Shinjo Kun of Susaki in Kochi Prefecture is congratulated by Kumamon as he wins the Yuru-Kyara Grand Prix on November 6, 2016, in Matsuyama, Japan. (All photos by Rod Walters/AFLO)
Yuru-Kyara (Japanese cuddly cute mascot characters) are very popular in Japan and both companies and local authorities use them to promote their products and region.
The Yuru-Kyara Grand Prix is an annual event, first held in 2010, that brings together over 1000 mascots from all over the country.
Visitors to the event are able to vote for their favourite character and each year a winner is chosen.
Regional characters are particularly popular and previous winners have included the black bear Kumamon promoting Kumamoto Prefecture and Gunma Chan.