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).

miffybento1.jpg

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:

miffybento2.jpg

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!

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

73 comments

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Cute Bento Boxes!

Location: Hawaii

What a great giveaway you’ve got going. I hope I win something, but I’m not holding my breath.

lucky me

Hi! I was Googling bento boxes —I’ve admired them from afar for a while and am finally ready to get my own— and happened upon your blog. I read through your bento primer and then came across this giveaway. I don’t know if I could have found a cuter bento set anywhere, and promise to give it a great home, and many lunches’ worth of use, if I’m lucky enough to win it. :o)

Oops... P.S.

I’m in Miami, Florida, USA

the orange is so

the orange is so great!

  • melissa, usa

Bunnies, orange, and

Bunnies, orange, and insulated — oh my!

Harper Denver Colorado USA

Ahhhh! One of the cutest

Ahhhh! One of the cutest thermal sets I’ve seen! It helps that I like vivid fall colors, as opposed to pastels XD I wish they weren’t so expensive, but I’ll cross my fingers, though with so many hopefuls my chances are slim XD

Cute Bento!

This is not only super cute but also very practical. I would love to pack a bento in this…hint!

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Ahhhhhh! Too cute.

Ahhhhhh! Too cute. Perfect for my boy. If he doesn’t like it, I will love it. Anyhoo, I could use less eating. Just too cute for words.

As for your young knight in shining armor story, it is just too sweet. Young love (or just being the recepient of a crush)—there’s nothing as sweet or as flattering.

Lily in Las Vegas, NV, U.S.

I just adore these memories

I just adore these memories stories. How cute that little boy was! He must’ve liked you a lot ;)

  • Alison in the USA

Orange

is my favorite color. Thanks for the story too. Lisa, USA

I love miffy! They remind me

I love miffy! They remind me of my childhood :)

Jup Thailand

aww

I loved reading your story. how cute! Jessica USA :)

Oh gosh, these give-aways

Oh gosh, these give-aways are nice.

Ariel USA

Sounds romantic

Hehe your story sounds romantic. The boy must be very disappointed of your reaction. Anyway, if I were you I also probably don’t know how or what to react too. :)

A nice bento box to give away - perfect for a meal for a single person. And easy to carry too!

Cheeyee from Malaysia

Alas, my chances are slim...

but how lucky i would be to win this! love love love your blog!

oh man MIFFY

New York, USA

Very cute

My girlfriend would love this, so if I win I think I’ll give it to her.

Steve, USA

I'd be the coolest teacher EVER.

At the moment I’m using an oh-so-classy M&M’s lunchbox to make my students green with envy, as the peel their sandwiches out of see-through plastic bokes… But my tin lunchbox has seen better days, it’s dinged and a lil rusty…

And like so many others, I grew up with Miffy. Love that sweet lil bun.

Happy anniversary! (It’s my (and my partner’s) anniversary this week too!)

Jessica, Australia.

nice!

Gorgeous story Maki. Three cheers for your mother for her wise planning! She spare you awkwardness on an empty stomach. Niko Niko Australia

What a cute story. <3 And a

What a cute story. <3

And a cute bento. XD I’ve always wanted an insulated set.

Too cute.

Miffy is super cute and is so hard to find here in the US.

TJ in California, USA

cute story

that is one cute bento. i’ve never seen anything like that before..

thanks for sharing (the story, i mean), that was really cute. :-)

the_spouse, singapore

Classic Dick Bruna!

I remember reading Miffy books as a child! I would love to have a bento set! Cel, Canada

Its true, adolescent years

Its true, adolescent years are extremely awkward in terms of romance. Shojo mangas are sometimes so out of touch with how it really works that it’s funny to the point of pathetic. Plus, I’m not a big fan of how they usually make the female characters romance/marriage-hungry with little to no ability to stand up for themselves. My disgust for this probably comes from living in the US where a very different character traits are valued in females.

I live in the United States

Bunnies!

Happy Anniversary, and thanks for writing such a fantastic blog.

bpod, USA

Thanks for all your helpful

Thanks for all your helpful advice and tips Maki! I’ve learnt how to cook so much better… I used to eat my food all plain and didn’t even add soy sauce to sushi… blehhh! Those days are way way behind me now…

From,

Angel P in Australia :)

Great story. Not all good

Great story. Not all good guys win the girl.

Sean from Nevada, United States

awww… that is a sweet,

awww… that is a sweet, sweet story. ;-)

SanMelMama of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

It’s too cute! I want

It’s too cute! I want it!

Aimee, California USA

Mom saves the day.

Mom saves the day. Yay!

Noel, U.S.

Oh how I wish I could find

Oh how I wish I could find this bento here! I have been looking for one with a thermos, as it’s gotten quite cold in Nagasaki. [I am studying here until next August. I am from the US.. so it’s very interesting.] I take great pleasure in making my lunches adorable. I find food is more satisfying when it’s super pretty! Call me a nerd but it’s true!!!

Asha

Wisconsin, USA

Aww, I love your cute

Aww, I love your cute teenaged halfway-love story! ^_^

(Dina, Australia)

Cute Story!

I’m not sure I clicked the post button earlier. I love bunnies, they’re my favorite animal. Fl, USA

That’s super cute! I love

That’s super cute! I love the bunnies on the side, and I wish items were more available (or Amazon Japan had a translate feature).

Claire, USA-

Love it!

Super cute orange bento…makes me want to fill it with carrots and yams!

Jessica Portland, OR (USA)

Love it!

Super cute orange bento set! Makes me want to fill it with carrots and yams.

-Jessica Portland, OR (USA)

The set looks very cute

Certainly something I will try to get myself if I don’t win. :) Thank you for doing all this.

Ina (from Germany)

ooh, controlled portions in

ooh, controlled portions in cute containers…what could be better? :D

Rachel, USA

I am really enjoying this

I am really enjoying this week. ^_^ mook from Bordeaux France

such a cute story!

This is such a cute story! I love that he called you Maki-chan, I’ve always liked that name :)

Dai-dai-dai suki desu!

… and i mean your blog, that lovely li’l story about a could’ve-been budding romance, and that kawaii Miffy bento set! i would love to make bento for the boy i like just like in an anime, except i’ll end up blushing like a tomato and just mutely shoving the Miffy bento box set in his face before scuttling away in embarrassment! ( ^ ^ )

misuzu, Singapore

Location: UK Very cute!!!

Location: UK

Very cute!!! :D

Awwww

Your story was so cute, but I feel so sorry for the guy ~_^ Heh, I’ve yet to receive a ‘first confession’ :P

Poland :)

So Cute!

Thanks for being so generous with your give-aways.

Your story reminded me of my own semi-horrible camping trips. Gah. I look back, but I still don’t laugh.

^_^ Eva (USA)

Fingers crossed!

I’m from Sydney, Australia. :)

Cute!

My Mom’s been trying to get me to lose weight by bringing home cooked meals to school. Unfortunately, the containers she uses are often insulated but ugly and i would rather leave the cooked food at home. :( The miffy thermal bento would be a perfect marriage of cute and functional! Thanks for the idea! I’ll have to look for one as cute as this!

Rachel, Singapore

Looks so awesome...

I’ve been looking for a cute bento box to take to school for so long… so I guess I’ma participate :) It’s really cool of you to do such kind of a giveaway, so thanks for the chance, even if I don’t make it, it’s great!

Cornelia, Germany

So Purty

SO CUTE @_@

I remember the 1st boy asking me to dance at a school disco once, was rather mean to the poor guy and turned him down, D’oh!!

Amanda from the UK

I love Miffy!

Wow! Thank u for another generous giveaway! Fingers crossed.

From Singapore

This is an excellent one.

This is an excellent one. All in one bento ‘box set’. This would be fantastic for picnics with my bf!

Jas Min, Malaysia