It's no secret that Japan is flush with cute characters. If you've spent any time in the country, you know that nearly every business comes with its own cuddly mascot. While it frequently makes no sense to Western eyes, you eventually get used to and come to expect such characters beckoning you from posters or outside storefronts.

Chiikawa is one such character that is trending recently in Japan. The character is the brainchild of illustrator Kent Nagano. Nagano first featured his creation in his comic book “Nanka Chiisakute Kawai Yatsu" around 2017. The piece revolved around the concept of "something small and cute." Chiikawa takes the lead in the story.

Three characters

Overall, there are three main characters in the series:


“The main character, an androgynous character that only utters a few monosyllabic words. Chiikawa began the series as something of a coward, but it is growing little by little through various experiences. Chiikawa lives in a house that it won through a lottery. Although it is not clear what animal the character is based upon, many fans suppose it is a mouse.”

Chiikawa is naturally joined by her best friend:


“Hachiware is a cat and Chiikawa's best friend. The cat character is talkative, to say the least. When Chiikawa is in trouble, Hachiware is always there to help. Hachiware lives by itself in a cave.”

Finally, there is Usagi:


“Usagi is a rabbit who is also Chiikawa’s friend. Usagi is a type of bohemian character that is always excited. Like Chiikawa, Usagi has a pretty limited vocabulary. Of course, Usagi loves to eat food.”

Throughout the series, other supporting characters make various appearances.

Chiikawa cafe

Parco, a shopping mall chain in Japan, will be hosting a Chiikawa event they are calling "Chiikawa no Mori," or Chiikawa's forest. The event features a temporary cafe that will serve drinks as well as feature photo booths, games, and the like for interacting with fluffy, joyous character.

The event will travel to various Parco locations throughout Japan over the summer and early fall months. A recent press release featured the event's schedule:

Sapporo Parco

July 3 (Sat) -July 25 (Sun). Venue: Space 7 (Sapporo PARCO 7F) Hokkaido Sapporo City Chuo-ku South 1 Terminal 3-3.

Nagoya Parco

July 30 (Fri) -August 23 (Mon). Venue: Event Space (Nagoya PARCO South Building 7th floor) Aichi Prefecture Nagoya City Mi-ku 3-29-1.

Hiroshima Parco

September 10 (Fri) -September 26 (Sun). Venue: PARCO FACTORY (Hiroshima PARCO Main Hall 6F) Hiroshima City Guide District 10-1.

Shinsaibashi parco

October 1 (Fri) -Matsuki October 18. Venue: PARCO Event Hall (Shinsaibashi PARCO 14F) Osaka Prefecture Chuo-ku, Osaka City Chuo-ku 8-3.

Fortunately, there are several Parco's throughout Japan, so the event will come to locations convenient to most residents. Note, however, that the above schedule is subject to change in terms of location and timing. The admission fee is 500 JPY with discounts available for young students.

Fans can’t wait

The event began in June, and many fans of Chiikawa have already attended. They shared there experiences on Twitter:

"I went to the Chiikawa cafe! I finally got a ticket. Cute cute cute!"

"Today, I went to the cafe that I had wanted to go to for so long! It was so cute, and I was so happy. The food was delicious…!"

"Chikawa Cafe. Both the dishes and the restaurants were very cute! I got cookies as souvenirs to bring home to the kids."

Interested fans should check out when the event is coming to them. Enjoy!

By - Luke Mahoney.