First Anniversary Giveaway Day 4: Love (?) in the pouring rain

As Japanese kids get older, they go on longer, stay-over school trips. These are called 修学旅行 (shuugaku ryokou, meaning a ‘learning trip’), or if are going to be One With Nature, either 臨海学校 (rinkai gakkou, ‘school by the sea’) or 林間学校 (rinkan gakkou, ‘school in the woods’). In my second year of middle school when I was 14 or so, our whole class went off to a school-in-the-woods version for a 2 night, 3 day trip. This was my first time away from home without my parents, so I was quite excited.

One of the things we were supposed to do was to cook our first meal, out there in the woods, on our own on a campfire! Unfortunately no one in our designated group of six (3 girls, 3 boys), knew a thing about camping, let alone cooking on a campfire using a 飯ごう (hangou), an aluminum cooking pot. The rice we attempted to cook was a disaster, the approximate consistency of wallpaper glue with hard little grains of uncooked rice. And our teachers were almost as clueless as we were.

Fortunately, my skeptical mother had packed some big onigiri for me, together with a Tupperware container full of mixed sautéed vegetables and chicken. We divided up the onigiri to quiet our initial hunger, and mixed the veggies and chicken into the rice gruel, which made it just about edible. I can still taste the welcome salty-sweetness of the veggies and chicken with the gut-burning hot gruel.

After we packed up our gear, our teachers told us to hike back through the woods to the inn we were all staying in. As we trudged on, it started to rain. Soon, it was pouring down in buckets. It was so bad that we could barely see where we were going, let alone our teachers, who were shouting at us to keep going from somewhere up ahead. I eventually got separated from my group and my only companion was one of the boys.

I don’t even remember his name or his face anymore, but I will never forget how calm and encouraging he was. For a 14 year old boy, this was quite remarkable in retrospect. He kept urging me on as I faltered, and waited for me patiently when I had to stop for a rest. Eventually the rain eased up, and we could walk on, dripping wet, but cheered up enough to chat as we went. At one point he stopped calling me by my last name as was the norm, and called me Maki-chan, and my heart skipped a beat.

You might ask what’s the big deal about that? Well, in Japan teenage boys and girls don’t call each other by their first names. They use the last names. For that boy to call me by my first name, and with the -chan suffix at that, was basically saying that he really liked me, as a girl! And, this was my very first ‘confession’, ever!

If this were a teenage romance novel or manga, I’d have turned to him with big shiny eyes and indicated that I felt the same way, or something. But it didn’t happen that way. I had never thought of that boy in that way at all - he was just a classmate. I was just too shocked, and we walked the rest of the way back in an awkward silence. I think I may have hurt his feelings. As soon as we reached the inn I practically ran to the room I shared with some other girls, and didn’t even look at him for the rest of the trip. (Later on, during the next school term, he tried to say something to me again but I gave him the cold shoulder once more, because I still didn’t know how to react! Besides, I sort of liked another boy…)

But enough of my awkward teenaged self. On to today’s giveaway!

Just Bento Giveaway Item 4: THERMOS Miffy Orange Thermal Bento With Insulated Bag

Please check the giveaway rules in the first post. Do try to remember to keep it to one comment per item/entry, thanks! Remember: You need to give me your email address (in the email entry area) where I can contact you if you win, your name (or nickname), and your location (country).


This adorable bento box set consists of a thermal rice container, which has a capacity of 250ml, and two non-insulated side dish containers, each with 190ml capacity. It comes in an insulated orange canvas zipper case, printed with Miffy the Bunny. The containers are also printed with Miffys. A couple more pictures:


The containers are fairly small, so this set is suitable for children or people with small appetites, or if you’re watching your weight. You put hot rice into the thermal container and heat it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then close the lid. Your rice will be piping hot at lunchtime. You could also use the container for things like chili or stew (but be sure to carry it upright. The bag should catch any small leaks.) I’ll include an English instruction sheet. Chopsticks are not included.

[Edit:] Many people wanted to know where to get this bento, if they didn’t win it in this giveaway! I have seen it listed occasionally on eBay - try searching for ‘thermos miffy bento’. You could also consider using a buying agent, and ordering it from a place like Amazon Japan for example. See also: Where to buy bento items

This bento set is not that easily available outside of Japan. Perfect for fans of cute bunnies!

DEADLINE: Your comment/entry must be posted before Midnight Greenwich Mean Time on Sunday, December 7th.

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for participating! The winner will be announced next week!

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Miffy giveaway

Miffy is so cute! I’d love to pack my lunch in this little bento box.

Allison, U.S.

Miffy Giveaway

A Miffy lunch set! And thermal too! I wish the local japanese store stocked the thermal lunch sets, it’s so expensive to buy them online.

Neveth, U.S.

oh i’ve always been

oh i’ve always been interested in getting an insulated


that bento is cool.

and I love this site. Happy anniversary again.

I would love to win these

I would love to win these boxes. I do food photography and I am very interested in those cute bento meals which unfortunately I can’t pack myself because they don’t sell Bento here in Latvia. =C Carrot kinpira form this site is now my favourite side dish. Photo by me: Thank you!

Riga, Latvia

I Love Orange!

And I love bentos! I need an orange bento box! Mr. Bento is now too big. :(

And it coordinates with Carrot Kinpira you’d be correct. Our area has small Japanese markets, but no bento supplies. Honest. Bento boxes, no. Chopsticks and Pocky, yes. So this would be most appreciated!

Happy blog-a-versary

ldpaulson — CA, USA

United States, Illinois,

United States, Illinois, Evanston

ive been wanting an

ive been wanting an insulated bento, and this ones so cute!

-rachael, usa

I don’t know what’s more

I don’t know what’s more adorable, your story or the Miffy bento set!

Thank you for such a lovely

Thank you for such a lovely site and happy anniversary!

Candy (Canada)

That is adorable!

What a cute box and size. I’d love to give that to my daughter!

  • Shawn A., Iowa, USA

I had a Miffy book when I was young...

And could never (til now!) remember her name. Thank you!


How adorable! I love the cartoons used so frequently in Japan. They seem to crop up everywhere there.

—Lisa, USA

Omg the story and the bento

Omg the story and the bento box are just darling! (Real life never quite happens like a manga story anyway.)

Avlor South Dakota, USA

I LOVE the orange!

This is soooo cute. It would make a wonderful Christmas gift for my son’s girlfriend—that is, if I could only let it go if I won it. Fat chance.

Lisa B., Hawaii, USA

Very cute! Susan, OH, USA

Very cute!

Susan, OH, USA

awwwww, maki-chan!

That story is so cute! Poor forgotten-kun, I bet you broke his fragile 14 year old heart!

Miffy is also very cute, in an entirely different way. I would like to have one of my very own. - Melissa Virginia, USA

Loved your walk in the woods

Loved your walk in the woods story. Poor boy. And this bento set is equally adorable. Please let me win :-)

Anu, USA

Too Cute

I just couldn’t resist Muffy!

Andrea in Canada


oh my darling daughter loves miffy, do you know where it is available for international delivery?? i am in the uk. i love your blogs. thank you for sharing your blog with us. christine

great story… rhino, usa

great story…

rhino, usa


Wow wow wow. This set is super adorable.

Valerie from Sweden/USA


I could tell almost the exact same story from when I was that age - first real trip away from home, but it was a summer music camp. It was the first boy that ever appeared to like me or pay attention to me, and even though I was flattered, I was completely freaked out and ended up avoiding him the rest of the trip. I was sorry if I hurt his feelings, but I really had NO idea how to react!

Christina, USA

Oh! I’d love an insulated

Oh! I’d love an insulated bento box…keeps my lunches nice on the airplane ;)

Nyein Colorado, USA

how cute!

Most of the insulated sets I’ve seen are too big for me. but this would be perfect!


my first awkward exchange with a boy who liked me was on the school bus when i was about 12. at his stop he kissed my ear. i think he was aiming for my cheek. we never spoke of it again. :)

morbo (usa)


Gotta love the bright orange!

Matt CO, USA

So cute!

What an adorable bento set to go along with such an adorable story!

Kris, USA

weight watcher

That would definitely come in handy with counting calories and shrinking the serving size for me.



Orange is my favorite color. Smiley, USA

Miffy is so cute, and I’d

Miffy is so cute, and I’d love to have an insulated bento box!

Danielle, USA


The subject line refers to both the story and the bento box!

I think I had a similar reaction when I found out someone was interested in me for the first time. Big blank look with a huge question mark over my head. However, I was eventually able to snap out of it :D

-Marg (USA)

Cute stories

Hi Maki, I have been loving these cute stories you post of bento memories to go with your prizes. Happy anniversary!

Those are adorable!

And really, who ISN’T a fan of cute bunnies?

(loving the stories from your childhood, btw)

Name: Ally Country: UK (London)

loved your story!

Sarah, USA

Cute stories

Hi Maki, I have been loving these cute stories you post of bento memories to go with your prizes. Happy anniversary! I forgot to say that I’m in the USA. Sharon, USA

This set looks so cute,

This set looks so cute, Thanks for the chance to win Jessica, USA

Miffy Giveaway

What better way to celebrate an anniversary than with cute bunnies! How adorable!

Thanks for ruining it for manga fans everywhere!

That’s not how it was supposed to happen as is clearly evident from manga everywhere!

Brett - USA

Love those kind of bento boxes!

Hello! Let’s try again : Kei, Paris, France. I’ve already got one of those thermal box, they’re so nice! Thank you!

Happy Anniversary!

I hope I win!

Thank you!

I luv bunnies!

and oranges :)



It would have been luv-luv if you had shared an umbrella! Cute story. ^_^ Devlyn, PDX, USA

Umbrellas wouldn’t have

Umbrellas wouldn’t have helped much though…when I got back to the inn and changed, my underpants were so soaked though that I could wring water out of them! (uh…sort of dirtiness unintentional)

Oh! What a sweet story!

Oh! What a sweet story! Thank you for sharing it! Michelle, NC, USA

What a sweet story. He must

What a sweet story. He must have been working up the courage to call you Maki-chan the whole time!

Sandra North Carolina, United States

How Cute!

Ah Maki, how your stories cause me to remember my awkard blooming moments as well. A very sweet memory I think.

In other news, that is the cutest bento ever! I would love to win it.

Marika, United States


Congrats and thanks for the generous giveaways! USA

too cute!

this would be great fun for a little one!

tiffany, usa

Super cute!

Miffy is adorable, and I have similar memories of school trips where they made us cook. Burned vegetables and burned rice!

-Bibliothecaria Philadelphia, PA