Announcing the first bento course for 2013! Bento101: Getting Into the Bento Habit

In 2008, we held a very successful Bento Challenge here on JustBento, which got a lot of people started with bento making. A lot has happened since then - many more people are aware of the advantages of making bentos a part of their daily lives for one thing. But after reading through all the questions posted to the previous open thread, and elsewhere, I think there is still a fair amount of confusion about what exactly is required to ‘get into bentos’. In addition, many people have gone beyond the basic things and are looking to expand their bento making skills.

Therefore, this year I’ve decided to try something new: a series of somewhat structured Bento Courses, as well as some Basic Cooking courses over on Just Hungry. Here’s how they will work:

  • Each course will be around 4 to 6 weeks long, and focus on a particular aspect of bento making.
  • Participation will be via the comment section of this site, as well as our Facebook page, plus photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Instagram as needed. If you have a blog, all the better. (Note: I wish the forum was working properly, but it still isn’t, so hopefully these other venues will do.)
  • During each course there maybe reading and writing assignments as well as hands-on assignments.
  • The objective of each course will be stated before they start. There will also be some supplies required.
  • There’s be no grading or individual (1 on 1 private) instruction; your resuts and questions will be shared with the group, so that everyone can benefit for each other.
  • The time required will depend on the course (I’ll try to put up an estimate of how much time you should allot beforehand.)
  • It will of course, all be free!
  • It is of course an informal course, so no formal credits or whatever will be earned, but you will (hopefully) be learning some very useful bento-related skills.

I am planning to have at least a couple of beginner courses, as well as more advanced level ones. (It does rather depend on the success of the first couple of courses, which I have already planned out, so we’ll see how it goes!)

So, here’s the first course, which will start in February.

Bento 101: Getting Into the Bento Habit

  • Level: Intro/Beginner
  • Aim: For people who have been thinking about trying out bento making, but have not tried it yet or made just a couple of stabs at it, to get to a level of making at least 1-2 bento box or packed-from-home lunches per week without too much strain.
  • Course duration: 4 weeks
  • Course start date: the week of February 4th
  • Time required: Approximately 2-3 hours a week; 1 hour or so for reading and writing, 1 to 2 hours for hands-on projects. (The more time and effort you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.)
  • Materials required: To be announced within the next few days

I’d really like to see how much interest there is in this, so if you think you would be interested in participating, let me know in the comments!

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.

315 comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would definitely do this! Wonderful idea and thanks, Maki!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I try to take lunch 3-4 days a week, though I mostly live on sandwiches. I have one of the Zojirushi Classic Bento Vacuum Lunch Jars, which can keep food hot, but I hardly ever use it these days.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Interested! For some time I made bentos for myself, but then after moving and changing diet couldn't get back into the habit. I could use this course!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd love to do this. My lunches are unappetizing, repetitive, uninspired - in a word: BORING. My family and I have had enough! This sounds like just the kind of thing that will help me.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I think this is a great idea! I've started making bentos several times, but never for long enough to get into the habit of it, so having something else helping me along would be fantastic.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Count me in, too! :)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to participate!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This sounds like fun! I've slacked off on bentos the last few months, for a variety of personal reasons. I still pack almost all my lunches (and breakfasts!) to work, but they're just leftovers in a bowl. I miss the variety and creativity of bentos. This sounds like it will be a fun way to ease back into it :)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

And I'm so glad you're feeling well enough to do this!!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Very interesting! I would love to take the course <3

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I just got your book, so this would be great!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I am interested in learning and exchanging and giving me a challenge !

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to take this course!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd like to do this. I started packing bento lunches and dinners while I was in school, but now that I'm graduated and still looking for a job I've completely stopped. I'd love to get back into it.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I think this is a great idea and would love to participate!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This sounds like so much fun! I'm definitely interested, and I will be following this. I pack bento lunches everyday, so the courses will let me sharpen my skills and gain new ones, I hope. New ideas are always good!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd love to take a course! I hope I'll be able to!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I too would be interested.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm interested in the later courses- I'll be out of the country in Feb and it sounds likes I'm already past that intro course anyway, as I used to make myself daily bentos for work. However, I'm more interested in the tips and tricks and actual Japanese food compared to the ones I was making that were more things I might have taken for lunch anyway :)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yes please

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Ooh, I think this is a fabulous idea! I recently got married and would really like to start packing lunches for myself & my husband - I think I'm finally ready to stop lurking here and actually make some bento!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love this. I've been wanting to try bentos for a while, but didn't know where to start.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Oh, I love this idea! I've been trying to start making bentos, so this might be able to give the proper motivation.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm interested!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yes, I'd love to participate! Honnestly, I don't have the book yet, but when needed for the course, I will buy it. But I think the book alone will not do it for me. But together with the course I will take my chance to get introduced.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Sounds like a great idea! Would love to try it out! :)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Would be very interested in taking part!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I am in! LOve to meet like-minded people and can't wait for your other courses! Facebooks works well since I usually post my bentos online too :P heheh.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I've been wanting to make bentos ever since I discovered your site, (a year or two ago), and have recently felt like starting, so this course has came at no better time!

I would love to join in!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd be interested. I've been making bento from my daughter (3) and husband but would love to get better at it!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

That actually sounds awesome. I am well known at work for eating the same lunch every day and I would like to branch out.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Look forward to the learning... especially from a teacher such as you. Thank you for your willingness to guide us.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm very interested; count me in, Maki! :>

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love something like this. I got your Just Bento book for Christmas but have yet to make anything, so some weekly guidance would be amazing. Thank you!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This is a wonderful idea, I just shared it with some friends that will also be interested. I can't cook much, but I'm in!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This sounds wonderful! I would love to participate!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Very interest in beginner course and beyond

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This is great! I'm starting full-time work again so, the timing is perfect.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd love to! I've been reading your site for the past few months but have yet to make a bento! (I'm a bit worried i'll screw it up)

This course seems awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

EEEEEEEEE! YES!
This sounds awesome!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

That's seems to be a good way to follow my resolution less junk food and bring my lunch to work!!!

And it is starting just after my holidays, perfect!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I've been following you for a while now and have been too "scared" to start for fear of failing but if you are actually giving a beginners' course, then, here's to a brand new lunch life. I'd love to join in. Thanks!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to participate in this!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This sounds great! Count me in!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I loved your book and am very excited about you offering more of your wisdom up! Count me in for sure.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Great! I just discovered Benton making. That's exactly what I would like to do. I'm fed up with cantine food at work.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Me and my mum are in. She doesn't know it yet, but I'll get her to it. ;)
She's got to do the Bento for my dad as well...

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to participate! I have your book, and have made a couple of proud attempts, but am still struggling to make it a habit. Thanks so much...what a great offer!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Im very curious as I've been trying to eat healthier in the hope to lose weight but havent been able to make one. I really wouldnt know where to start.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.