Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Culture’

The following text was written by another penpal for me introducing her hometown; Chiba. A small(er) town near Japan’s capital Tokyo.  The writer her name is Kaori and I wish to thank her for allowing me to share this text with everyone. This text is once more filled with kanji I have yet to learn, but Kaori was so friendly to add their hiragana readings in her mail for me. I still cannot read it fluently, but it does make me feel as if I’m getting better at reading Japanese. We must keep doing our best!








I live in Chiba at Kashiwa near capital Tokyo. Chiba is rural compared to Tokyo, but Disney Land is there. It’s said that Kashiwa resembles Shibuya in Tokyo. Personally, I don’t think Chiba resembles Shibuya at all. There are a lot of clothing shops, restaurants, izakaya, delicious ramen shops at the back alley in Kashiwa. It’s interesting to go strolling in there.

This translation was offered by Kaori herself, with only a minor spelling check by myself.



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Bento. Everyone who has ever read some mangas or watched some anime series will no doubt have seen them. What is a bento? In simple wordings, a bento is a single portion home-made or takeout meal that is most often associated with Japan. Traditionally, a bento meal consists of rice, fish or meat and one or more cooked or pickled vegetables put together in a box-shaped container. These bento boxes sometimes can have elaborate designs and are made from a wide range of materials. although bentos are home-made, they also can be bought as takeout meals at in a large variety of place such as train stations, convenience stores and department stores. There even are bento shops (弁当屋).

As many things, the creation of bento has become a form of art for some.  The food in bentos can be arranged in complex, yet beautiful designs. A particular branch of these bento are often called “kyaraben” or character bento. Most often the design matches popular manga or video games. Though another popular style is “oekakiben” or picture bento. These bento are designed in such a way to represent famous monuments, animals, scenery and many other things. For these types of bento contests are even organized.

I personally bought a bento box. However, whenever I try to make one I always utterly fail. Perhaps I just can’t cook. However, if you want to get into the bento culture, a culture that is steadily gaining popularity across the globe, I can give you some places that you might want to visit.

JUST-BENTO_bookcover160.jpgThe first place I really recommend is JustBento, a food blog owned by Makikoh Itoh (also own JustHungry). This website is filled, not only with wonderful recipes and how-tos to make your own delicious bento. This website also comes with a vibrant bento community with gorgeous pictures of prepared bento that will bring water to your mouth! JustBento even has its own cook book known as “The JustBento Cookbook”. If you are interested what this about, why don’t pay a visit to Makikoh’s introduction post, by just clicking on the picture!

Where do you buy your bento equipment? There are various places on the intenet where you can buy some bento boxes, but I bought my own bento box at CasaBento. This lovely website, is easy to use and clear on prices and additional costs for shipment. Experience learned me this shop takes its customers serious responding to every mail you sent to them and informing you if any problem arises, giving proper recompensations when needed. A webshop to be trusted and if I were to buy other bento boxes I will certainly do it with CasaBento!

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