Hikonyan Gets Lots of Chocolates Again This YearHikone City, Shiga15 February 2016 - Local topics
"Hikonyan," the popular mascot character of Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture, has again been receiving lots of Valentine's Day presents such as chocolates also this year, all of which were shown off on February 15. As of that date, he had received 291 presents, the fastest pace after that of two years ago when he got the biggest haul so far.
Presents have arrived from 29 prefectures across Japan, mainly from the Kinki and Kanto areas. The number of the presents so far this year has already exceeded last year's total by 35. Presents include hand-made chocolates, unique chocolates in packages printed with images of bonito or sushi, and a huge, heart-shaped rice cracker about 50 cm in width. Many of the presents had messages attached, such as "I love you," and "I support you."
Hikonyan expressed his joy by ringing the bell on his chest and so on, at city hall where he showed off the presents he had received. The city will send thank-you cards for White Day, March 14, to those who wrote return-addresses on their gifts.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)