These bizarro creatures are so much more than our football mascots. Whole regions go nuts for them; the number one favourite, Kumamon, is plastered all over his home town of Kumamoto in Kyushu (including, we swear, across about 10 stories of a building in the middle of the city). And after just one watch of the video below we cannot get his damn song out of our heads. He will, of course, be making an appearance, alongside the winner of this year's 'Yurukyara' championship, Sanomaru. He wears a ramen bowl on his head and carries a sword made of potato chips. Sadly, there's no room on the bill for Fukuppy, created last year by Fukushima Industries. Catch the, more suitably translatable, mascots at 12.35pm and 4.55pm.
There's plenty of other stuff to keep the most committed and casual Japanophiles happy — food, martial arts, Taiko drumming, music, dance and dogs — but we all know it's the mascots we really want to see.
The Japan Matsuri festival takes place on Saturday 27 September between 11am and 9pm in Trafalgar Square. Entry is free.