Bento: A Meal Packed With Charm

Universally known by its Japanese name, bento has transformed the whole image of the packed meal, with boxes coming in all sorts of shapes and decorations

  • Bento: A Meal Packed With Charm
  • Bento: A Meal Packed With Charm
  • Bento: A Meal Packed With Charm
  • Bento: A Meal Packed With Charm

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.
Nadaman: Ōgi
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.
Takimoto is renowned for its seafood bentos. If you are a seafood lover, you should really try the luxurious millefeuille, with alternating layers of rice, raw fish and roe.
Meat Yazawa and Blacows Take-Out Station
The long queues are a giveaway of the popularity enjoyed by this bento shop located in Gotanda. Here you can buy a lunch box with Kuroge beef hamburg steaks cooked on the spot and laid out on a layer of white rice.
Kiyōken: Shumai Bento
Shumai Bento has been enormously popular since its first appearance in 1954 at Kiyōken, the most popular shumai restaurant in Yokohama. In addition to shumai dumplings, the box contains teriyaki grilled tuna, crispy fried chicken and tamagoyaki-style omelette, in an enticing and colourful pattern.
Jiraiya: Tenmusu
Tenmusu is a Nagoya speciality consisting in rice balls wrapped up in nori seaweed and usually filled with deep-fried shrimp. Tenmusu is customarily wrapped in sheaths of natural bamboo, which absorb excess water and are environmentally friendly. 

Author : The Slowear Journal


bento  | sushi  | Japan  |

related articles | Food & leisure |