Food & Drinks

Bento

Bento (弁当) are Japanese lunchboxes that you can find and buy in convenience stores, bento stores, department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and there are even companies that sell them in busy places around noon on the street. Although there are many different types of bento, they are usually cheap and of a satisfactory size. Cheap ones can sell for as cheap as a few hundred yen.

Bento in stores will have white rice with some furikake, or dried food sprinkles, on top, fish and / or meat, vegetables, pickles, rolled eggs, and sometimes some noodles. Some shops sell kyaraben, which are more expensive bento boxes with food in shape of anime, video game, or even movie characters. And then there are bento boxes with somen, ramen, or other types of noodles.

Many Japanese housewives will prepare bento for their children, spouse, and even themselves every day. Because it takes time to prepare a bento, the ingredients are prepared the night before. Left-overs are commonly used, and the rice is either put in a vinyl wrapping and warmed up in the micro-oven in the morning, or washed the day before and put in the rice-cooker with a timer on until the morning.

It is common for children, sometimes as young as kindergartners, to take a bento box to school.