Dog runs sweet potato stand in Hokkaido

One reads that a Japanese dog has significant managerial responsibilities

SAPPORO — A Shiba Inu dog that “manages” a baked sweet potato store alone in a residential area of this city is building a loyal following that matches the breed’s faithful reputation.

Ken, the 4-year-old Japanese hunting dog in Sapporo, the capital of Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, is also warming foreign visitors’ hearts as the story of the dog’s unique work has been spreading through social media. Other canines are also benefiting from his activities as part of the store’s profits are donated to an organization that works to prevent the culling of pets.


The handmade store contains a heater and opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays. The store is closed for an hour at noon and resumes operations at 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Payment is through an honesty box where customers place 200 yen per potato into a hole in the wall of the store.

Murayama [Sonoto Murayama, who had the idea for the stand] thinks that the store has gained popularity among foreigners as unmanned stands are rare abroad although they are a common sight in rural areas in Japan. Messages in foreign languages including English, Chinese and Thai are seen written on a notebook placed in front of the shop.

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