I traveled to Matsuyama, the capital of Ehime Prefecture, for 4 days and 3 nights. The main purpose of this trip was to watch Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 on the last 2 days. My favorite Milan, which is the mascot character of Ehime Prefecture, did not participate in the contest, but entertained other local mascot characters and the audience as a host of the event with Barysan, Imabari city’s mascot character. I also participated in a PR event for the Grand Prix and did some sightseeing. In this article, I will write about Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 PR event (Okaido and Gintengai) as part of Day 1.
[Visit Places (series of articles)]
* Day 1 (1) Yuru-chara Grand Prix PR event 1 (Okaido and Gintengai) [This article]
* Day 1 (2) Yuru-chara Grand Prix PR event 2 (Ropeway street and Dogo Onsen)
* Day 1 (3) Dogo Onsen (Light up)
* Day 2 (1) Mican Center at Ehime prefectural government office
* Day 2 (2) Ninomaru Historical Garden and Matsuyama Castle
* Day 2 (3) Matsuyama Castle (Light up)
* Day 3 (1) Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 1st day part 1
* Day 3 (2) Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 1st day part 2
* Day 3 (3) Okaido (Bansuiso Villa and Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum etc.)
* Day 4 (1) Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 2nd day part 1
* Day 4 (2) Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 2nd day part 2
* Day 4 (3) Matsuyama City Station (Tram, Matsuchika Town etc.)
A new series has begun! As I mentioned in the previous article, I traveled to Matsuyama, the capital of Ehime Prefecture. It was December 2013 when I visited it for the first time. I got to know Mican, a local mascot character (“Yuru-chara”) of Ehime Prefecture, at that time and this is my fifth visit to Ehime, so you know how I like Ehime and Mican 🙂
Going to Ehime Matsuyama
Now I was at Haneda Airport. When I visit Matsuyama, Ehime, I usually use ANA flight 583, the first flight to Matsuyama.
Around departutre gate.
Now I arrived at Matsuyama airport.
Then, I moved to Matsuyama city station.
I will start to walk around Matsuyama city from Gintengai.
Gintengai is one of the major shopping arcade in Matsuyama.
There are two famous Nabeyaki udon’s restaurants in this area and I will visit both of them (FYI:Nabeyaki udon is a local favorite cuisine in Matsuyama).
Nabeyaki Udon at Kotori
First, I visited “Kotori”, which has been operating since 1949.
In the restaurant.
Here is Nabeyaki Udon.
As I had not eaten anything in the morning, I had it as breakfast.
I left Kotori and moved to Okaido.
Okaido is another major shopping arcade in Matsuyama, along with Gintengai.
This is Matsuyama Mitsukoshi, one of the largest department store in Matsuyama.
I just got to know that there is a PR event for Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016. Several local mascot characters in Ehime gathered for the PR event and they stopped by four spots. The first spots was Matsuyama Mitsukoshi.
Yuru-chara Grand Prix PR event at Okaido (Matsuyama Mitsukoshi)
Barysan and Mican showed up.
While Barysan came to the stage,
Mican sitted on a chair for rest 🙂
Mican was encouraged to stand up by a host of the event.
Now the PR event has started.
In addition to Mican and Barysan, four local mascot characters in Ehime gathered for the event.
Since Mican and Barysan did not participate in the grand prix to serve as a host, other four mascot characters who enrolled in the contest were introduced first.
“Happy Kaba-kun”, the mascot character of fire department of Matsuyama city.
“Chappun-Jiyan”, the mascot character of Saijo city.
“Mican-maru”, the mascot character of Iyo city.
“Date Nannyo”, the mascot charcter of Uwajima city.
Then, Mican and Barysand were introduced.
Photo, including all of the mascot characters.
Nabeyaki Udon at Asahi
After the PR event, I went back to Gintengai.
I visited “Asahi”, another famous Nabeyaki Udon’s restaurant along with “Kotori”.
Asahi was opened in 1947 and has a traditional feel.
This is Nabeyaki Udon.
Compared with Nabeyaki Udon at Kotori, Nabeyaki Udon at Asahi was sweeter. Kotori and Asahi are popular for its Nabeyaki Udon, I would recomment both of them.
Yuru-chara Grand Prix PR event at Gintengai
The second PR event for Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 was held at Gintengai.
About 10 mintes before the event, local mascot characters in Ehime showed up.
Barysan and Happy Kaba-kun.
Happy Kaba-kun and Mican-maru.
Mican, Happy Kaba-kun and Chappun-Jiyan were waiting for the event.
Here were Mican-maru, Date Nannyo and Barysan.
In the same way with the first event, the four local mascot characters who enrolled in the contest were introduced first, and then Mican and Barysan were introduced. I will skip this part.
In the last minute, all of the local mascot characters asked the audience to come to Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016.
Photo session time.
That’s it for the article about Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 PR event (Okaido and Gintengai) as part of Day 1. As far as Mican is concerned, I took a day trip to Matsuyama last November to watch Mican’s parade and the root of the parade was from Matsuyama Mitsukoshi, Okaido to Gintengai, just like this year’s PR event. If you are interested in it, please check the following articles:
In the next article, I will write about Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016 PR event (Ropeway street and Dogo Onsen).
The official Website of Tourism Matsuyama