Travel Loot

Upgrade Your Lunch Game: 8 Tools for Crafting a Japanese Bento Box

by Berit Baugher

Elevate your lunch box game. Photo by / Instagram.

We're taking a cue from the Japanese and sprucing up our lunch box routine with a few bento box-inspired accessories.

Homemade lunches are healthiwer and less expensive than most of the fast casual chains around, but they require a bit of creativity to save them from the mundane. No one wants to open the same, sad tupperware container with the same, sad meal day after day. During one recent lunchtime lull, thoughts turned toward the Japanese and their traditional bento box. From sleek wooden containers to smiling onigiri rice balls, the Japanese know what's up with their midday meal.

Here are the tools you need to create your own Japanese-inspired meal in a box.

Takenaka Bento Box

Stash your lunch in a chic Japanese-style bento box with two compartments and a coordinating fork. ($34)

Kikkerland Travel Chopsticks

Pair with sleek, collapsible brushed stainless steel chopsticks with natural wood tips. ($9)


Traditional cotton towels are multifunctional and can be used in a range of ways — as a headband for a sushi chef or a napkin for a traveling bento set. ($14)

Rice Craft

To your lunchtime repetoire, add these recipes for flavorful onigiri rice balls creatively decorated to look like animals and flowers. ($8)

Kikkerland Tea Infuser

An elegant and functional test tube lets tea drinkers steep loose leaves on the go. ($11)

SQDeal Egg and Rice Mold Set

A six-piece mold set lets lunchers elevate a simple boiled egg or a pile of rice into a piece of art (a la bunny or heart). ($6)

OMorc Baking Cups

Colorful and reusable silicone cups are useful for separating and organizing different snacks in a bento box. ($9)

Cutezcute Seaweed Nori Punch Decorating Tool

Spruce up rice balls, sandwiches, and other lunch dishes with faces punched out of seaweed. ($9)

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