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Japanese Food Mascots Are the Best Things on the Internet

There’s a potato-headed cyclist, a bunny with asparagus ears, and a dog made of tofu

Plum and mandarin mascots at the Yuru Chara festival in Japan.
Sankei/Getty Images

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:

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:

This baby wasabi root:

The king of the watermelons!

A “self-sacrificing” pig in a bowl:

This “tangerine-headed hooligan”:

Or this tangerine-headed nomad:

A melancholy duck with a leek for a tail or his friend with leeks for antlers:

Maybe this potato-headed cyclist?

Or this bunny with asparagus ears and his wine-loving friend?

Can’t forget this eggplant-headed dog with his cute little crown:

Or this “minimalist orange,” because that’s the aesthetic all giant anthropomorphic mascots should go for:

This a dog made out of tofu:

And here’s a dog with a tea bowl on his head:

And here’s a dog that’s actually a lime:

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:

Please send your submissions for the best food mascots in Japan over to us on Twitter at @eater.