Japan’s iconic boxed lunch serves as inspiration for a bag big enough to hold multiple meals.
Most people with a fondness for Japanese food or culture have heard of bento boxes, the stylish and convenient containers into which traditional Japanese boxed lunches are placed. But if our love of bento is so big you can’t fit it all into lunchtime, what you need is a Bento Backpack.
Available from Village Vanguard, retailers extraordinaire of things many would never have imagined existing, the Bento Backpack is, sadly, not a gigantic set of actual edibles. But on the bright side, it has plenty of space to carry take-out in, since it’s 40 centimeters (15.8 inches) tall by 25 wide and 17 deep, making it pretty huge by Japanese standards.
The clear vinyl covering opens to grant you access to three removable zippered pouches bearing lifelike images of trusty bento favorites.
As with any bento, the thing that ties everything together is the rice, which as per the orthodox style has a pickled plum sitting in the center of it.
Of course, no one wants to eat a bento that’s just rice, so you also get some okazu, as the non-rice parts of a Japanese meal are called. For the Bento Backpack, those come in the form of karaage fried chicken, tamagoyaki omelets, grilled salmon, thin-sliced carrots with burdock root, and sesame spinach.
▼ There’s also a side pocket, though it lacks any sort of food theme.
The Bento Backpack can be ordered here through Village Vanguard’s online shop, with shipping scheduled for late September. Priced at 5,940 yen (US$54) it’s a little more expensive than the sliced toast backpack the company previously offered, but the extra outlay for the Bento Backpack gets you something that represents, visually anyway, more balanced nutrition.
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