All this week, the Furusato Matsuri (home town festival) is being held in the enormous Tokyo Dome. It’s mainly an excuse to sample local delicacies from all over the country, but plenty of mascots can be seen milling around there. I went there on Sunday, and here are a few of the characters I encountered:

A melancholy duck with a leek for a tail, Gaya-chan (left) is the mascot of Koshigaya City. Tairyouhousaku-kun (right) is the Furusato Festival’s mascot.

The ubiquitous Kumamoto Prefecture mascot, Kumamon, clowns around on the stage.

Ikaaru Seijin the alien squid hails from Hakodate, Hokkaido.

Lerch-san is perhaps Japan’s tallest mascot, and promotes skiing in Niigata Prefecture. He is modeled on Theodor von Lerch, an Austro-Hungrarian soldier who introduced skiing to Japan.

Shimanekko is a cat with a shrine roof for a hat, and the mascot of Shimane Prefecture.

Kii-chan, the mascot of Wakayama, is excited about 2018 (it’s the year of the dog).

Potato-headed Hinojaga-kun, from Tokyo’s Hinohara Village, pretends to give a speech.

CHI-BA+KUN, a dog in the shape of the outline of Chiba Prefecture, promotes the Aqua Line Marathon to be held later this year.