Contests are a great way to stretch your bento making skills and see how they compare with your fellow bentoists. And one of the biggest and most hotly contested ones, sponsored by Bento&co  is back again this year! I’m honored to be one the judges again. First prize is a 20,000 yen (about US $250) gift certificate plus a lacquered bento box made in Kyoto, and second prize is a 10,000 yen (about US$125) gift certificate plus other goodies. And - both prizes include free shipping! There are several other prizes too.
Go to this page  for the announcement and all the rules as well as the complete list of prizes offered. One interesting twist this year is that your bento must include at least two onigiri (rice balls). The entries must be Ebetween June 29th and July 9, 2012, 8am Japan Time.
If last year’s contest  is any indication, there’ll be a lot of great bento eye candy to look at. I can’t wait to see what people come up with.
(Personal note: I know I haven’t been updating JustBento for a while. If you’ve been wondering what’s going on, this post  and this post  on Just Hungry should explain things. I will be back though…so, thanks for your patience. And get your contest entry ideas going! ^_^)