11 of Japan’s Cutest City and Prefecture Mascots

Japan has a thing for moe mascots, which are called yuru-chara. The mascots are created to represent cities and prefectures, with their designs being moe and incorporating regional elements.

There are nearly 2,000 yuru-chara mascots, but these ones are considered to be the most known and cutest of the bunch!



The mascot is known as an internet meme, but Kumamon represents Kumamoto Prefecture after they opened a bullet train line. Kumamon routinely tops national mascot polls and has made an appearance in Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie.



This adorable mascot represents Chiba City and its beautiful flowers.



A cute cat character that was created to attract tourists to the Yonbancho Square shopping street. The square is located in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture.



A fun-loving bear that wears an apple on its head! Arukuma was created to represent Nagano Prefecture’s apple orchids.



This character’s roots date back to 1983, but the current Gunma-chan design has only been around since 2008. The mascot’s horse design represent Gunma Prefecture’s history of being one of Japan’s first horse-breeding province.



This cuddly samurai was created to promote Sano City, which is only 55 miles from Tokyo. Sanomaru wears the city’s two culinary specialties: Sano-ramen noodles and imo-frai.



Ebinya is the cheerful mascot of Ebina City. She wears a prawn hat (an “ebi” is a prawn) and has a strawberry body, which is a local produce.



This mascot was designed to represent Miyagi Prefecture’s rice farms. Musubimaru’s armor is modeled after Date Masamune’s armor, who is also from Miyagi Prefecture.



A cross between a deer and rabbit, this mascot represents Fukaya City. The leeks and tulips are symbols of the city.



Kaparu is a cartoony version of the “Kappa” yokai, which are said to roam around Shiki City.




Tagatan is a mole that represents Tagawa City’s mining and construction industries.


What are your favorite mascots?

Majored in Music @Duke, but realized that being a Jazz singer wasn't a real job. Now I spend my days watching anime and writing about the music industry. Glad to be in the new round of GB hires. Look forward to my coverage.
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