffy and @korinaiocchann

The figure was provided by Toshiro Shirao, a business consultant whom local officials engaged. According to Toshiro, he first worked alongside the local Promotion Division to survey the main purpose for visitors stopping by Ika No Eki Tsukuōru from June to August. 

Among 1,125 surveyees, 45% mentioned viewing the giant squid statue as their trip objective, with average spending of ¥11,000 (~USD76.58) per person on travel and souvenirs. Based on these numbers, Toshiro estimated that the statue alone raked in ¥594,440,000 (~USD4,233,586.22) for Ishikawa Prefecture over the span of a year.

Netizens’ reactions are mixed

Noto Giant Squid Statue - user comment on sussy revenue figure
“¥600,000,000? All too shady a value!”
Image adapted from: @toyo_san_

With regards to the astronomical figure, netizens had mixed reactions. Some didn’t believe the figure’s legitimacy, claiming that it’s too good to be true. Nevertheless, they agreed that the debate will be effective publicity for the giant squid statue.

Noto Giant Squid Statue - user comment on free publicity
“The figure may very well be inflated, but the more netizens debate it, the more publicity it will bring.”
Image adapted from: @kikioroshi

Those who were less sceptical about the large figure believe that the giant squid statue’s popularity is short-lived and that it will be reduced to waste in no time.

Noto Giant Squid Statue - user comment on statue being abandoned soon
“It will become disposed of as trash in 1 year. Waste of money (laughing with tears emoji).”
Image adapted from: @JdtvT0Z06OTS9uh

Noto Giant Squid Statue - user comment on better use of taxpayer money needed
“Seems like something people will lose interest in quickly. Taxpayers’ money should be put to better use.”
Image adapted from: @bot27118423

Meanwhile, another group of netizens were amazed by Ika King’s generated revenue and have dropped by Noto Town to meet the influencer.

Noto Giant Squid Statue - user commenting on visiting the squid statue
“Saying hello to the rumoured ¥600,000,000-making Ika King. Good morning~”
Image adapted from: @1300R_s

Visiting the giant squid statue in Noto Town 

Head down and judge for yourself if the giant squid statue in Noto Town’s really worth all the hype. 

The Ika No Eki Tsukumōru tourist information centre is a 40-minute car ride from Noto Satoyama Airport. Although it’s a little far off, we’re sure the statue’s viral for a reason.

Giant squid statue
Address: 18-18-1 Ossaka, Noto, Hosu District, Ishikawa 927-0552 

Ika No Eki Tsukumoru
Address: 18-18-1, Ossaka, Noto, Hosu District, Ishikawa 927-0552
Opening hours: Thurs-Tues 9.30am-5pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
Contact: 0768-74-1399 | Ika No Eki Tsukumōru website

Also check out:

Cover image adapted from: @TO_tuffy

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