Today, under the shadow of an incoming typhoon, thirty mascots from Saitama Prefecture came together in Kumagaya Sports Culture Park (in Kumagaya, Saitama). They came to celebrate their native prefecture, outside a football stadium where Saitama’s FC Omiya Ardija were playing Gamba Osaka. Ardija means squirrel in Spanish, and the team’s squirrel mascots were present. The match was a draw (2-2).

Each of the characters had a QR code on its person for you to scan on your phone, each of which revealed a word. After getting six words you could add them all together to make a question, which you then had to answer in order to enter a raffle to win prizes. The question was an obscure one—about an Omiya Arija striker’s goal scoring record. Luckily a beer stand barman helped me out with the answer and I could enter the raffle.

Eventually it began to rain and the yuruchara waddled away.

Here are a few of the mascots I met:

Mappu, the windmill mascot of Matsubushi Town.

Tamarlin, the mascot of Saitama Super Arena

Potekuma, the potato bear of Chichibu.

Hanipon, the mascot of Honjo City.

Midorino of Midori Village.

Popotan, a new dandelion fairy mascot from Asaka City.

Komugicchi, wheat mascot of Kamisato town.

Sakaron, mascot of Sakado City.

Teletama-kun, the mascot of Television Saitama.

Natchan, one of the mascots of Kamikawa.

Fuwappi is the name shared by the twin brother and sister mascots of Fujimi City.

Tana-chan, the mascot of Namegawa Town.

Hasupi, mascot of Hasuda City.

Kumagaya City mascot, Nyaozane.

*Edit: One week later I received a package in the mail. I had won a prize in the raffle. A box full of Saitama mascot goodies!