Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

Many regular bento makers like to collect different bento boxes. I am no exception myself; I haven’t quite counted up my collection yet, but I know I own way more than I should! I try to justify it by telling myself it’s all for research, for articles and books and such….and to a certain extent it is. If I were not writing about bentos regularly, I may only have a few boxes for everyday use for The Guy and myself. The Guy actually prefers one plain, black box over any others and would be perfectly happy with using that every day.

It’s fun to collect bento boxes, but it isn’t necessary to have more than just one, practical box that you like. So, this week I’d like to put the spotlight on two such minimalist, one-box bento bloggers.

First up is Tegan, who has just started to blog about her bentos at Bento Adobencha. She is using the two-tier, highly compartmentalized Hello Kitty bento I used for Complete Bento no. 80. Judging from the variety of what’s she’s put in there so far, she’s well on her way to being a top bentoist! Check out her progress on her blog and Flickr stream.

fruit salad, tomato and olive bento

inari sushi bento

pasta salad bento

Tegan may choose to acquire more bento boxes eventually, or follow the path of another bento blogger. Toyama-san is a salaryman from Aichi prefecture (where the city of Nagoya is). He has been quietly posting the bentos made by “my Kaoru” at Kyou no Obento (Today’s Obento) since July 2004. In the sidebar, he writes that he originally meant to just post the bentos for a year, but he’s managed to continue posting them up to this day. So far there are an astonishing 1,392 bentos posted! All by 15 of those are made by Kaoru-san; the 15 are made by Toyama-san himself. The blog has a beautiful consistency. All the bentos are packed in the same light blue plastic bento box, and photographed from the same angle.


Each post has the photo and a list of the contents, and that’s it. Taken singly they could be considered boring, but I think it’s a remarkable expression of love and appreciation for “my Kaoru”. As a chronicle of one Japanese person’s bento life for the last 7 years, you could argue that the blog even has a social-historical significance. I’ve been following his blog even before JustBento was a glimmer in my eye. You could say that it was one of the many inspirations for my starting a bento blog. Looking over the entries as I write this, it reminds me again of the beauty of everyday bentos, - and that I should just chronicle more of my own bentos to keep a record of them!

See more great bento ideas from around the bento blog community!

(As always, if you want your idea to catch my eye, the best way is to join the Just Bento or Just Bento Bento Gear groups on Flickr and post them there. Don’t forget to post a link to your blog in the description if you have one.)

Follow and Like our Facebook Page! And visit our sister site, Just Hungry


Comment viewing options

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

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

Mahalo for the pointers to these two sites. I rarely make bento, but I do search YOUR sites and others for side dishes or entrees. Two I appreciate are your carrot kinpira, and niku jaga.

Now, for Kaoru's site, I don't know enough Japanese, and Google Translate has done some hilarious things like: "Pea snack mix rice pickled mackerel small barbarian" - but I'm having fun figuring this out!

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

With what "gadget" were the hello kitty and my melody vegetable/fruit shapes made? if there is a link to the product online that will be very helpful - i've decided to finally treat meself to some real bento-making gadgets online (can't get anything of that sort here and I've been improvising so far. Maybe you can do a post about "essentisl gadgets for the beginner bentoist" one day)

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

Hi there!
I made them using a special cutter set I bought off ebay, they're like cookie cutters with a section you insert in the middle to press the face details on with. I will soon be making a post about the gear I use in my bento on my blog. ^_^

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

Thanks Tegan!
I tried commenting in your blog but couldn't since I don't have a website/blog.

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

If you have a gmail account you can use that.

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

It's like a beautiful, bento love letter.

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

Thank you so much for featuring me in your blog Maki.
It was your blog that inspired me to start making bentos, and to blog about them. So, this is such an honour!
I am a compulsive collector so I don't doubt that I will eventually acquire more bento boxes, I won't be able to help myself!

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

This is really inspiring - I've been fighting the urge to collect more boxes and equipment, but this really shows it's not the gear that makes the bento, it's what you put into it! My most often used boxes are a 550ml rectangular, fairly flat Lock & lock, which is great for things that don't need to be kept separate, and a simple round two layer box from Casa Bento (Ikebana circle). I've decided I can't add to the collection until I'm making bentos most days, or we get a bigger house!

Re: Great Bento Ideas: One box, infinite bentos

Food keeps life so fresh!

Post new comment

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