A “Bentō” with Character (Japan in Photos)

Pago-chan, the mascot of Ikaruga in Nara Prefecture, stands next to a boxed lunch made in the spitting image of the cuddly character. The award-winning lunch was created by a young chef as part of a kyaraben, or character bentō contest held in the town, home of UNESCO World Heritage Site Hōryūji. The persimmon-shaped Pago-chan, whose name derives from the English word pagoda, is based on a well-known haiku by Masaoka Shiki that describes taking a bite of the fruit and hearing the bell of the famous temple. (© Jiji)

Bentō Nara Hōryūji