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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Adorable bento box, and orange is my son’s favorite color too.

-Ailsa, MA, USA

I'm a cute bunny fan!

I loved that story so much. Thank you!

Laura, United States


I so want it!

Naomi, Idaho Falls, ID, US

i already like the boy!

he was sooo sweet. awww. :) but i love me some miffy. i have never tried insulated bentoes before. plus, i like my bento boxes small. -banana -japan

So Cute

Would love one of those. I love the shape!

Miffy the Bunny

YAY BUNNIES!!!! Miffy seems terribly cute, and the colour is lovely. ^^

Name: Tyra Country: United States

too cute (and small) for me

Would be good for the SO!


Wow I love Miffy, she’s very popular here in Korea but I haven’t seen a Miffy bento yet. What a great chance! Thanks! ^^ Lily - Seoul, South Korea


This set is just adorable. And perfectly timed for upcoming New Year’s resolutions.

Shayna, United States

That’s adorable!

That’s adorable!

Holly New York (USA)


It’s hard to imagine kids being left to fend for themselves over a fire. I’m sure it’s fun to look back on, now. I think I’ll keep a snack handy.

dear god, so cute! do want!

dear god, so cute! do want!


I know how being an awkward teenager is. I did stupid things like that all the time to potential suitors but i was mostly insecure but anyway That bento set is so flippin cute!!! Miffy is adorable and I just love those colours!

Alisha in Michigan United States

what a poignant story...

That reminds me of a time in high school when the boy I was desperately, secretly in love with, drove me home from a party, and while stopping for gas, he said, “Do you know a good place around here to eat? God, I’m so hungry! And lonely! But I don’t want to go home.” I just suggested a nearby place to him and sat in silence for the rest of the ride. Only YEARS later did I realize he might have been inviting me to eat with him. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that he would want to spend time with me! I wonder where he is now… and I feel so sorry that he had to go on being lonely that night.


renee california, USA Thanks This one really looks cool. I hope I win!!!


great idea w/ the rice/veggie/chicken mixture! i’m sure that will come in handy if i ever try to cook outdoors…

Celine in Los Angeles, CA

What a cute story - so

What a cute story - so sweet. :)

Dyana, USA

So Cute!

It’s so cute X3

Minh, USA


What a sweet story n pity that poor boy :) The termal bento set is very cool!

Kelly Yeo, Malaysia

First Loves...

What a sweet memory… It makes me think back to mine. Thanks for the smile :) Dalyn - Maryland, USA

this was my face when I

this was my face when I first saw the bento (0o0) Christine Québec, Canada

That’s a cute story. I

That’s a cute story. I tried picturing a confession with shiny anime eyes while you two were dripping wet…and failed. Hehe.

I love that set! It’d be especially handy because I have no microwave access at my high school. And the bunnies are adorable.

April, the United States

What a cute story! I love

What a cute story! I love the colors of the prize bento too <3


Hollywood, USA

Very pretty bento!

Very pretty bento!

United States Oh my

United States

Oh my Goodness, that is so cute! Do you know where I could get one even if I don’t win? My stepdaughter would love it!


Be still my racing heart!

My girlfriend loves miffy and I love to cook, what could be a more perfect combo for us than this bento set!

(brilliant sites btw)

name: scottie country:

name: scottie country: canada i’ve always wanted a nice, INSULATED container for bentos. NOW I’VE FOUND ONE HOHOO :)

Too cute!

That set it so adorable!

Vicki from San Marcos CA

Awww, such a cute bunny.

Awww, such a cute bunny. :)

Julia, US

Love them!

We love Miffy in our house. Congrats on 5 years - what a milestone.

Anne, Brooklyn, USA

Cool blog!

Hey :D I love your photos of bento, keep it up!

Location: Finland

Oh that’s really cute.

Oh that’s really cute. Must get some cute bento stuff while I’m over here!

Midknyt South Korea

OMG MIFFY! :D I love


I love Miffys!! They’re just too cute! <3333 I’d love to have these! > w <

I forgot to post yesterday XD I’ve been so darn tired, though! D’:

That story is absolutely ADORABLE!! It was just like a scene from a manga or something!! squee I wish I had such an adorable experience when I was little…. wishes desperately that she was raised in Japan instead of US : /

Anyway! That set is cute beyond words! I’m hoping the one I ordered won’t be too big D: Also, I had a question. Could the thermos hold soup? Or is the lid not that secure?

The giveaway is wonderful!!! I love hearing all these stories and learning more about Japanese culture! <33

asuri Delaware, USA

What an adorable set!!

What a cute set — and what a cute love story!!


The whole camping trip as a field trip thing…i probably would have cried (not an outdoors person). and that bento box set is adorable!

Marita, USA

Win CA, USA Merci! The


The other side of Switzerland… closer to France, oui?

insulated bentos

Those are too cute! Add me to the list! Pat in Oregon, USA

Aw, what an adorable story!

Aw, what an adorable story! I’m loving these little tales within this anniversary week.

I know someone who would love that set as a gift! Colin, USA.

That’s such a cute story

That’s such a cute story and Miffy is just darling.

Lis, Singapore

Orange Bento Set

Location: Tennessee, United States

too cute!

my subject refers to both the lunch set and the story. i’m still trying to forget awkward pre-teen love stories.

Atlanta, GA USA

Too cute!

Oh they are too cute! I wish I could find something like this in Australia …!

P.S. Cute story - made me chuckle

n0okii, Melbourne Australia

Hmm, would that be aiaigasa?

Hmm, would that be aiaigasa? Rain and love somehow go hand-in-hand with that expression. Your story is so touching; reminds me of my own awkward teenage times.

Resa, US

Sweet. Thanks! Beachcomber

Sweet. Thanks!

Beachcomber — USA

Aww, cute! (USA commenter)

Aww, cute! (USA commenter)

Aww cute story

I got in the rain a couple times but never during an way trip in school. It was always during band camp. In my sophomore year our director was furious about something. I can’t remember what exactly, but then there were clouds roaring in and everyone wanted to book it. Unfortunately he made us stay in a torrential downpour, I caught a cold and my clarinet and phone were damaged. My friend’s little sister lost her camera due to water damage. Even though we were soaked everyone stayed and had a makeshift water slide on a hill near the field. It was fun. Sadly the field has been paved over to make room for a parking garage. I hate rain but at least you have good memory of it, sort of.

Gainesville, FL, USA

United States LOL, very

United States

LOL, very cute almost-love story. The thermos bento set is neat, too. I have a Mr. Bento, but the container sizes are so generous that I sometimes have problems with overfilling it.

Ah, hatsu koi.

I remember doing something similar to a boy around that age. The thing is we both liked each other, but it kinda destroyed our budding relationship because we were both too awkward and didn’t know what to do. And it didn’t help that my parents kept teasing me about him.

Ah what an awesome bento box! watashi wa hoshii~

Name: Risa Country: USA

A story that leaves a sweet feeling...

And awwwww these are just SO CUTE :)… himara-Sri Lanka


i’d take them to school every day!

alex, usa