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The winner of the Back to School Bento Tips contest is...

With so many great ideas, it was really hard to pick a winner! But it finally came down to the great ideas from one busy lady: vesper h, who is a mom of 2, and works full time at a university. Here’s part of her winning entry:

we make and freeze our bento staples on the weekends, which makes it easier for me to pull together a lunch in the painfully-early morning. continue reading...

Share your back-to-school bento strategies!

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While we are still in the dog days of summer (at least here in the northern hemisphere), it’s already time for many of us to start thinking about Back to School!

Whether it’s for yourself, your spouse/partner or kids, you may be thinking about incorporating healthy bento lunches into your everyday routine in the fall/autumn. What’s your plan? What about bentos appeal to you (I’m guessing they must, since you’re here!)? Share your tips, ideas, strategies for great bento-ing, right here in the comments. And, there’s a prize! continue reading...

Bento Concept: A charaben site with a touch of elegance

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An interview with Diana of the elegant French charaben blog Bento Concept. continue reading...

Bento world interviews

From time to time I interview bento bloggers and other bento-related people. The start page for these interviews is here!

The 3rd Sanrio Charaben (Kyaraben) Contest winners are announced

In Japan, there are numerous bento contests, especially targeted at practioners of the art of charaben or kyaraben, cute character bentos. The biggest one of them all is arguably the annual charaben contest held by Sanrio, now in its 3rd year. The one rule of the Sanrio contest, not surprisingly, is that the bento entries must feature Sanrio characters.

The winners of the contest were announced yesterday. Here’s the Golden Grand Prix winning bento :

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Like the winning bento last year, it’s a picnic bento, titled “It’s spring! Picnic bento for everyone”, and the Golden Kyarabeniste is a Ms. Harumi Sugiyama from Saitama prefecture. The bento has the following mind-boggling components: continue reading...

And the winner of the 501 Bento Lunch Boxes book is...

The winner of the random drawing for the 501 Bento Lunch Boxes book is….

red the opinionated from Portland, Oregon! Ms. red, please email me at maki at makikoitoh dot com to claim your prize!

Look for another giveaway on Just Bento or Just Hungry soon!

Bento planners now available in Portuguese, English, German

One thing I love about the Just Bento community is how international it is. Now thanks to Momoko * Bárbara, we have Portuguese versions of our Weekly Bento and Menu Planners, in addition to the original English and German. Many thanks to Momoko * Bárbara, as well as Antje who made the forms that much easier to adapt to other languages!

If you'd like to tackle other language versions of the forms, just let me know!

* Weekly Bento Planner page
* Weekly Menu Planner page continue reading...

Ichiban Kan USA to close their online business, but other online bento supply merchants are doing fine

One of the major online sources for bento boxes and other supplies, Ichiban Kan USA, will be closing their mailorder business down as soon as they sell out their existing stock. I contacted some other popular online bento supply sellers to see how they were doing in the current economy, and the good news is that they seem to be doing very well. continue reading...