In many of the food posts I’ve done over the years, I always seem to include a few bento lunches here and there. In Japan, a bento is a single-portion take out or home-cooked meal. Traditional bento may hold rice or noodles, fish or meat, and cooked vegetable in a box. In addition, they’ve been around since the Kamakura period during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, these bento boxes can range from disposable mass-produced to hand-crafted lacquerware. And they’re available everywhere in Japan from convenience stores, railway stations, and department stores. Nonetheless, it’s common for Japanese mothers to make these bentos for their husbands and children that some may prepare the ingredients the night before then pack everything for the morning. Yet, some of these meals can be elaborately arranged into a style called kyaraben, which are typically decorated to resemble from anime, manga, or video games. Another picture style is oekakiben that’s decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items like flowers or plants. And they even have contests for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements. Recently, bento boxes have captured the western imagination since I’ve seen plenty of them on Pinterest boards and Google Images, especially if it pertains to school lunches for parents. So for your reading pleasure, I give you an assortment of elaborately decorated bento lunches.
- Give your little raptor a lunch he’ll remember for 65 million years.
Consists of a spotted egg in a nest along with 2 dinosaur sandwiches. One of which has spines.
2. Perhaps you’d like your cars hard-boiled.
They’re also attached with hotdog slice windows for wheels. Also, have cherry tomatoes on top.
3. A lunchtime mermaid should have ramen hair.
She even has a shrimp tail. But she’s not made out of chicken of the sea.
4. There’s something fruity about this monkey bento.
Well, it mostly consists of monkey sandwich. And those small corn cobs are used as bananas.
5. This bento lunch will satisfy any sleepy bear.
As you can see the bear is made out of rice. Though I’m not quite sure about the blankets.
6. Nobody could resist this rice puppy.
Yes, it’s a little dog made out of rice. And I’m sure some kids will find it good enough to eat.
7. Anyone would be pleased with smiling sushi rolls.
While they may be made out of blue rice, they nonetheless brighten your day. Wonder if they’re made to resemble mountains.
8. A big cat sandwich can satisfy any monstrous appetite.
Even has whiskers along with pepper nose and ears. So adorable.
9. A bento like this can be straight out of the Hundred Acre Wood.
He even has a bee for honey. Yet, nobody could resist Winnie the Pooh’s sweet face.
10. These rice kitties will surely melt your heart.
These rice kitties come in so many colors and patterns. But they’re each cute in their own way.
11. There’s something fishy about these legs.
Well, the legs are made out of fish. While peppers comprise of the skirt and high heels.
12. Among the noodles, the mice get the cheese.
Each of these are made out of hardboiled eggs and hotdog slices. And yes, the cheese is full of holes.
13. With this lunch, your kid will moo until the cows come home.
Wonder if the girls are supposed to be milkmaids. Still, kids will enjoy either the cow sandwich or pizza.
14. Hope you can put your tip on this school lunch.
This back to school lunch comes with a great big pencil sandwich. Yet, the cheese is on top in this case.
15. You’ll find this froggy lunch quite hopping.
Yes, this is a lunch filled with frogs. And yes, the grapes and sandwich have frog eyes.
16. These plastic animals are happy to get on board the sandwich choo-choo train.
And yes, the train’s wheels are decorated with carrot slices. Though you can’t eat the animals.
17. Care to rub this cat’s belly?
Well, the cat is mostly made out of rice and tofu. Yet, I’m sure it took a hell of a time to make.
18. A Snow White lunch is fit for any Disney princess.
Though I wouldn’t eat the apple if I were you. Since its skull makes it seem especially poisonous.
19. These 3 little piggies seem quite eager to feast.
These pigs are made out of rice balls. Yet, they appear sniffing around for, well, anything.
20. There’s nothing more pleasing than a unicorn lunch.
This unicorn is over a background of red cabbage. But it nonetheless stands out.
21. Three little bears come out of their dens.
I’m sure they’re made out of hard-boiled eggs sticking out of rice. But they’re quite adorable.
22. Seems like pandas prefer a warm stew.
Sure the pandas are sushi rolls. But you have to like how they’re munching on the stew. So cute.
23. A nautical lunch is perfect for your little sailor’s voyage.
Consists of a ship sandwich to keep your kid in ship shape. And yes, fruit make up the seas.
24. No little girl could resist this sweet sandwich.
This has a girl made out of cheese in a pink dress. Includes a couple of flowers.
25. No kid could ever go without a bento lunch with Shaun the Sheep.
Shaun the Sheep is a kid’s show in Britain by Aardman. Nonetheless, the Nick Park sheep are quite distinctive.
26. This bento lunch is happy to greet you.
After all, the Japanese tend to be suckers for cuteness. Even in their food for some reason.
27. To celebrate Shark Week, your little shark will love this bento lunch.
Includes a lifesaver and blue dip with a shark in it. Also, don’t forget Goldfish crackers and Sea Snax.
28. The Force is strong in these bento lunches.
Includes Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. And yes, they’re all on sandwiches.
29. Behold, the Pusheenosaurus.
It’s a combination between a dinosaur and a cat. Includes eggs and bones.
30. Nobody could resist a panda lunch.
Well, the panda is mostly made out of rice. But it doesn’t hesitate to show a smile.
31. Any kid would be nuts to skip this lunch.
Yes, this lunch is covered with squirrels. Even in the orange slices.
32. At times, a bento can be turned into a work of art.
I don’t see this as a kid’s lunch. Seems more like the work of a repressed art major.
33. Anyone would moo over these rice cows.
These cows seem quite peaceful in the pasture. Though they can also easily put you in the emergency room.
34. You’ll find a treasure map on top of this sandwich.
Yet, keep in mind that real pirates never had treasure maps. Mostly because they’d usually spend whatever gold they find like sailors. Since they know they wouldn’t last very long.
35. Best not bother the sleeping fox.
Or is that a dog? At any rate it’s quite adorable to look at.
36. A sandwich like this is out of this world.
Since it’s a rocket sandwich. And its in several layers for lift off.
37. Little Nintendo fans would adore this Mario bento lunch.
Though it doesn’t seem to have many mushrooms for some reason. Then again, safe mushrooms are hard to identify.
38. What’s that frog looking at?
This frog sandwich is made from green tortilla. And it even has a pasta noodle for a tongue.
39. A penguin bento lunch can always make you smile.
Each of these penguins has cute little plastic hats. Nonetheless, these little penguin rice balls will melt your heart.
40. Anyone would fall in love with this lovely water lily lunch.
The flower is made out of Japanese leaves. Includes a Japanese flag on a stick.
41. Your prehistoric pal would love this triceratops sandwich.
And the horns are made out of cheese. While the egg is a bit cracked.
42. Treat your Star Lord to this Guardians of the Galaxy bento lunch.
Includes a Star Lord sandwich, a cupcake, and a bar of Awesome Music. And yes, any kid would love this.
43. This little dog wants to greet you.
Got to love the paws on the edge and ears. So cute you can’t help but love it.
44. You’d find a lot of cheesy faces on this bento.
The faces are made out of cheese. Each of them also come with little attributes like hair and bows.
45. For peaceful picnics give this flowery lunch a try.
Mostly consists of a flower garden path. I’m sure this was made by someone with too much time on their hands.
46. Seems like someone doesn’t want to get eaten.
Too bad they were made for just that. Now who’ll be next for the chopsticks, I don’t know.
47. A budding Dred Pirate Roberts should always have a lunch like this.
Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You stole my lunch box, prepare to die.
48. This cat and mouse bento is a mid-day delight.
It has a cat sandwich and a cheesy mouse. Nonetheless, the cat seems happy.
49. Perhaps your little fish might want an under the sea lunch.
Consists of a fruity squid and an octopus sandwich. Don’t forget the goldfish crackers.
50. Any kid would go all buggy over this lunch.
I bet these mostly consist of ladybugs. And they both have cheesy spots.
51. No bento post should be complete without an appearance by Hello Kitty.
This one has her in a dress with hearts. And yes, it’s adorable.
52. You’d want to take a bite out of this rice panda.
This one even has bamboo in the background. Or a vegetable resembling bamboo at least.
53. Once in a while every little robot needs to refuel.
And what do you know, it has a robot sandwich. Yet, this one wears a bow.
54. Want your mouse hard-boiled?
This mouse even has a hotdog flag. Includes a chick and apple cherry tomatoes.
55. Like Angry Birds? Try this lunch.
Well, it doesn’t seem like a big lunch. But I think boys would find it a delight.
56. A lunch like this is perfect for a kid’s first day of school.
Includes applesauce and a math problem sandwich. The cheese has a 4 on it, too.
57. There’s nothing to resist about this koala bento.
Well, it’s a koala made out of rice and veggies. But it’s nonetheless. cute. Also, is that other small rice ball supposed to be a lion?
58. This lunch will sustain your little Ewok in a galaxy far, far, away.
Even includes Chewbacca and Imperial fighters. Yet, the rice seems a bit on the Dark Side.
59. Treat your kid to this lunch when they make the grade.
Of course, this is for preschool graduation. Since you don’t want to give this to an 18 or 22 year old.
60. An owl lunch like this is quite a hoot.
Includes an owl sandwich and hard-boiled eggs. Still, you can’t help but love it.
61. Care for a ramen ocean dish?
Includes a fish sandwich and fruit stars. And yes, the ramen is dyed.
62. You’d swear this bento came all the way from Paris.
The sky and background is made out of rice. But the Eiffel Tower is made of cheese.
63. Care for a couple of fish sandwiches?
Includes rice water, carrot sand, and green seaweed. Nonetheless, seems easy to make.
64. Perhaps you might treat yourself to a lovely maiden.
I’m sure this bento is another artistic piece. Since it doesn’t seem like it’s made for a kid’s school lunch.
65. This guy seems like he’s floating in rice.
After all, he’s in a boat rowing with an asparagus stick. All in a Mickey Mouse bento box.
66. For the solar eclipse, treat your kid to this bento lunch.
Okay, the solar eclipse was last year. Includes a darkened sun and cheese glasses.
67. Don’t send your kid to class without this notebook bento.
Has a notebook sandwich and a cheesy pencil. Wonder what the eraser is though.
68. Perhaps you might want to try some goldfish sushi.
Actually, the fish just cover the rice balls. But they nonetheless give the meal character.
69. Let your little sheriff satisfy his appetite with this Woody lunch.
Yet, this is for Toy Story 3. You know the one when Andy goes to college that makes people cry.
70. Nobody could resist these flowery dogs.
Well, these dogs have flowers on them in a garden. So cute.
71. Perhaps you might want a penguin dish.
The penguin here is mostly made of rice with pepper beak and feet. So cute.
72. Sometimes it helps to bring in a little sunshine.
The sun consists of orange slices and cheese. While there are 2 moon sandwiches.
73. A minion in the garden always brings smiles.
Well, this minion is made out of rice. And it’s surrounded by colorful mushrooms.
74. This bento has an egg sunny side up.
And lo, and behold, it’s a sun. In addition, it’s on rice in a star-shaped box.
75. Care for a cupcake?
Actually it’s a cupcake sandwich with a cherry on top. And yes, it has sprinkles.
76. Seems like some little bear wants to say hello.
This one has a bear greeting from a house of cheese. So cute.
77. With this bento, the eagle has landed.
This lunch depicts the moon landing. One small step for man, indeed.
78. You’ll get a wave out of this lunch.
This is from a famous Japanese painting. And yes, that place can get terrible tsunamis.
79. Every kid should have a cupcake sandwich on their special day.
The sandwich is covered with cheese. Also has sprinkles.
80. If you like Calvin and Hobbes, then this bento is for you.
Well, Calvin and Hobbes was a comic strip from the early 1990s. Yet, it’s nonetheless a classic.
81. Nobody can resist a Pikachu in rice.
And here’s Pikachu with a flower. Fittingly, they made the Pokemon the mascot for the Japanese soccer team.
82. All what these animals need are hats.
I’m sure the hats are made from paper and aren’t edible. And they have all kinds of cute animals on here.
83. Seems like this bento has gone to the dogs.
Yes, they’re made out of rice. But they seem happy. Includes bone.
84. This bento will come in handy in an emergency.
It’s an ambulance bento with the vehicle made of rice. Though it won’t help much with First Aid.
85. An American burger is always a happy burger.
Even has little cheese hands. Not sure what to think of this.
86. Every lunch lion should have a ramen mane.
Well, it’s a lion sandwich. But the mane is all noodles.
87. This bear loves to soak up in a soup.
Indeed, people do find a hot tub relaxing. Yet, this guy soaks up in autumn from what I can tell by the leaves.
88. Xbox fans will adore this bento lunch.
Though you can’t play with the controls. Since they’re made out of rice.
89. Perhaps your kid might want a lunch like this for a rainy day.
Includes a rainbow pasta and a cucumber umbrella. Also don’t forget the goldfish crackers.
90. If you like Sony, you might want to do with a Play Station lunch.
The controller mostly comprises of rice wrapped with seaweed. And no, you can’t play a game with it.
91. A bento like this would inspire envy on Endor.
The Ewok is made out of rice. And yes, it’s adorable.
92. This Peanuts bento will melt your heart.
It has Snoopy and his doghouse in the center. And yes, you’ll find some of the Peanuts kids there.
93. A unicorn sandwich offers a magical lunch.
This one even ahs a rainbow behind it. And it’s made out of veggies.
94. With LEGO, your lunch will just be bricks.
Well, the veggies are carved into Legos. But that doesn’t mean you can play with them.
95. This bento is a feast for little minions.
Well, this one is full of minions. And yes, many will find them adorable.
96. This pig family feels at home in their sty.
Well, these 3 pigs always seem quite happy near the mushrooms. One of them even winks.
97. Even Pac-Man seems hungry for ghosts these days.
Except that Pac Man doesn’t eat ghosts. Since ghosts usually go after him.
98. It’s always a small world with fans.
Bet this is for the World Cup given the international presence. Still, these are cute.
99. The Force is strong with this little pony.
This is a cross between Star Wars and My Little Pony. And yes, one of them wields a lightsaber.
100. Every brave princess should have this Merida bento lunch.
She has hair made out of orange noodles. Even has her brothers as cute bear cubs, too.
Those are amazing! Hard to believe they do this everyday! They are better parents than I am!
Bento truly is an art form.