There are many great reasons why you should consider packing your lunch every day instead of eating or buying out. It is often cheaper, healthier, and more sustainable for the environment. In fact, with some effort, you could even make lunchtimes the most exciting meal of the day! If you’re looking for ways to spruce up your lunchbox, Japan is one of the best places to get inspiration.
The Japanese love their bentos (packed meal) and often put a lot of effort into making them look beautiful. From gorgeous lunchboxes to adorable food picks, we pick out the best tools you’ll need to have the best lunch box at the office.
1. Lunch Boxes
To start off, you’ll need a proper lunch box. There are many different types of lunch boxes that you can get, depending on what your needs are. You can get a traditional lacquered set or one that comes with thermal insulation. If you’re looking to shed off some pounds by packing your own lunch, try picking something with compartments so you can easily portion control.
Let’s also not forget that there’s an entire collection of themed character lunch boxes you can pick up. From Totoro to Star Wars, there is sure to be a lunch box to suit your fancy.
2. Cutlery Sets
You can’t be expected to eat your delicious bento box with your hands (unless, of course, you happen to pack something that absolutely calls for it)! There are tons of different cutlery sets that you can get, from chopsticks to lunch trios. These are so much better than using disposables, for obvious reasons. You get to pack a cute lunch and save the environment at the same time!
3. Silicone Baking Cups
Whether you care about making your lunch look aesthetically beautiful or not, silicone baking cups will be your best friend. They are the perfect vessel for separating different components of your meal, like that side of corn or the guacamole you’re using as a dip. They’re also perfect if you want to separate dry from wet ingredients or pack some snacks into your lunch box. While you can easily use paper baking cups, the silicone version will definitely hold up much better.
4. Cookie & Sandwich Cutters
If you’re looking for a simple way to jazz up your lunches, cookie and sandwich cutters are a simple and inexpensive way to do this. You can use these cutters to cut up anything that is thin enough, from deli meats to fruits! The best thing about buying these from Japan is that the Japanese have made cutters for everything from basic shapes to cartoon characters. Our favorites include the astonishing selection of dinosaur cutters as well as alphabet sets.
5. Rice Molds
Rice forms the staple of Japanese diets, so it should be no surprise that there are tools to spruce up the rice in your Japanese bento box. If you need help shaping rice balls or would like to make tiny cute characters with your rice, these molds will help you out. Depending on what you are looking for, you can get molds that just shape your rice or you can get entire sets that also come with nori (seaweed) cutters to complete the look of your rice ball.
6. Food Picks
What is the absolute easiest way to make your lunch box stand out without actually putting any effort into it? Stick a cute food pick in it! If you’re not in the mood to shape rice balls or cut out sandwich shapes but would still like a perk-me-up at lunch, food picks are the way to go. Give your cherry tomatoes some personality with googly eyes or have some panda buddies tag along in your bentos!
7. Ice Packs
Can’t get a space in the office fridge for your lunch box? No problem! With these ice packs, you can keep your wonderful lunch chilled throughout the morning even if your office is a sauna in the summer. Some of these options even come with a band, so you can just snap it on and keep it attached snugly to your lunch box.
Looking for more bento box products?
With help from ZenMarket, you can order from virtually any Japanese online store (with a few exceptions), and we will deliver to almost anywhere in the world!
About ZenMarket Japan
Most Japanese online retailers don’t ship internationally, but we solve this problem. We buy, consolidate and ship Japanese goods to your address. Our goal is to make buying Japanese goods online as smooth as possible. We have integrated the biggest Japanese online shopping websites: Rakuten, Amazon, and Yahoo! Auctions. You can also make purchases from any other Japanese online shop or auction with us. Just add an item URL from the desired product page to the cart and place the order.
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