The executive committee announced that Yuru Chara Grand Prix 2020 will be held in Iwate Industry, Culture & Convention Center APIO in Takizawa City, Iwate Prefecture on October 3 and 4. This will be the final Yuru Chara Grand Prix. The webmaster expects that it will be very memorable.
The webmaster attended a bean throwing ceremony held at Tobu Department Store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Fortunately, she caught several small packs of beans thrown by Kapal, the winner of Yuru Chara Grand Prix 2018. In Japan, bean throwing ceremonies are held on the day before the first day of spring in the lunar calendar, on February 3 this year, in various places such as houses, schools, shrines and temples in order to bring in good fortune and ward off evil spirits. At famous shrines and temples, celebrities including Kabuki actors and professional sports figures throw beans.
On Nov. 3, the webmaster visited M-WAVE to attend Yuru Chara Grand Prix 2019. Arukuma (Nagano Pref. PR Character) won the Grand Prix by a slim margin of 61 votes. The photo on the left shows that Kapal, last year's champion, awarded Arukuma the gold medal. This result brought good news to Nagano Prefecture, one of the areas damaged severely by Typhoon Hagibis in October, practicing the philosophy that Yuru Chara Mascots encourage their local communities. At the end of the awarding ceremony, the organizer announced that Yuru Chara Grand Prix 2020, the final one, will be held in Iwate Prefecture. The webmaster can't imagine which mascot will be the final champion.
Today, the webmaster made a recording of her voice sample at a studio in Yokohama. She wishes she did a character voice in Japanese animated cartoons with high popularity in the world.
On Aug. 29, Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) announced that reservation of the seat with oversized baggage area in the Shinkansen will be required from May 2020. This measure will ensure a more comfortable train ride.
Nevertheless, the webmaster would rather prefer compartment cars common in Euroean railways. Please see below for more information.