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Posted on Jun 9, 2008 in Equipment, Shopping | 50 comments

Online stores for bento gear

Online stores for bento gear

Microwave-safe donburi bento box from Hakoya (closed) Clickety Click dessert box and mayo cups

Although fancy bento boxes and cute accessories from Japan aren’t at all necessary to pack a bento-style lunch, once you get into it you might develop a hankering for them. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at local stores using the worldwide Bento Store Locator map with user-generated store feedback, you might want to look into online sources. To this end, I’ve put together a list of online stores that stock a variety of bento gear.

The list below is not exhaustive, but please leave a comment with info to add reliable stores or update the shipping area on an existing store. Eventually I hope to incorporate these online store listings into the geographic Bento Store Locator (BSL) so that people can easily leave feedback on each store entry. Stores that seem particularly popular are underlined, but be sure to look around for the best price before you buy (I’ve seen some pretty steep mark-ups out there, especially on eBay!). This is not a particular endorsement of any of the following stores, although stores marked with an asterisk are affiliate links that support Lunch in a Box at no additional cost when you use them to shop. (Read on for the full list of online bento stores.)


Online Stores for Bento Gear

International Shipping:

  • Bento Crazy: Boxes, accessories, cutters, molds, etc. Located in Japan, but international shipping. See also the store’s blog for product spotlights.
  • CasaBento: Large bento store with a wide variety of unusual boxes and accessories. Multilingual website in English, French & German (click on the flags under “Langues” on the right) (disclosure: CasaBento.com is an advertiser on Lunch in a Box)
  • From Japan With Love: Bento boxes, bags, accessories and other kitchen gear from Japan.
  • I Love Obento: Bento boxes, bags, accessories, books, etc. Worldwide shipping
  • J-List*: bento boxes, accessories, bento books & cookbooks, and assorted odd items from Japan. Click for their bento-related items on J-Box. (J-Box is their PG-rated site, J-List is their R-rated site.)
  • Japan Centre: The Japan Centre online store in the U.K. has expanded their inventory of cheap Daiso goods, including a selection of bento gear for £1.49 and up (egg molds, bento boxes, sauce containers, picks, bento belts, food dividers, bags, chopsticks, disposable oshibori hand towels, onigiri rice molds, etc.). They ship non-perishable goods throughout Europe (see their delivery info page), so Europeans might want to check that out.
  • Lunchboxes.com*: Thermal food jars, drink containers, insulated lunch bags & totes, and standard lunch boxes (good kids’ selection).
  • Reusable Bags*: Laptop Lunchbox & sets, Sigg bento-style aluminum boxes, and To-Go Ware bamboo utensils.
  • Shop Japanese-language auctions and online stores such as Rakuten and Yahoo! Japan with assistance from the services described on this page.

US Shipping:

eBay Stores with International Shipping

Clickety Click bento lunch gear in blue & brownCanada:

Hong Kong:

Japan:

USA:

FURTHER READING:

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50 Comments

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  1. Very cool, thanks! I’ve been loving Ichibankan Online and how quick their shipping is and affordable. Very awesome.

  2. Thank you so much for the Bento Store locator. I was able to pick up one of the vacuum style lunch boxes at a store I found via your locator in Plano. In fact, today is my very first day with a bento lunch!

    Joy!!!

  3. I took at a look at Bento Crazy and I am very happy to see that they have reasonable shipping prices. One big problem with some eBay sellers is that they overcharge on the shipping and they will tell it to your face that it’s how they make their profit!
    Great list Biggie! Thanks for doing all this work!

  4. Agreeing with wendy here. I can’t believe I never stumbled upon the snapware products! they’re perfect! I had found all the other websites randomly, but this is pretty cool. Thanks a lot for all the work you put into this!

  5. Here are two more ebay store offering international shipping you may want to add to your list.

    Hong Kong:
    Lee262Gadget All items are official products (from Disney, Sanrio, X-San, etc.) and item cost and s&h are very cheap!

    Japan:
    SAKURA-ZAKKA-SHOP Even cheaper than lee262Gadget and a great selection of products to choose from! Great customer service, too.

  6. The links are faulty because of the dots at the end. Take the ‘.’ off and the links will work just fine.

  7. Thanks for these lists! I’m going to have a look around town to see if I can find any supplies but if not I’ll for sure be coming back and ordering from one of them.

  8. Congrats on being mentioned in Newsweek this week! My bento-addicted daughter and I were actually cheering when we saw the article.

  9. @6 from laeb: Thanks for those two store additions, laeb — I checked them out and put them on the list. Good selection!

  10. @2 from Cathy H: Glad to hear the Locator helped you find a local bento store, Cathy! I’m thankful also to whoever entered the info for that Plano store. Welcome to the bento fold!

  11. @4 from Wendy: Well, I guess all sellers have to make a profit somehow, but hiding their markup in the shipping costs does seem sneaky. I do get irritated when sellers jack up the prices super-high on lower-quality dollar store goods, giving the impression that you’re buying high quality gear. Nine-dollar egg molds, anyone?

  12. @5 from Mimi: Snapware is good, but personally I prefer the security of the locking flaps on the Lock & Lock boxes.

  13. @9 from Snarffalita: I haven’t seen the hard copy of the Newsweek article yet, just the web version. I’m curious to see if they used any of the photos they asked me for, or if those fell on the editing room floor… Still, I can’t complain!

  14. Thanks bunches for the list of sites, Biggie. I, too, have stumbled onto most of the sites – sometimes with a good experience, sometimes…well, not so much.
    Having purchased from the eBay store “Bento’s and Beyond” numerous times, I can say all my experiences with him/her have been wonderful! Even shipping from Japan, postal costs are reasonable, communication/e-mail responses are quick and items are well packed for mail.
    Even though I’m in an area with several Asian stores and bento supply readily available, sometimes he/she has items that are simply not available in the States (or are extremely difficult to find).
    I confidently recommend them as a good and fair bento supplier.

  15. Hi there! I have also ordered from: http://www.shopkawaii.com (housewares section). Ships in the US and has many character bento boxes and accessories. Great customer service! Thanks for putting this list together!!

  16. Thanks! I just placed an Ichiban Kan order before they sell out of everything!!

  17. @17 from stephanie: Thanks for the addition, stephanie. I’ve put it on the list. :-)

  18. I’ve ordered some non-bento related stuff from From-Japan-With-Love. This seller is based in Japan and she is an established Japanese stationery seller on Etsy.com. She had just started developing another online store selling BENTO & accessories among other things. I think her shipping is reasonable and the customer service is superb! http://www.from-japan-with-love.com/stgo.html

  19. I was in the Sanrio store here in Miami and found some cute Hello Kitty bento/sandwich boxes.

  20. I love Itchiban Kan Online store (cheap & FAST shipping)
    i found the PERFECT bento lunch boxes and had them in my cart (but did not checkout), and now that i check again they do not have those items anymore
    =(
    I want to cry!
    I hope I find some other like it

  21. thanks so much!! I just started looking into bento luches for my 6 yr old who is not eating his American style lunch at all! great photos and ideas!! I am looking for bento boxes with forks now!!

  22. I bought a few things on ebay and
    (as usual) didn’t do my research ended up paying 60 bucks for a few odds and ends (2 lunchboxes, 4 bags, 4 mayo cups and 6 soy sauce bottles!!!) Stupid girl…

  23. Biggie, this is a great resource for lunchbox and bento box stuff! I have been a happy customer at Amazon, Ichiban Kan, and Lunchboxes.com. I’ve directed my readers to this page for all things bento. Thanks!

  24. Just want to check where can i buy the bento in bulk? I m looking for wholeseller

  25. Effective July 8th, itchiban kan USA’s online store is closed. They say they want to try and reopen it sometime, but it’s not certain and they certainly don’t have a date. I found out this morning and was heartbroken, it was so cheap and I bought so much bento stuff there….

  26. Hi…I love all your information about bento stores and how to make bento lunch.
    I love making lunch and snack for my 1st grader ever since last year.

    Anyway…just wanna let you know that I’m selling cute bento/lunch boxes and also all the bento accessories. It would be much appreciated if you could introduce to all your blogger friends.

    Thank you so much and hear from you soon.

  27. Hi, I’m looking for a ben 10 bento box that I saw on a blog picture… any ideas as to where I can get one??

  28. @39 from christine: I’m not sure which box you’re looking for; do you have a link to the picture?

  29. @35 from shanlin: Daiso Japan has an online store that handles only bulk orders: http://www.daisojapan.com/ Lots of reasonably-priced bento stuff there.

  30. Hello,

    I would love to add our website to your online store bento list bentohaven DOT com. Thank you.
    [EDIT: dead link edited]

  31. Hi
    In the Canada section – Southampton Creations – goes to ebay and I no longer have a store there – I am now on vendio and etsy under TheKawaiiSupplyShop

    Thanks Pat

  32. sushisushi also sell loads of bento supplies throughout Europe and the UK

  33. I had a good experience with http://www.fitjpstore.com. They’re a shop out of Houston. Seems to be mainly dollar-store bento boxes, but they do sell the “Natural Lunchtime” brand. Most items are $2.

    Got 7 bento boxes, a package of soy sauce bottles, and a mayonaise jar for $26 including shipping–enough to pack my lunches for all week on Sunday night and just grab and go in the morning!

  34. hey, I just bought this sweet portable bento box from this company called thermapod here in canada. i havent really got a chance to use it too much seeing as it just got delievered to me but it seems awesome, just the right size for a sandwich and a salad and it seems very strong and i can put it in my microwave and dishwasher safely omg awesome! though not the cutest box, it does come in pink <3 my fav colour :) check them out http://www.thermapod.ca very good value and high quality bento product.

    thx, sara :)

  35. I’ve been loving Ichibankan Online and quick shipping is and affordable. awesome!

  36. If I am not wrong, Ichibankan online is no longer selling. T_T

  37. I discovered your blog website on the internet as well as examine some of your earlier articles. Continue to keep up the excellent run. I just additional your Feed to my MSN Information Readers. Seeking toward reading more from you afterwards!

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