Japanese Food

5 reasons you will LOVE Japanese Lunchbox “Bento”

♥Japanese Lunch Box Bento♥
Japanese Lunch Box Bento is a single-portion take-out or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine, A traditional bento holds rice or noodles, fish or meat, with picked and cooked vegetables, in a box. Containers range from disposable mass-produced to hand-crafted lacquerware. Bentos are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops, railway stations, and department stores.
Many foreigners may think of Lunchbox as a simple, convenient portable meal. However, Japanese Lunchbox Bento is more than just a portable meal, it largely reflects the food culture of Japan.

*Japanese often say “Obento” instead of “Bento”, it is a polite way of saying, more likely women and kids say Obento.

As a Japanese, mom’s Bento is very special and always brings back warm memories, and I just can’t believe that I became a mother of two girls and now they enjoy the Bento I make.

A Japanese Lunch Box Bento for my daughter

Some schools in Japan provides school lunch(Kyushoku), but others require parents to make packed lunch for kids.

5 Reasons you will LOVE Japanese Lunch Box “Bento”

1. You can save money
Preparing bento may take time and effort but you will be much wiser once you get used it and improve your skill. You will be able to arrange leftovers or come up with ideas for budgeting recipes.  Also, buying Bento is much cheaper than eating at the restaurants.

2. Healthy
Colorful Bento contains a variety of food makes a balanced diet and with Bento, you can control your portions size which stops you from overeating. Home mace Bento is safer as you used your own selected food. Japanese belief that each meal should have five colors and enjoy with eyes as well as mouth.  Having many colors also good for the nutrition aspect that helps people to have fruits and vegetables packed with most vitamins and minerals.

3. Convenient
Carrying bento take out your stress of looking for restaurants and what to eat, your food is right there when you are hungry!!

4.Fun to Prepare/Fun to eat
There are many Bento recipes on the internet or books, be adventurous and creative try new ideas!  Get inspired by the thousands of way people are making food into art. Just imagine the face when your kids or husband open the Bento motivates you to improve your skill!  Kids are less fussy when they having fun eating Bento.

5.Bento is filled with Love
Bento is not just a convenient portable meal but much more, the strong connection between bento and familial love.

There are many kinds of Bentos for different occasions.

Chara Ben  A shortened form of character bento, is a style of elaborately arranged Bento(Japanese boxed lunch) which features food decorated to look like people, characters from popular media, animals, and plants. Japanese moms make Kyaraben for their kids to have fun when they eat bento so that prevents fussy eating habits.

Charaben I made for my daughter.

Eki Ben  Ready made Bentos sold at stations. Each station located in the different region has own unique Bento by incorporate their local food. The best Ekiben provide a small window into the regional cuisine and culture of the place where the Bento is produced. The people who make and sell these Bentos do so with great thought and pride in what they do. They’re regarded as a means of drawing tourists and bringing fame and fortune to the region.

Ekiben at Hokkaido


Ekiben Shinkansen


Convini Bento Bentos sold at Convenience stores, usually low cost and of course …it’s convenient to grab and go any time of the day. Convini Bento to Japanese people is a very cheap quick meal for the busy office workers or students, but Convini bento nowadays is surprisingly improving the quality all the time because of the hard competition in the industry.

Aisai Bento  Bentos Wholeheartedly made by a wife for her husband♥ You will be surprised how Japanese wifes spend time and effort to make such a fancy Bento for their husband.
I make Aisai Bento for my husband but I got to admit that it is not that pretty….lol

Bento at restaurants You can also order Bento at some restaurants such as Shokado Bento normally at the lunchtime. I personally like to order Shokado Bento because of the portion size, good nutritional balance, and the reasonable price.

Shokado Bento


Bento Boxes

There are a gazillion boxes available online or stores, stainless steel, plastic and wooden types. These boxes range in price from about $1 for small plastic boxes up to $50 for big thermal lunch box systems. Bento Boxes sold at 100 yen shop are pretty impressive for the price.
The most important thing you need to keep in mind when choosing a box is the appetite of the person using it.

Bento Box in Japan

Image: Sachi

Thermos Bento Box


Japanese Traditional Bento Box


Bento Box Song

At last, I would like to share Bento songs to show you how much Japanese people Love Bento.  These songs are nursery rhymes often sang at kindergartens, fun to practice with your kids.

Korekuraino Obento-bakoni Onigiri Onigiri Choito Tsumete
(In this lunch Lunchbox. Putin little riceball, riceball)

Kizami Shogani Gomashio Futte, Ninjin-san Sakuranbo-san Shiitake-san Gobou-san
(Chopped ginger, sprinkle sesame seeds, a carrot, cherries, a shiitake mushroom, a burdock)

Ananoaita Renkon-san, Sujinototta Fuki
(Lotus root with holes, and butterburs with the strings running through them)

Dekiagari !!
(Its ready!)

Hope you enjoyed this post about Bento and the Japanese culture.  Please feel free to contact me and ask me any questions or leave a comment below.

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    • Ogami Itto
    • January 25th, 2018

    The boxes look so healthy, fun, and delicious!
    I wonder If we have them in the US especially Texas.

      • Sachi Wada
      • January 25th, 2018

      Hello Ogami!
      Thank you so much for visiting my blog 🙂 I am so happy to see you here!
      I only found the place called “Jin Bento” in Texas, they sell Japanese style Bentos.

      I was quite surprised that there aren’t many Bento shops even Japanese food is very popular in the US. Well, that will give you another reason for you to visit Japan!! You will enjoy our Bento food culture!

      Jin Bento  
      914 S Main St, Houston, TX 77002


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