shopping

Bento tidbits from Japan: Takeout bentos

Takeout bento and onigiri

In case you don’t follow my other food blog, Just Hungry, I am in Japan for the next 3 months. I’ll be reporting on non-bento stuff over there, but of course I’ll be posting about bento related things here!

I just got here yesterday, so I don’t have much to report yet, but here are some photos of takeout bentos available locally, in the suburban area of Yokohama (a major port city near Tokyo) where my mother and stepfather live. continue reading...

Amazon.com rice cooker sale

A heads up to U.S. readers: Amazon is having a 30% off sale on selected rice cookers right now. They have models from the mid-$20s on up to the $200 to $300 range. The one featured on the top left of the page linked to, the Zojirushi Neuro-Fuzzy rice cooker, is a newer version of the one I have! A rice cooker is a really great thing to have if you are serious about bento making (see Essential equipment for making bento lunches). continue reading...

Where (and how) to buy bento boxes and accessories

(Originally published in April 2008, and updated continuously since. Last updated March 2011.)

A very frequently asked question is where and how to buy the bento items and boxes mentioned here, especially in the Bento Item Spotlight (formerly Bento Item of the Week) feature, as well as on other bento blogs and sites. I’ve listed you several options, which I hope will be useful.

Look locally first

As much as I love online shopping, I believe in shopping at your local stores first. You’re supporting your area’s businesses, and you don’t have to pay shipping costs. Besides, it’s arguably a bit better for the environment (especially if you take public transportation!) since the goods have already travelled to your area.

You might argue, “but I don’t have any stores near me that sell bento stuff!” I don’t either. But it’s always possible to find alternatives for lunch boxes, dividers, picks and other accessories. As I wrote in one of the earliest articles on this site, it’s not necessary to buy a box that is labeled as a Bento Box in order to bring bento lunches. You can use cupcake cups, paper or silicon, as bento dividers, picnic utensils, and so on. Check out the Bento Gear Flickr pool for a lot of creative ideas from fellow bento enthusiasts. continue reading...

Ichiban Kan USA to close their online business, but other online bento supply merchants are doing fine

One of the major online sources for bento boxes and other supplies, Ichiban Kan USA, will be closing their mailorder business down as soon as they sell out their existing stock. I contacted some other popular online bento supply sellers to see how they were doing in the current economy, and the good news is that they seem to be doing very well. continue reading...

Bento themed stationery, and free classified ads

Adorable bento-themed stationery. And did you know you can advertise your bento-related Etsy (or Zazzle, Artfire, etc.) store for free? continue reading...

How to use a single-onigiri bento box

I really, really don’t need any more bento boxes. But when I spotted these incredibly adorable little onigiri boxes, I just couldn’t resist.

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Since I have adopted them, it’s a good opportunity to show how to use this type of single-onigiri box. continue reading...

Just Bento Recommended Shopping

Amazon astores, J-List, bento box sellers, and more: where to get bento stuff! continue reading...