First Anniversary Giveaway Day 4: Love (?) in the pouring rain

As Japanese kids get older, they go on longer, stay-over school trips. These are called 修学旅行 (shuugaku ryokou, meaning a ‘learning trip’), or if are going to be One With Nature, either 臨海学校 (rinkai gakkou, ‘school by the sea’) or 林間学校 (rinkan gakkou, ‘school in the woods’). In my second year of middle school when I was 14 or so, our whole class went off to a school-in-the-woods version for a 2 night, 3 day trip. This was my first time away from home without my parents, so I was quite excited.

One of the things we were supposed to do was to cook our first meal, out there in the woods, on our own on a campfire! Unfortunately no one in our designated group of six (3 girls, 3 boys), knew a thing about camping, let alone cooking on a campfire using a 飯ごう (hangou), an aluminum cooking pot. The rice we attempted to cook was a disaster, the approximate consistency of wallpaper glue with hard little grains of uncooked rice. And our teachers were almost as clueless as we were.

Fortunately, my skeptical mother had packed some big onigiri for me, together with a Tupperware container full of mixed sautéed vegetables and chicken. We divided up the onigiri to quiet our initial hunger, and mixed the veggies and chicken into the rice gruel, which made it just about edible. I can still taste the welcome salty-sweetness of the veggies and chicken with the gut-burning hot gruel.

After we packed up our gear, our teachers told us to hike back through the woods to the inn we were all staying in. As we trudged on, it started to rain. Soon, it was pouring down in buckets. It was so bad that we could barely see where we were going, let alone our teachers, who were shouting at us to keep going from somewhere up ahead. I eventually got separated from my group and my only companion was one of the boys.

I don’t even remember his name or his face anymore, but I will never forget how calm and encouraging he was. For a 14 year old boy, this was quite remarkable in retrospect. He kept urging me on as I faltered, and waited for me patiently when I had to stop for a rest. Eventually the rain eased up, and we could walk on, dripping wet, but cheered up enough to chat as we went. At one point he stopped calling me by my last name as was the norm, and called me Maki-chan, and my heart skipped a beat.

You might ask what’s the big deal about that? Well, in Japan teenage boys and girls don’t call each other by their first names. They use the last names. For that boy to call me by my first name, and with the -chan suffix at that, was basically saying that he really liked me, as a girl! And, this was my very first ‘confession’, ever!

If this were a teenage romance novel or manga, I’d have turned to him with big shiny eyes and indicated that I felt the same way, or something. But it didn’t happen that way. I had never thought of that boy in that way at all - he was just a classmate. I was just too shocked, and we walked the rest of the way back in an awkward silence. I think I may have hurt his feelings. As soon as we reached the inn I practically ran to the room I shared with some other girls, and didn’t even look at him for the rest of the trip. (Later on, during the next school term, he tried to say something to me again but I gave him the cold shoulder once more, because I still didn’t know how to react! Besides, I sort of liked another boy…)

But enough of my awkward teenaged self. On to today’s giveaway!

Just Bento Giveaway Item 4: THERMOS Miffy Orange Thermal Bento With Insulated Bag

Please check the giveaway rules in the first post. Do try to remember to keep it to one comment per item/entry, thanks! Remember: You need to give me your email address (in the email entry area) where I can contact you if you win, your name (or nickname), and your location (country).

miffybento1.jpg

This adorable bento box set consists of a thermal rice container, which has a capacity of 250ml, and two non-insulated side dish containers, each with 190ml capacity. It comes in an insulated orange canvas zipper case, printed with Miffy the Bunny. The containers are also printed with Miffys. A couple more pictures:

miffybento2.jpg

The containers are fairly small, so this set is suitable for children or people with small appetites, or if you’re watching your weight. You put hot rice into the thermal container and heat it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then close the lid. Your rice will be piping hot at lunchtime. You could also use the container for things like chili or stew (but be sure to carry it upright. The bag should catch any small leaks.) I’ll include an English instruction sheet. Chopsticks are not included.

[Edit:] Many people wanted to know where to get this bento, if they didn’t win it in this giveaway! I have seen it listed occasionally on eBay - try searching for ‘thermos miffy bento’. You could also consider using a buying agent, and ordering it from a place like Amazon Japan for example. See also: Where to buy bento items

This bento set is not that easily available outside of Japan. Perfect for fans of cute bunnies!

DEADLINE: Your comment/entry must be posted before Midnight Greenwich Mean Time on Sunday, December 7th.

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for participating! The winner will be announced next week!

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

73 comments

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I love that set

If I cannot win it, I’ll try to find something like it.

Beth, Poland

Oops!

Sorry, I forgot to add my country - USA!

Orange is Fab!

I love the orange!! Thanks for the great giveaway and happy anniversary!

On Manga-love

Oh, the exquisite awkwardness of teenage romance! I must admit I did something similar as a teenager - showed the cold shoulder even though I liked him as a friend. I just didn’t know how to deal with his romantic feelings at the age, and how to dissuade him gently. So instead I treated him horribly. Did the job…but I felt bad about it afterwards.

Christine from Brussels, Belgium

I have a thermal lunch jar,

I have a thermal lunch jar, but it is not nearly as nice as that one, and it doesn’t have Miffy on it.

That was a sweet story. I wonder whatever became of that boy.

Furina175/Philly, USA

What a cute story, and what

What a cute story, and what a cute bento set!

Ontario, Canada

cutest story ever

awwwwww … what a sweet little boy!

-Eyebrows, IL, US :)

So Cute!!!

Yes, i have quite a small appetite.. lol.. thanks!

Elaine, Australia

How cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute

How cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute this is !!!

Name: Nolwenn Location: France

that looks good. congrats on

that looks good. congrats on 5 years

kat canada

I bet this bento would’ve

I bet this bento would’ve came in handy during your camping trip. As for the sweet love story, I would’ve reacted the same way that you did! It’s so interesting to hear about your field trips in Japan because in the U.S, we don’t have such things. Adorable! Both your story and the bento. Location: USA.

Miffy’s great! I would

Miffy’s great! I would definitely use this thermal bento set if I win it!

(This is Katie from the USA again.)

oman! i haven’t used those

oman! i haven’t used those since i was a kid! miss them!

  • Jennie, USA

Oh my word i’ve loved

Oh my word i’ve loved miffy ever since i was starting to learn to read, sorry entering this one as well!

Lana Germany

Miffy is sooooo cute

Happy Anniversary—yay.

Thanks for the cool prizes. This set is just too cute!

OOPS! I forgot

OOPS! I forgot location!

please add

Signed,

“Anna from Queens, NY USA”

Oooooo - Miffy!

I love Miffy!! I’m a thirty-two year old woman. Isn’t it sad?! ;)

Djinn Leicester, UK

How Cute!

Both the story and Miffy. I squealed out loud when I saw it and scared my husband. Happy Anniversary and thank you for all your work on this blog.

cute!

cute - both your story, and the giveaway. Happy anniversary, btw! ^^

SiehYean Aberdeen, UK

Bunny!

Yay!

Matt, USA

Overnight School Trips

So schools in Japan make kids do this also. My grade school (K-8)had what they called Outdoor Ed in 6-8 grade. Basically we went to a campground for a 3 days and 2 nights. Now these were rather nice as they had showers, cabins and full kitchens. The idea was to teach us something about nature. So we had classes in orientering, first aide, plants, animals and other things. Nine in total and after three years you had them all. It was fun, but they had the habit of doing them in late October early November in the Midwest (where I’m from) and thank goodness it never snowed.

Oh yes, do want the bento kit. Very nice. Janell in Florida - USA

So cute!!

My son would so totally LOVE that set for his lunches! He already thinks he has the coolest lunchbox when I bought him a cheap $2 bento box!

Thanks for all you do here!

Erika Michigan, USA

That’s a sweet story to

That’s a sweet story to remember from the awkward teenage years :) poor boy but it does sound like some manga love story hehe.

I reside in the USA.

Teenage awkwardness! I had a

Teenage awkwardness! I had a similar experience, although embarrassingly I was 17 rather than 14 at the time.

Location - UK

Love it!

This bento is so cute! I love it! I love your site, too. I’m just a beginner, though.

Emily USA

An Orange Coloured Day

It really would be an orange coloured day (ref Amelie) if I was lucky enough to win todays give away - orange is my favorite colour and I love Miffy…unfortunately my 3 year old son shares both my likes so here is a poem from one of his books (poppy pig is sick) by Miffy’s creator:

Poppy rang up Grunty Its Poppy here, she said I don’t feel very well today I think I’ll stay in bed Grunty ran to poppy’s house What can the matter be We’ll call the doctor right away and he will come and see. The doctor came quite quickly It’ s just a cold I think Poppy should stay in bed today with lost of juice to drink.

(been sharing this book with my boy today because “Mummy doesn’t feel very well”

Regards

Pennie, UK

really cute

both your story and the bento! Thanks for the great blogs!

Cheryl, Germany

yay miffy

ohh its miffy or as we call it in holland nijntje i love making ebnto’s but i only have these plastic containers that dont look any fun this one is so cute

luna- the Nederlands

So cute!

What a cute story! And the give away is cute too. :)

Lindz in MD (USA)

I like Bunnies

Very cute set!

Camping is always interesting

I really love your blog, and I especially like this series you are doing on memories of bentos.

Location: USA

Alas, those awkward teenage years! Everybody can sympathize, and some of us are still quite socially inept. : )

I love Miffy. I know this is

I love Miffy. I know this is of little note…. but I really do. Sad story coming up

5 years ago, I used to work with in a college. There was a man who taught on the woodwork classes, and he had a Miffy sticker on his tape measure. When I asked him about it, his young daughter had stuck it on there. I thought that was so sweet. Lots of men would have peeled it off…. but he valued that his daughter had thought to give that to him… because she loved it and wanted to give her daddy a something nice.

He died suddenly about 2 months after his second child was born. It was very sad for everyone, but I choose to remember what a kind man he was, rather then the manner and time of his death.

Whenever I see Miffy things, it reminds me of him.

OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been lusting for this set!!!!

let’s see

I camp pretty regularly with Boy Scouts and struggle with getting my son to do his own cooking

this would be soo great

lol

Eilish in NYS, USA

cute bunies!!!

I don’t have a thermal bento… and it’s oragne AND it has rabbits… how much better do you get than that??

-Kayla (Uk)

Love the nice bright colour!

Love the nice bright colour! Please enter me in the draw!

JJ in Canada

OMG!

This is definitely the most amazing of the giveaways so far. Miffy is SO cute, and I had no clue they made insulated bentos like that…. Liz, USA

Cute Story..

I love TODAY GIFT :) Vanessa (Dominican Republic)

Miffy!

The Miffy set is adorable!

Nikki

Maryland, USA

Miffy!

The Miffy set is adorable!

Nikki

Maryland, USA

Autumn colors

So when you switch from one season’s uniform to the other, do you switch from one style bento container to another?

No white shoes after September, no fuchsia bunnies after mid-terms.

tudza USA

Too cute

Wow this bento set is too cute! Miffy would find a good home with me here in South Africa. ;)

ooh!

That is an adorable kit!

-Jaime from the US

So cute! Marisa, Canada

So cute!

Marisa, Canada

Kawaii!

Oh the cuteness!

  • Agnieszka from Poland

Kawaii

Cute story to go with a cute bento :) I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thermal bento before, at least not one that kawaii. I can remember doing camping stuff like that around the same age, when I was in 6th grade….went camping, but we didn’t have to cook our food on our fire…we got to build a fire, then roast marshmallows.

Lauren, United States

Thanks for sharing this

Thanks for sharing this story.

Martha, Germany

So Cute

Oh my gosh, I love this! I’m going to have to start looking for this design. It’s so cute!

Sorry

Sorry I forgot, Kate Hawaii (Kauai), USA

Aw, what a story! I hope,

Aw, what a story!

I hope, I do not appear insensitive if I say that it was a great to read story! ^^

(Aw, irresistibly cute Miffy bento!!)

Katharina, Germany