Yuruchara (Yurukyara) Mascot Summit – Kanto’s largest character and mascot summit. Formerly, the world’s largest mascot event with a Guinness World Record certificate to prove it! In 2022, for the first time in three years, the event will be held at-venue. Although, its a different venue to normal! In 2020 and 2021 they held the event online. However, they will also have an online element too in 2022, for those who can’t make the journey to Saitama Prefecture.
The last time it was held in real life, in 2019, despite horrendous weather, 311 mascots participated and 115,000 people came to celebrate with them! Obviously way too many people to get together when there is a pandemic on, so the event has been held online since the Coronavirus began.
Yuruchara (Yurukyara) Mascot Festival
Yuru-chara is a a portmanteau of yurui, for gentle in this case, and chara, for the English spelling of character. Yuruchara seems to be the most common, but many people use the contraction of the words with the Japanese katakana of character, hence you see Yurukyara too. To be honest I use the latter as it is pronounced Yurukyara even when its spelt Yuruchara. But the official English information for this event uses Yuruchara hence I use that most frequently!
When and where is the big annual mascot event near Tokyo?
An ONLY IN JAPAN event! In a usual year up to 400 Mascots from cities and towns and even products parade down the runway at this popular annual event in Hanyu. The beloved annual Yuruchara, or mascot summit, event is held annually in Autumn. In 2022, they have planned the event for November 19th and 20th. Until the pandemic it was held at Hanyu’s riverside park where the Saitama Aquarium is. However, in 2022, there is a new venue for the festival. In 2022, the Mascot festival will be on at Aeon Mall Hanyu.
The mascots that will participate this year have not yet been announced (September 19th 2022). Over the years they have even had mascots participating from different countries around the world including Germany, Taiwan and America. In 2017 over 40 mascots from overseas attended this Guinness World Record Holding event. The biggest number of mascots from overseas they had to date. However, due to the pandemic, it is unlikely that there will be many (or even any!) mascots from overseas this year, unless they participate virtually online.
In a normal non-corona year there are lots of events during the festival including attractions for children such as bouncy castles. The festival attracted around 270,000 visitors until 2018. In 2019, when it was last held in real life, the weather was horrendous on the two days and I remember thinking they would cancel it. But they didn’t and 115,000 people turned up despite the inclement conditions! They come for the mascots and also the food or ‘gourmet’ as they call it. In conjunction with the event Chichibu Railway often have a related event, but probably not in 2022. In 2019 the railway’s headmark was this Yuruchara Mascot Summit logo:
The participating mascots are normally announced a couple of weeks before the festival. So around early November in 2022.
Featured image from the official Facebook group:
|Date:||Saturday November 19th and Sunday November 20th|
|Location:||Online and on site at:|
Aeon Mall Hanyu, 〒348-0039 Saitama, Hanyu, Kawasaki, 2 Chome−281−3.
First published on insaitama.com in 2015, updated annually. Last republish September 20th 2022.