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Posted on Feb 6, 2008 in Equipment, For Kids, SF Bay Area Local | 14 comments

Faux bento lunch with erasers

Faux bento lunch with erasers


Food-shaped erasers in tiny bento boxes

Today’s bento is a little hard to swallow, mainly because it’s full of tiny erasers, not food! I spied these in San Francisco’s Japantown and thought you all might get a kick out of them. See if you can find inarizushi, shumai dumplings, onigiri rice balls (both plain and grilled yaki onigiri), grilled fish, mini hot dogs, a quail egg, cherry tomato, strawberry, apple rabbit, corn dog (!) and a cup of tea (!). (Click on the photo for an annotated version with what’s what.)

Rabbit-shaped apples soaking

My favorite is the apple rabbit, which reminded me of a big bowl I spotted at my son’s Japanese immersion preschool last month during prep for a school lunch. (As you may remember from my apple rabbit how-to, the final step is a soak in cold water to get the “ears” to curl up nicely.) The children usually bring their own bento lunches, but once a month parent volunteers get together to make a communal meal for all of the students. As you can see, apple rabbits were on the menu — classic children’s food in Japan.

For locals, I picked up the little bento eraser sets at Ichiban Kan dollar store for about US$1 per box, and then experienced classic bargain-hunter vindication when I saw the exact same thing for sale at Kinokuniya’s stationery store for US$4.15 each. Ha! Ichiban Kan rules. They also sell the erasers loose, so you can choose your favorites. (See the SF Bay Area shopping guide for bento gear.) (Disclaimer: I have no commercial affiliation with Ichiban Kan.)



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  1. Oh my goodness these are just too cute! I love the Rabbit Apples and the Big Strawberry too. What a cool find.

  2. Ah yes, the chest thumping YES! of bargain-hunter vindication - a beautiful thing to be sure :)

    So about Ichiban Kan - I’m compelled to ask … any word?

  3. Way too cute. When Ichiban Kan finally goes online (any word?), I’m in deep trouble lol. Although, I may check and see if our local Japanese grocery has them by some slim chance

  4. I have two small gift sized o-bentos that are filled with candy that has been shaped into food. So we have rice, some sushi bits, an umeboshi, dividers, umeboshi, real little soy-bottle and doll sized chopsticks. I just soooo get a kick out of it :).

  5. @1 from Nicole: I don’t usually buy many erasers anymore as I mostly use pens, but once I saw the bunny apples I couldn’t resist. The store also had little cherries on similar stems as the strawberry — adorable.

  6. @4 from Jessika: I’ve seen those little bento candy sets before — very cute! The chopsticks sound irresistable…

  7. @5 from vampyra1: They were US$1 (or $1.50?) for each little bento box filled with the eraser assortment. Sounds like your Sanrio store is working on the Kinokuniya pricing scheme!

  8. This is all very japanese I keep telling myself when I stumble across a candy o-bento, or see an eraser bento or whatever, yet I can’t help myself just to walk on by ;). Usually I end up getting it. Doesn’t help the shortage of space :)

  9. They are so funny! My kids would love them…

  10. Haha I remember when I was little,
    I had a chocolate cake eraser!

  11. @13 from Amber: Well, I had Bug use one for the first time yesterday after he got hold of a pencil and wrote all over the kitchen wall… I’m not sure he loves them anymore!

  12. @14 from Cindy: Ooh, a chocolate cake eraser? That sounds like something I would have loved as a child!

  13. cool!! i love it!

  14. THEY ARE SO, SO, SO COOL AND NEAT!!!!!!! I LOVE THEM AND WOULD LIKE MORE. I ALREADY HAVE 3 BOXES OF ERACER FOODS AND LOVE THEM ALOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!