I popped into the large Kamei kitchenware store in San Francisco yesterday, and was surprised to see about a hundred small Hakoya-brand bento boxes cheaply priced at $10.50 regardless of size or design! The store tells me that they just got them in this week, and plan to keep them in stock. They’re not with the rest of the bento boxes in the left-hand section of the store, but are in a middle aisle of the store’s right-hand section by the sushi molds and juubako multiple-person serving boxes.
Made by Japanese company Tatsumiya Shikki Co., Ltd., Hakoya-brand bento boxes, chopsticks, and kinchaku lunch bags are of high quality and available in traditional Japanese designs. This marks an expansion of Kamei’s bento box selection, which up to now has leaned towards the utilitarian and plain (many Lock & Lock, GlassLock, Chinese off-brands, and the occasional Asvel man’s bento box). (Read on for details and more photos of Kamei’s Hakoya bento box selection.)
Box details: At the time of posting, Kamei stocks ten different Hakoya designs, including one that is safe for both microwave and dishwasher (the white one in the brown cardboard box in the photo below on the far left). The others are not recommended for the microwave. All ten are two-tier boxes from 280ml to 480ml with an elastic bento band, removable inner tier with sealing inner lid, and a separate top lid. The designs are mostly feminine, but there is a beige and navy blue one that’s more masculine and plain (below, center). The masculine one is still quite small at 415ml, though, so it’s still more of a child’s box or a side dish box for an adult. (See my guide to choosing the right size bento box.)
The orange box that I bought is 380ml, with a 140ml top tier and a 240ml bottom tier. When empty, the inner tier can be turned over and nested into the bottom tier to save space in your bag after eating. (Click the photos for a larger view.)
Kamei Restaurant & Supply
507 Clement St (in the Inner Richmond)
(between 6th Ave & 7th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 666-3699
See my full store review at the San Francisco Bay Area shopping guide for bento gear. I’ve also left updated feedback on the store’s entry in the Bento Store Locator (BSL). (Disclaimer: I have no commercial affiliations with Kamei or Hakoya.)
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