Chansey’s name in Japanese is Rakkii (ラッキー ) or “lucky,” and that’s exactly what kids in Namie, Fukushima prefecture are. The character is getting its own playground in the city, and it looks sweet.
The name of the playground is Rakkii Koen (ラッキー 公園), literally “Lucky Park.” It’s a pun of sorts on Chansey’s Japanese name. As announced in October, four Chansey playgrounds will be built in the prefecture, with the first going up in Namie. Future ones will be built in the cities of Koriyama, Yanaizu, and Showa.
Pokémon’s official Japanese site explains why Chansey has been dubbed the mascot character for Fukushima Prefecture:
In February 2019, Chansey was appointed the “Fukushima Support Pokémon.” This Pokémon is said to bring happiness, so it echoes the etymology of Fukushima, as “Fuku” means luck. Just as Chansey’s delicious and nutritious eggs are part of its image as an auspicious Pokémon, Fukushima’s image is closely tied to its auspicious name and the many variety of fresh produce it offers to residents and visitors.
Besides appearing at local events, Chansey has gotten its own manhole and vending machine in Fukushima. There is even Chansey pudding! But, perhaps, best of all, are the playgrounds—plural.
While the park is named after Chansey, it’s really a pink Pokémon themed park. Igglybuff and Cleffa both get cameos, as does Happiny, which of course evolves into Chansey. Lickitung also puts in an excellent appearance with one of the best designed kiddy slides I’ve ever seen.
Currently, the first Lucky Park was under construction and not yet complete when those photos were taken, but it still looks fantastic. When finished, it should look even better. Kids, no doubt, will love this. Heck, I love it.
Children who get to play here are lucky indeed.