With so many brands competing for attention in Taiwan, logos often take the back seat to adorable mascots (吉祥物 / ji xiang wu). It’s hard to walk around without seeing a mascot emblazoned over windows, walls, and street signage—each, gently coercing you to come in. Even now, I don’t remember a lot of the store logos, but I do recall their characters.
Many of the mascots in Taiwan are animals typified by big, round, black eyes with a white circle (representing a gleam). The most common animals (動物 / dong wu) I found were cats and bears.
Here are some of the many mascots I’ve found during my travels representing everything from public transportation campaigns to bookstores.
A tiger promoting some kind of travel campaign.
Naked with eyes for you.
A dragon, raccoon (maybe), and cat ready to transport you to where you want to go.
A girl in a lamb suit or a lamb dressed up as a girl?
Chubby bunny, enjoying boba.
Couldn’t resist getting this mochi donut because of the Santa.
Come get your roasted sweet potatoes!
That belly button though.
Some running monkey from near Taichung (臺中 / tai zhong) city hall.
Winking daruma in front of a bookstore?
Looks like an imp with attitude. Still pretty cute, no?
Grapefruit green tea cat drink
That’s mashed potatoes on his head.
A bear wiping his mouth after finishing a meal.
Can’t tell if that bra just fell off or not.
Rudolph or a bear with a red nose, ready to go skiing.
A black bear showing customers how fun its drinks are.
Just a monkey and bear enjoying boba and soup dumplings (小籠包 / xiao long bao) in a hot tub.
Mascots for an arcade.
A pirate monkey, holding a live bomb.
Adorable ice cream cone mascot.
I don’t want to know why there’s a halo on this dog.
More holiday cuteness!
Dragon with long whiskers.
That’s me, and a goose. Thumbs up!
Kirin maybe? Not entirely sure, but it’s wearing a soccer uniform.
A little Japanese influence here with this tengu mascot.
One of the many mascots from the Taiwan Mochi Museum (台灣麻糬主題館 / tai wan ma shu zhu ti guan).
Not sure what food this character is supposed to represent.
A pig (豬 / zhu) with tiny legs
Mr. Wish, so fresh!
Boba with fuzzy hair
A warm looking bunny.
Even the cash register is not spared from characters.
A cat showing off proper MRT behavior.
A little different than many of these mascots, but even the Taiwan Design Museum (台灣設計館 / tai wan she ji guan) has skin in the game.
Nothing like a warm cup of coffee (咖啡 / ka fei) in the winter.
Block of ice, presumably, for a shaved snow shop.
Any guesses what that long-necked mascot is?
A squirrel and a hedgehog enjoying some cake.
The bear on patrol, in holiday attire.
If only all first responders looked so cool.
More mochi donut cuteness.
Just a leek jogging, that’s all.
Any guesses what this eggplant is doing?
This orange looks like it’s about to travel back in time.
Just a few kappas relaxing.
Forest animals of all shapes and sizes.
This cat doesn’t really want to share his bonito.
Which is your favorite?