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A very nice online store is http://www.iloveobento.com
I find that it tends to not get many mentions as it should. They have a nice selection and the service is wonderful.
Thanks for the post! I am very happy to have discovered this site!
I usually get my boxes from Jbox.com, but this site is totally different! Not only does it have the nice laquered boxes I adore for myself, but it has the nice little 4 to 5 dollar plastic ones I can use for my nieces and nephew! Thank you so much for posting that link here!
I prefer to go to the 100 yen stores (in the US) so I can see and feel the merchandise to determine quality, and if I have any questions, to ask.. but as I am in NYC and there is no Daiso around, ichibankanonline will suffice for now :)
I’m lucky- not too far from me are an Ichiban-Kan shop, Daiso, Tokyo Fish Market, Japantown, Kukje Market and various other Japanese, Korean and Asian shops that sell bento supplies. (Or should I say, I feel lucky, even though my wallet, husband and kitchen space don’t!)
For small accessories, it’s The Daiso, but I’ve discovered their boxes aren’t quite big enough for me. I’ve lately found myself swapping between two boxes that I got from Uwajimaya, but I don’t whole-heartedly recommend them because they have a huge mark up on their bento supplies. (But how could I say no to a maneki neko box from Hakoya?)
In conclusion - I’m spoiled for choices.
I have a thing for containers of all kinds so I sometimes buy something just because I like it and it eventually gets repurposed as a bento container. I bought some very nice stainless steel locking containers on sale at marthastewart.com a long time ago and find I use them a lot — two are single boxes and one is two-tiered but small (I also have the To-Go two-tiered box purchased from reusablebags.com but I find that it is too big for me — and I have a large appetite!). I’ve used the aluminum Sigg boxes but make sure you get the ones with the all-metal clasps, the clasps with the plastic roller on top do not keep it securely closed. The Container Store has some surprisingly inexpensive round glass containers with plastic lids that hold around 16 oz. I’ve bought silicon cupcake holders for dividers at Crate and Barrel. And I just bought some screw-top plastic containers made by Ball and shaped like flat-bottomed ice-cream cone - I put rice in it then ‘unmold’ it at luch for a lovely effect. And I have some tupperware (my favorite has a vent for microwaving that seals tight for transit.I have bought small bento accessories at Obento on Ebay but haven’t bought as many neto-designated items although I do a lot of window shopping online at places like Jbox and pearlriver.com and will have to check out the sites others have mentioned.
I have only purchased a single order of bento gear, and that was from Sugar Charms. It was quite a good experience, though! Read more of my thoughts here and here.
i live in LA, where we have lots of options for bento supplies. The japanese dollar stores are great and fun, but the cheaper containers can be junky. I often end up not using them. It’s great for little sauce cups or plastic skewers and silicone cupcake cups. My favorite bento containers are quite plain: Vive Fresh (from Japanese markets) and Lock & Lock containers (Korean markets have a huge selection). These both have transparent lids, they are easy to open and close, they are durable and don’t leak. I’m looking for the perfect drink container for my daughter — that doesn’t leak and fits in a lunchbox. Any tips?
i like to get them from my step sister in japan or my dad when he goes on business trips there
I get my bento supplies anywhere I can xD That includes 100 yen stores (mostly online though, since there aren’t many or any around here), local Japanese/Asian markets, and online - like Ebay and random websites.
I shop at ebay sellers’, but it’s not as if I had a choice. I live in france: no physical stores here, and many US sites do not ship outside US/CAN
I always think it’s a shame that US merchants don’t ship overseas much…as well as many Japanese merchants, aside from the ones who put themselves on eBay. (Though for Japan at least there are those buying agents, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to use them that much for inexpensive bento gear!)
Most of what I own is from J-List or Sugarcharms. But I also have plenty of things I’ve found at my local Asian market, Target, or even a local home store (Bed, Bath and Beyond), that have been perfectly re-purposed to bento duty.
My favorite bentos (meaning the ones I actually use all the time) were purchased from Daiso, a large Japanese Grocery Store in NJ, and a large Korean Grocery store in PA.
Since Ichiban Kan opened, I’ve been ALL OVER IT like white on rice! ;) In the past, I’ve also used Sugar Charms (excellent service) and a couple of ebayers that had more reasonable prices. (I can SURE tell you which ones to AVOID!)
Even though we have MANY Asian markets in my town, they never seem to carry much in the way of bento goods. When I did see them, they were small child’s character boxes of characters I didn’t really care for (like Pokemon), so I passed them up. If only they knew how hungry people in our area were for the Bento stuffs. :D
I’ve managed to get a few wee bits from Lakeland Limited in the UK. They have small cutters that are fine for veg and rice shapes and they have the compartmentalized lock and lock stuff. I can get silicone cups, cute toothpicks and the fun wee extras that makes bento fun (and fussy) from them - and they have a shop in Edinburgh which means I can walk in and poke about with things before buying. They also ship worldwide. http://www.lakeland.co.uk/
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