A Hokkaido bus company has decided to cash in on the moe boom with these “moekko” designs for its free pass tickets, and was pleasantly surprised when it became a hit, not only locally but even outside the prefecture.
The “Moekko” ticket, which can be used on the coastline bus service of Hokkaido that runs through Rumoi city and Toyotomi town (none too central areas in the Hokkaido countryside) was created in response to falling passenger numbers, and to encourage tourist travel in the region.
As is customary, the characters have trite names and backstories appropriate to bus attendants, with names and design based on kanji wordplay.
The ticket was announced on their website in April, and was officially sold starting on May 1st. They report receiving around 150 applications from everywhere from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
There are two designs, the 1 day free ticket (¥2300) and the 2 day free ticket (¥3200), and curiously most of the applicants bought both.
The company says “We’d by all means like for the patrons who bought these to visit the region”, which might be taken as a tacit admission that they realise many of these tickets will go unused…