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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So cute! I wish we could get

So cute! I wish we could get lovely bento boxes like that here.

so cute!

miffy is adorable!

love, laura, USA

Aw, I wish cute stories

Aw, I wish cute stories happened to me when I was young. XD And the Miffy bento are too cute! Even if I don’t win, i’d be tempted to track a set down and buy it. XD

Brittany, Louisiana, U.S.


Thanks for the bento and giveaways!


Reminds me of myself...

…and the time that one of my little friends called to ask me to some dance shortly after middle school began. I, too, gave him the cold shoulder because I wasn’t grown up enough! Ah, memories.

Please enter me in the drawing!


Loves Miffy <3 Loves Lunchbox sets!!!

these would be PERFECT to bringing to work :D

Miss Tiffie MA, USA


i have been thinking about jumping on the bento bandwagon and this looks like just the thing to motivate me to try it!

I really enjoy reading your

I really enjoy reading your blog and I’ve used some of your ideas for my own bento. Btw, the bento box is quite cute.


again, I am uncontrollably drawn to cuteness

I love Miffy! I actually read Miffy books in Japanese when I was a kid. Philadelphia PA USA

Very Cute Melissa

Very Cute

Melissa Anderson USA- WI

That story is just so cute!!

That story is just so cute!! And so are those bento boxes. Thanks for making me smile this morning! Mary in Los Angeles, CA, USA

I love Miffy!

I haven’t seen Miffy in years, but I love love love her! What a lovely little insulated set. :)

Molly, Atlanta, GA

My son used to love Miffy

My son used to love Miffy books when he was little - that’s 30 years ago! I’d LOVE that set.


New Zealand


Congratulations on your 5th year! Please include me in your drawing - thank you!

-Melissa Virginia, USA

oo so cute i kind of wish my

oo so cute i kind of wish my elementary lunches were like that… during the times that i actually brought lunch from home, it was usually a ham sandwich …after a while, i ended up being allowed to buy lunch… =X that would be perfect for lunch though =3 Ayla USA (CA)

Great story!

And a cute lunch set, too!

—Jessica, USA

Too sweet! Miffy is a

Too sweet! Miffy is a popular television character here in Canada, but bento supplies aren’t exactly common. Ann in Canada.


What a cute story… and a cute bento set too! :)


forgot to put my country in the comment: United States


Love your blog! <3 Kalee

Love your blog!

<3 Kalee (US)

ooo! this is so amazing!

ooo! this is so amazing! miffy used to be my favourite plush toy, out of a plethora of others. i think it was the mouth that made me think she was really cute. :) i hope i score this one, and even if i don’t, please please tell me where you got it!



This Miffy bento box is so

This Miffy bento box is so lovely !! Thanks for all !!

Shunrai (France)


Man, I wish I had one of these!!! Fingers crossed!!!

Geoff, US


Is Miffy one of Hello Kitty’s friends?

No, Miffy is European

No, Miffy is European whereas Hello Kitty is Japanese. They were not made together by the same people with the purpose to be friends… But they can still be friends.


Miffy is originally from the Netherlands. She was created by Dick Bruna for his son apparently. Official site. I know that Miffy was popular as a cute character even before Hello Kitty was born in Japan.

I got the bento set in Japan, but I have seen it listed occasionally on eBay.


Miffy is my favorite character out there! Since I probably won’t win this does anyone know where I can buy this?

Sarah United States

Hazel, USA Holy crap, these

Hazel, USA

Holy crap, these are the cutest bento boxes i’ve ever seen!

Maki, I totally thought of

Maki, I totally thought of high school shojo romance manga while reading your story! Of course, I think we can all relate to the awkwardness that are our teen years. ^__~

Anyway, fingers crossed that I win the cute bunny bento — it’s just my size, too!

Lorena, California, USA


I love Miffy!

Red from Burbank, California, USA

Such a cute bento box!

I love it’s orange color - it will brighten my day!

San Francisco, CA

Cute Story

That story was so cute! I think I giggled while reading it.

Jessica Connecticut


Cool, hope I win…

San Antonio, TX

What a great story

Your story was so cute. Thanks for telling it. And that orange Miffy bento box is fantastic! Orange is my favourite colour. It’s certainly much cuter than my Zojirushi Mr Bento, and just the right size for days when I don’t need such a big lunch (which to be honest is most days!)

Thanks for a great site, by the way. I visit here often!

So Cute!

What a cute bento!

Lac’Nala - USA

thanks for the wonderful

thanks for the wonderful site! Omaha, Nebraska, USA


How cute is that? Good luck to whoever wins it. It’s just super!


How precious…What a special memory!!Ever wonder where he is now???LOL I LOOOOOVE MIFFY !!!!! Lunch set VERY much needed!! Sakiblu,New Jersey,USA

Oooo, I want that!

I could make such a nice lunch in this set.

Carter Richmond, VA, USA

For some reason...

I never even thought about insulated bento. D’uuuuh, of course they exist! I feel really silly, but that box is so cute. I love Miffy! (I even have a Miffy phone charm. :3)

Zoey Olympia, WA USA

Count me in PLEASE

That is the most adorable Bento box set I have seen!! We can’t find any in Canada :(



Sweetly Single Canadian Bento fan

i would love to get this

i would love to get this thermal bento set! haven’t been able to find one in the local stores!

(United Kingdom)

I'm a sucker...

…for cute bunnies and tales of unrequited love. Your story struck a chord with my own memories of teenage awkwardness, thanks Maki! ^.~

Claire, England.


Oh! I love Miffy!

I’m having a wonderful time reading your stories. Thank you for sharing!

Arsozah from Australia

Love the Miffy!

Glad you survived your close encounter with the great, wet outdoors! Throwing kids in at the deep end with no preparation at all doesn’t always work out so well.

Principia, USA

looks nice

That thermal bag seals it for me; I’m throwing my hat into the ring too.

JP. Pittsburgh, PA - USA


Congratulations on your First Anniversary! I love reading your blog and I love Miffy, too!


Aww i want these!! I am from the UK. Thank you!!


Ooh, it’s orange. So cute! I might actually take more effort to make things pretty if I was stocked with such cute things. Hahaha.