Celebrate Summer with Keroppi
Keroppi is one of Hello Kitty’s friends and he is a cute little green frog who loves swimming, baseball and playing with boomerangs. He also loves to sing! His full name in Japanese is actually Kerokerokeroppi, which means “morning glory”. Keroppi lives in a house by Donut Pond with his mother, father, sister Pikki and brother Koroppi. Keroppi, Pikki, and Koroppi are triplets! Their mother is a chef and their father is a doctor.
July 10th is Keroppi’s birthday. Since he loves ponds and lakes, he takes the whole month of July to celebrate his birthday by traveling the world, one big lake or pond at a time! Den Den, a snail and his best friend, goes with him to keep him company.
The Fourth of July is Independence Day, so Keroppi starts out his birthday month with a bang, watching the fireworks in Chicago over Lake Michigan. Spectacular! Did you know that the Great Lakes – Lakes Huron, Michigan, Superior, Erie and Ontario – form the world’s largest body of fresh water? Keroppi enjoys taking ferry rides across the lakes with Den Den!
Their next stop is New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. The cypress swamps and waterways are beautiful and are a habitat to many animals and birds. Keroppi takes care to not disturb the alligators, though. They can be quite grumpy.
Keroppi and Den Den’s next stop is in the British Isles, specifically Loch Ness in Scotland. Maybe they will catch a glimpse of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster! Although most people would rather walk or hike around the lochs for exercise, Keroppi prefers to swim lengthwise across Loch Ness, the biggest and longest loch at 39 km (23 miles). With a maximum depth of 230 meters (754 feet), Nessie certainly has plenty of room to hide!
How do you visit three countries at once? Go to Lake Constance in the Swiss, Austrian and German Alps, of course! It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe and has a stunning view of the Alps surrounding it.
Then it’s on to Hungary and Lake Heviz, which is the largest thermal lake in Europe. With water at a constant 101 degrees Farenheit, its lush waterlilies, and the nature conservation area that surrounds it, it’s a perfectly relaxing setting for Keroppi and Den Den! And when they’re ready for cooler waters, Lake Balaton just a short distance away,
Keroppi decides that to finish off his European tour, he and Den Den must go to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. There are many animals and unique birds that call the area home. Between the breathtaking views and the spectacular waterfalls, it is well worth the trip!
The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world at 143,244 square miles and Keroppi is excited to visit it because of its rich history. It used to be the summer retreat for Russian tsars and other royalty. The northern area of the Caspian Sea is fairly shallow and perfect for a swim for Keroppi and Den Den!
Next they visit Lake Baikal, just north of Mongolia. It’s a beautiful lake with the clearest, deepest water in the world and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, making it the largest lake in the world by volume. What an awe-inspiring place!
Keroppi and Den Den decide to visit Japan because of Lake Kawaguchiko near Mt. Fuji. This lake, part of the Mt. Fuji UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the second largest lake of the Mt. Fuji Five Lakes region, but what makes it so stunning is the mirror image reflection of Mt. Fuji that you get from the south side of the lake on a calm and clear day.
How would you like to swim in a bubblegum pink lake? As soon as they get off the plane at Perth, Keroppi and Den Den head over to Lake Hillier on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago. It’s a salt lake in which certain algae live that produce carotenoids that make the water turn pink. There are several other lakes in Australia that have this same algae, including one in Melbourne, but most of the lakes are only pink in the summer and turn back to blue/green in the cooler months.
From South Australia, Keroppi and Den Den decide to head up to the northern end of Queensland to the Daintree National Park, the last remaining rainforest in Australia. It is home to 3% of Australia’s frogs, reptiles and marsupials; 7% of the birds; and 90% of the bats and butterflies. In 2015, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its diversity and ancient plants which grow nowhere else in the world! Keroppi wants to make friends with some of the native frogs.
Next, Keroppi and Den Den head over to Lake Wakatipu, a stunning finger lake with breathtaking scenery, including the Remarkables, a mountain range along the south that was featured in the Lord of the Rings movies. It’s the longest island in New Zealand – 50 miles – and Keroppi decides to swim the length of it like he did with Loch Ness. Phew!
And although they can’t swim in it – because the temperature is a whopping 168 degrees Fahrenheit! – Keroppi did not want to miss visiting The Champagne Pool. It’s a geothermal lake, that gets its name from the carbon dioxide that bubbles up from its depths. It is so cool looking from all the minerals and metalloid compounds! The Champagne Pool is located in the Wai-O-Tapu geothermal area in the North Island’s Bay of Plenty region.
After their around-the-world celebration of “pond-hopping,” Keroppi and Den Den head home to their modest Donut Pond for some very well-deserved rest. Keroppi’s mom, the master chef, has a wonderful birthday cake waiting for him, and all his friends come by to celebrate with him!
If you’re traveling this summer, you’ll need some shoes… Hello Kitty shoes of course!