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.

315 comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

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

Yup count me in!

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

I would love to take your course..I woork off shift and it would be great to know I have packed healthy meals to eat at work.....

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

I' love to do this, too!

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

I'd love to be a part of this course! I've been wanting to give it a go, but didn't know where to start...

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

I'd like to join in the beginners course.where's the venue

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

I would like to participate; I received two Bento boxes as a present but they are still hiding in a cupboard. I have very little time as my commuting to work takes 3 hours/day. I have been intimidated by the apparent complexity of preparing bentos; I am so fed up with cheese sandwiches everyday that I hope you can teach me to prepare bentos without having to stay up all night :-)

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

I am definitely interested! I need lots more new ideas for my kids' lunches and to get in a good habit of making them!

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

This sounds like a great idea. I have to take my lunch to work everyday and soup and lean cuisines are getting really old.

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

I am very interested. I need to make this a lifestyle of healthy eating. Thank you.

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

Hi, looks like I started reading this site at the right time, I love Just Hungry, but haven't really read Just Bento before. I would love to be involved, please. I usually have leftovers for lunch, but am hoping to step it up a bit :-)
Thank you Maki-sensei

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

It's the course I've been waiting for!

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

I would like to do this :)

I've made bento's now and then, but this should give me the motivation to get into it and make some habits to stick by!

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

Would love to do this, I've gotten out of the habit and this sounds like the perfect motivation to get back into it.

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

Absolutely interested! I just decided 4 days ago that I want to do this anyway, so it's perfect timing!

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

I would like to do this too :D!

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

Sounds like fun. I'd like to learn how to make bentos.

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

I am hoping to participate. Is there a sign up place or do we just join in?

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

Looking forward to it! I have a toddler with PKU (phenylketonuria - a rare metabolic disorder) who is restricted to eating vegetables and a special formula, so I pack him vegan lunches everyday. This sounds like a great way to approach giving him more variety. I also live in Zurich, so I'll check out your recommendations for Asian markets here.

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

looking forward to this!

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

Hi Maki, So glad to hear you're feeling better. I was a 2008 Bento Challenge participant, and as an indirect result of the challenge, started my own little bento "society," which you used to have a link to on this site, back in the day (Aidan Bento Society http://aidanbentosociety.blogspot.com)...not sure if you remember >_< (and I would understand!) but anyways...I'm looking to get *back* into bento-making in earnest after over a year of community living (=hard to plan regular bentoing for me and my husband) but we are moving into our own place in March! Sooo long story short...I'm very interested in participating in the first intermediate-advanced bento course that you offer. Building and maintaining a formidable collection of johbisai is probably what I'm most interested in...I will try and think of more ^^. Thanks for everything that you do! ~ Jamie

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

Interesting idea, I will participate.

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

I'd be delighted to participate!

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

YAY! I'm interested, definitely!! ^^

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

abosolutely excited and ready to start! so happy that i happened upon this before February!

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

I'd like to participate! :) It would be great to learn more from you guys.

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

I would love to participate in this! My goal for this year is to start making bentos for my meals and this is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for for inspiration! :D Can't wait to hear more about the project! ^_^

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

I'm Definitely gonna follow the couse.

- Amilo

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

I would love to learn this! Sign me up!

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

Yes, sensei! :)

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

I would love to participate in this course! Bento has intrigued me for quite some time...I'm very much looking forward to learning about bento!

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

I would love to sign up for this class I have only made a bento twice in my life and my cute bento box is sadly crying due to not being used, I would love to learn more basics about bento!

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

A bit late, but looking forward to the challenge!

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

Hello,
I am looking forward to join in this learning curve of making fantastic bento lunches:)
Count me in!

Maricris

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

Count me in!

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

I would love to join. I am living in Tokyo, and would like to save money by making obento to take with me as I am quite busy and don't have much time to eat lunch at home. Also, my Japanese boyfriends just started a new job and I would like to support and surprise him by homemade obento from time to time!

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

I would love to participate in this too - Thank you very much for making this course available I am excited. :D

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

Looking forward to it!

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

Please sign me up! Great timing!

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

Please sign me up! Great timing!

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

I am totally happy about this! I can't wait to get going on the course, thank you very much in advance for doing this, I've always wanted to make a bento box lunch I looked at a few books and websites but nothing came out of it, I am sure I will successfully do it this time, this is just what I needed a "school/assignments/goals" kind of thing. THANK YOU!

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

Yes! I've tried a few times, but would love to get instruction & ideas for getting better & doing it more! Thank you :)

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'm very interested. I'm looking forward to this!

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

I'd love to learn! Can' t wait to start!

Happiness

This is a great idea and it sound like a lot of fun so I want to play too, of course. I've been wanting to do bento for a long time, I've tried a few times but I want to do it better so I can bring my own bento with me when I go training (I'm so hungry afterwards!)

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

Very interested.

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

I would like to participate please

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

I would like to do this. Been looking at this site for a while.

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

I want to signup.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.