Bento has become a common word worldwide. In Japan, the country where bentos were first conceived, the choice has been diversified to serve all purposes, from lunch breaks to train rides.
Bentos can have various decorations, but perhaps the most representative of the Japanese popular culture is the kyaraben, depicting characters from Japanese anime, manga and videogames.
Bento boxes are extremely eco-friendly, since they do not require any use of plastic wrap for storing or plates for serving, and can be easily washed and reused. Some are made of natural materials, so they can be disposed of or burnt, without affecting the environment.
Opening the lid provides an extra thrill to an otherwise ordinary packed meal. Left-overs are not mere left-overs when duly arranged into a bento box.
Recently, an increasing number of long-established restaurants have taken on delivering lunch boxes prepared under the supervision of the most renowned chefs.
Bento is a must when travelling by shinkansen. If you are taking a bullet train from Tokyo Station, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to lunch boxes, inside and around the station. Take a one-minute walk to Daimaru Tokyo, the large department store, a true bento paradise. Since we certainly do not want you to miss your train while choosing, here are a few recommendations.
When it comes to bentos, Nadaman has been an institution in Japan ever since its foundation in 1831. Prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients, which include rice, fish, meat, pickles, eggs, vegetables and an umeboshi salted plum, makunouchi is an elegant, well-balanced and delicious lunch box.