Mecca. Bethlehem. The Wailing Wall. And now, DOGE.
Followers of Kabosu — the wide-eyed Shiba Inu puppy featured in the Doge meme, whose cute face adorns the popular cryptocurrencies Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB), born in the wake of this internet phenomenon — now have the opportunity to make a “sacred pilgrimage” to find his ‘idol’ in the city of Sakura, Japan.
The trip is a project by Own the Doge, a memecoin-driven NFT community supported by Doge DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization born out of PleasrDAO, a collection of NFT artists and collectors who pool their funds to acquire culturally relevant digital art.
We are undertaking a journey to Japan to meet the actual Doge and her momma (@kabosumama)✨
Would you want to join us for this 3.5-day magical meme adventure?
Here is everything you need to know about The Doge Pilgrimage🐶🇯🇵#meetthedoge🧵 pic.twitter.com/hp9N6aB0De
— Own The Doge 🐶🖼 (@ownthedoge) March 14, 2023
“We think of Pleasr as the Louvre of the internet and DOGE as its Mona Lisa,” he told the decrypt tridoga major contributor to Own the Doge and PleasrDAO,.
Tridog is a strict follower of DOGE (Do Only Good Everyday) thinking and visited Kabosu – who is now 17 years old and recovering from a serious illness – and his “hooman”, to Dogemother, Atsuko Sato, a local kindergarten teacher in Japan last fall.
Forever changed by the encounter, tridog is now excited to share his quasi-religious catharsis with select members of the Doge community.
Truly a life changing moment to meet you today @kabosumama
See More pic.twitter.com/areTzjLj7X
— tridog (@tridog) August 27, 2022
“This pilgrimage… will explore the genesis of one of the greatest legends in internet history and provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get back to your roots. [de Kabosu] in and around Tokyo, a place known for its crazy and wonderful happenings,” said tridog.
The trip, which will take place from May 3 to 7, will feature visits to canine-themed temples and statues in the Tokyo area, go-kart races in the city’s streets and a dinner with geisha performances.
Of course, it will also include a trip to the small town of Sakura, where lucky trip participants will meet the Doge, walk with the Doge, pose for meme reenactment photos with the Doge, and visit the future site of a bronze statue of the Doge — for which Doge DAO previously raised $100,000 to erect in the city.
As we move forward, we are now focusing on the next steps in the process of getting the statue built.
These include finding a skilled bronze worker who can bring our vision to life, finalizing the design of the statue and coordinating with SaKura local authorities.
— Bronze Doge (@BronzeTheDoge) January 20, 2023
Kyle Craven, known worldwide as Bad Luck Brian — the subject of another iconic 2010s meme — will also be joining fans on this spiritual journey as an honorary guest on the pilgrimage. While Craven’s face will likely be on display for most of the voyage, guests who wish to anonymously enter the Doge party will be provided with “Big Doge Heads,” or Doge-themed masks to wear for the duration of the voyage. (“Let’s certainly take this trip ‘no rush,’” said tridog.)
Anyone can apply to participate in the trip, although, according to Doge, places are almost running out. In the application for the trip, aspiring pilgrims are invited to reveal their true motivations for taking the trek. To take a picture with the Doge? To have dinner with the Doge’s human, Atsuko? Or perhaps to “shake hands with Atsuko’s husband”?
One lucky winner of the contest will have their base travel fee of $4,200 plus airfare (up to $1,500) covered by Doge DAO. To participate, competitors must own at least one NFT Doge Pixel. What is it, you ask? In 2021, PleasrDAO purchased an NFT of Atsuko Sato’s original Doge meme for $4 million (Wow), then split it into billions of dog tokens.
Individual pixels of that photo can now be purchased for around $48 in DOG tokens each. And the more Doge pixels a person owns, the greater their chances of winning the Doge pilgrimage draw (although such splitting and reselling of NFTs has been deemed potentially illegal even by vocally pro-crypto regulators).
Last month, PleasrDAO auctioned off the sofa from the original Doge meme to raise funds for Save the Children. The sofa fetched a price of 21 ETH, worth just $35,000 at the time.
*Translated by Gustavo Martins with permission from decrypt.