Tokyu Hands Bento Department

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Tokyu Hands
12-18 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo, Japan
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Tel: (0) 3 5361 3111
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Tokyo, Japan: Bentoware and the church of cute

Tokyu Hands Bento Department

Remember how in grade school, everyone knew the kid whose mom packed the best lunches?

In Japan, the same is true times a million, because there's an entire product niche around bento—the packed-at-home meal, usually lunch—alone.

At Tokyu Hands (which is to your average department store as Six Flags is to a playground slide), the bento section is something of a religious experience, especially if you worship at the altar of cute.

Pleated paper cups printed with tiny saucer-eyed cats. Mini plastic pig bottles that shoot soy sauce out their nose. Silicone teddy-bear dividers to keep your veg away from your meat. And plenty of cookie cutter-type shapers, so you can mold Junior's rice into the shape of a tiny car or bunny head.

And the boxes? Oh, honey. From traditional flower-etched lacquered sets to poppy, punchy Hello Kitty stackables, the only question is, what don't they sell a bento box in the shape of?

If you answered "A cheeseburger, where both the lettuce and the patty are separate removable trays," you lose.

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