Announcing the first bento course for 2013! Bento101: Getting Into the Bento Habit

In 2008, we held a very successful Bento Challenge here on JustBento, which got a lot of people started with bento making. A lot has happened since then - many more people are aware of the advantages of making bentos a part of their daily lives for one thing. But after reading through all the questions posted to the previous open thread, and elsewhere, I think there is still a fair amount of confusion about what exactly is required to ‘get into bentos’. In addition, many people have gone beyond the basic things and are looking to expand their bento making skills.

Therefore, this year I’ve decided to try something new: a series of somewhat structured Bento Courses, as well as some Basic Cooking courses over on Just Hungry. Here’s how they will work:

  • Each course will be around 4 to 6 weeks long, and focus on a particular aspect of bento making.
  • Participation will be via the comment section of this site, as well as our Facebook page, plus photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Instagram as needed. If you have a blog, all the better. (Note: I wish the forum was working properly, but it still isn’t, so hopefully these other venues will do.)
  • During each course there maybe reading and writing assignments as well as hands-on assignments.
  • The objective of each course will be stated before they start. There will also be some supplies required.
  • There’s be no grading or individual (1 on 1 private) instruction; your resuts and questions will be shared with the group, so that everyone can benefit for each other.
  • The time required will depend on the course (I’ll try to put up an estimate of how much time you should allot beforehand.)
  • It will of course, all be free!
  • It is of course an informal course, so no formal credits or whatever will be earned, but you will (hopefully) be learning some very useful bento-related skills.

I am planning to have at least a couple of beginner courses, as well as more advanced level ones. (It does rather depend on the success of the first couple of courses, which I have already planned out, so we’ll see how it goes!)

So, here’s the first course, which will start in February.

Bento 101: Getting Into the Bento Habit

  • Level: Intro/Beginner
  • Aim: For people who have been thinking about trying out bento making, but have not tried it yet or made just a couple of stabs at it, to get to a level of making at least 1-2 bento box or packed-from-home lunches per week without too much strain.
  • Course duration: 4 weeks
  • Course start date: the week of February 4th
  • Time required: Approximately 2-3 hours a week; 1 hour or so for reading and writing, 1 to 2 hours for hands-on projects. (The more time and effort you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.)
  • Materials required: To be announced within the next few days

I’d really like to see how much interest there is in this, so if you think you would be interested in participating, let me know in the comments!

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.

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Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to participate too. Thanks, Maki! :)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Very interested and looking forward to it!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Hello. I am interested in giving it a shot. I have dappled some with bento before and would like to learn more with the course. Being a student I don't have much money to use to foreign ingredients, but I want to give it a try. Thanks!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd love to participate! I adore those beautifull little lunches, but my bentos NEVER look so nice. So I really need this course ;)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Ooo me! Pick me! I need to get back into bento and making my own lunch, free lunch may be free but it isn't healthy!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd love to participate!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to participate as well!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I hope you ca include some Youtube Videos

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Wonderful! Count me in!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I've been meaning to get back into bentos and expanding my use of them, so this would be perfect for me.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yeeessssss........I'm in! Thank you so much for "walking" us through this!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Sounds great! I've been making bentos on and off for a few years, but I always lack the motivation and time to do it steadily for longer than a week or 2 at a time. This seems like a nice way to get on tracks again! Thanks Maki!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm looking forward to joining along and pick uo my bento making both for my sons and myself!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm in for sure! I've been in the habit in the past but right now my life is very unstructured and I could use a little push to get me back into the swing of things! I can't wait to try the course out! This is such a great idea Maki!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would like to take your bento course!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Ooh, I've been needing something like this! I've been packing lunches, but I got a couple of bento boxes for Christmas and my normal lunches don't fit!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to do this.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

yes! i wanna know more~

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to try this! Thanks!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I am very interested in making bento boxes for my lunches and would love to participate!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to participate.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to join! Been watching from afar but need to start making my brown bag lunch more interesting. This will jump start me.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to participate! I'm a full time college student so packing a bento is both extremely helpful (so I don't end up surviving off cliff bars), and also relaxing and fun! Recently I have not been doing at all well, however. I believe that having a community will help hold me to it. Thank you so much!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

AH! It's like you read my mind!

I'd love to participate. I've always wanted to be good with this but never knew where to begin.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

What a great idea! I have been making bento's for a few years but I'm so excited to learn even more! After all, there is more knowledge/skills to learn!!! Thank you Maki!~ <3

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would like to participate in this course.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would like to participate in this workshop.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd also be very interested in this project!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yes, I'm in!!!! Really looking forward to your courses, Maki. Thank you :o) You are an inspiration, and have revolutionised my lunches!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

YUSS. This is a good excuse for me to finally start my bento blog and get back to regular bento-ing. I'll reply with my URL so anyone who tracks that stuff can follow me!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This is awesome. I already got some bento stuff (never prepared one so far) and still trying to figure out what works best for me. So I'm very interested :)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I will definitely be doing this course. I found your site as the most helpful when I first discovered bento, now I'm in my last semester of school before I student teach and I have been trying bento twice a week and am very pleased with the health increase and fun in learning. My boyfriend is in on it as well, but not as dedicated as me!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yes, indeed, I'd be VERY interested in participating in online courses!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Would love to participate!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to spend 2-3 hrs/wk making bento.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This is perfect. I got my daughter (and her roommate) and boxes and Just Bento for Christmas, and I'd love a structured way to get started.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yes, Please enroll me. Thanks.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm looking forward to your first course.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd like to participate! I just got a new job recently and still am on very limited funds. Back when I was at my old job I had started to do bento boxes and loved it, but got out of practice with no job to pack a lunch for. 2 years later, here I am. I just found my blue lube sheep bento and ready to pick up where I left off. =)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd love to do this. I've occasionally made bentos for my wife and I but I'm still quite new to it.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I enjoy reading your blogs and feel very excited about joining this course! Thankyou!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Thank you so much for this!!! I'm really looking forward to it, especially since a lot of bento blogs appear to have died off with very little in the way of assistance for those of us who are trying to learn how to do this beautiful art with food.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

That sounds fantastic and exactly what I've been looking for. I also think the level of commitment you're aiming for is perfect for beginners! Definitely count me in!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

count me in... i'll go bento box shopping this weekend

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd love to do a course like this!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Looking forward to it!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Sounds great! I've been meaning to try making Bento for a while now and wasn't sure how to start :)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Sign me up!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

count me in!
It's an amazing idea and opportunity!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This is awesome! I have always wanted to pack more, and I even have a copy of your book. But I admit that my efforts to cultivate a bento habit have thus far failed. Thanks so much for doing this.

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