Minor league baseball teams aren’t the only ones with stellar food-themed mascots: Across Japan, competition for the best food mascot is fierce. Right now, in the Nara prefecture, an actual competition is ongoing to name the best character to represent the district — there are 87 total competitors including a handful of food ones; Eater’s pick is the upside-down persimmon with a pagoda on its head:
Pago-chan, the mascot of Ikaruga Town, is a mix of a persimmon and a pagoda. pic.twitter.com/Na5v5m2As2— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 29, 2018
Voting runs through Wednesday, but there’s never a bad time to be a mascot. Here are a few other incredible food characters from across Japan, compiled from the truly heroic @mondomascots Twitter account.
Consider this skiing one-eyed bird with a hamburger for a head:
One potential ski mascot champion is Sanzocook, a one-eyed bird with his head sandwiched in a burger bun. On skis. He’s the mascot of Mt. Norikura Snow Resort. pic.twitter.com/xTClvw348j— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 27, 2018
This baby wasabi root:
Wasapy, the mascot of Okutama Town, is a wasabi root with a rhododendron on its head. pic.twitter.com/P53H4fqz1s— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) December 26, 2017
The king of the watermelons!
The mascot of Nyuzen Town is Jumball The Third, king of the watermelons. pic.twitter.com/4vm1rQr93m— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) December 22, 2017
A “self-sacrificing” pig in a bowl:
Butadon Man, a pig in a bowl, is the self-sacrificing mascot for Tokaichi Subprefecture, an area famous for its pork bowls. pic.twitter.com/LEWTX5eXi5— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 15, 2018
This “tangerine-headed hooligan”:
Who will be crowned the J. League’s No. 1 mascot? Could it be Ehime F.C.’s menacing Iyokanta, the tangerine-headed hooligan? pic.twitter.com/B2esiNLcBJ— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 27, 2018
Or this tangerine-headed nomad:
Tobechi, the mascot of Tobe Town, is a tangerine-headed nomad with a porcelain hat. pic.twitter.com/4EG2fkRZJx— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) December 22, 2017
A melancholy duck with a leek for a tail or his friend with leeks for antlers:
Gaya-chan meets fellow leek-based mascot, Fukkachan. pic.twitter.com/qbK6D8FY7N— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) December 22, 2017
Maybe this potato-headed cyclist?
Potato-headed boy Hinojaga-kun pops a wheelie. pic.twitter.com/22nr8ZLgGG— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 16, 2018
Or this bunny with asparagus ears and his wine-loving friend?
Usapara-kun meets wine-living mascot, Usuko. pic.twitter.com/DLAV5XFhXE— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 10, 2018
Can’t forget this eggplant-headed dog with his cute little crown:
Oidenasu-kun, a dog with an eggplant for a head, is the mascot for Nasu Animal Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/HzRwVbYrEf— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 20, 2018
Or this “minimalist orange,” because that’s the aesthetic all giant anthropomorphic mascots should go for:
Hokkun is the minimalistic orange mascot of Hohoku Town, Yamaguchi. pic.twitter.com/23lxoMHugW— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) December 29, 2017
This a dog made out of tofu:
One mascot who’ll drink a toast to the Year of the Dog is Miyasan, the mascot of Hiroshima's Miyata Village. Miyasan is a hollow-eyed, booze-loving dog made of tofu. pic.twitter.com/BpmvSvpP9U— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 3, 2018
And here’s a dog with a tea bowl on his head:
Sanchawan, a dog with a tea bowl on his head, is the mascot of Sangenjaya, Tokyo. pic.twitter.com/q5Ya8WxLPa— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 2, 2018
And here’s a dog that’s actually a lime:
Sudachipon is a mixture of a raccoon dog and a citrus fruit, and is the mascot for the Tokushima Financial Affairs Bureau. pic.twitter.com/0eRQpTJmNn— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 5, 2018
There’s also a fruit-headed otter with a bonito fish biting its tail, a pink mochi bunny, a package of udon noodles, and a prison mascot that’s possibly a clementine, but the best of the lot is almost certainly the Salt Bae of the food mascot world, this hard-boiled egg in a top hat who sprinkles salt on himself:
Another mascot hoping to be voted Japan’s top ski mascot is Hantama-kun the half-a-boiled-egg. The mascot of Hunter Mountain Shiobara Ski Resort can be seen sprinkling salt on himself. pic.twitter.com/B8YKWJbgdF— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) January 27, 2018
Please send your submissions for the best food mascots in Japan over to us on Twitter at @eater.
- Mondo Mascots [Twitter]