Cute Things from Japan: Bento

Cute Bento From Japan

Photo by Wendy Copley on Flickr

So I think for my first few articles, I will write about the few things I purchased in Japan and brought back. Seeing as they are all I can thing about right now, I might as well talk about them on the site and spare my husband a bit of various obsessions.

My first obsession is a book on making bento, aptly names Kawaii Bento Boxes, Cute and Convenient Japanese Meals on the Go.

Kawaii Bento Boxes, Cute and Convenient Japanese Meals on the Go

I bought this at the lovely big book store in Osaka called MARUZEN & Junku-do book store. We’ll maybe write up an article about that at another time. Anyway, it cost 1575 yen and is a soft bound book and I LOVE IT! =)

Now I have not looked at many bento cookbooks or sites, we had a post on cute bentos earlier but I have not done a ton of research on them. However, when I saw this book, I decided that I had to start doing bentos now. (Trav was thrilled.=) The thing I like about this book is that is focuses a lot on the cute aspect of making bentos. It gives everything cute faces and shapes. This picture is not in the book, but made from recipes and ideas in the book. It gives you and idea of what is inside:

How to make bento

What is inside

The book has many features that I was happy to discover. It starts off by explaining the basics of bento, and how they are usually built to create a very healthy meal. It also describes the order to pack a bento, the type and size of bento container to buy, and some of the adorable but practical accessories. Finally, it gives a detailed description of cooking rice the Japanese way. I found all of these features very helpful.

From there we go right into the bento meals and ideas. There are nice big, colourful pictures on each page with a sample bento meal packed. It has a menu listed and some tips on making that particular bento. Some pages include a cooking technique or recipe.

After all those lovely pages, there are photos and instructions to make kawaii bento accents. This I think made it a bit more special for me, as it is these cute aspects that make it “bento” for me, and not just lunch packed in a container.

Following those cutie patootie pages, are recipes of bento favourites organized…and I thought this was interesting, according to colour. The description on page 3 says this is “to make a bento balanced in color and nutrition.” So that is kind of neato.

The book finishes with a couple picnic menus and a few pictures of Japanese ingredients, which are helpful as some ingredients are completely unknown to me.


Why I love it

I think this particular book appealed to me so much for many reasons. The first was, it has the nice explanation on the basics of making a bento, like how to pack it, what you should buy. I felt like after looking at that, that “ hey, I could do that!” and it would be a real bento.

Next, I love all the cute. So much cute. And then instructions on making cute. I was sold.


I also loved the pictures. I enjoyed it as much as any picture book. I’ve looked through it many times, just enjoying the different bento details, and imagining which ones I will copy and make.

And finally, this book really showed me how healthy yet fun the meals could be. That kind of sealed the deal for me.

In conclusion

I will definitely be making some of the bento from this book and following some of the recipes. I will be sure to post of my adventures and how they turned out and tasted.

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