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Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:59 am
by Cherrychan
Living here in the UK, it can be hard to find bento goods. The food is not so hard to track down, as we have several decent Asian supermarkets here and I like to make my own recipes, however... the physical bento boxes and other things such as egg moulds can be hard to track down.

The only place that I have been able to find so far that supplies bento boxes, rice/egg moulds, food cases, sauce bottles etc, is the Japan Centre ( http://www.japancentre.com ) who I have received quite a few bits and pieces from and have been very satisfied with their service.

Buuut they are still quite limited. So, I was wondering - where do you all buy your gear from?

I've seen eBay has quite a few pretty and unusual bento boxes and accessories, but they are all in China/Japan and can cost a fortune to ship. If you have ordered from these countries, have you been stung with a duty bill for them? Did you receive the goods in a timely manner or did you feel it wasn't worth the wait? If you were particularly impressed by a place or person on the web, please feel free to recommend and review! :)

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:01 pm
by Biggie
I get most of my gear locally here in San Francisco, but wanted to make sure people knew about the online store list for bento gear and the Bento Store Locator with Google Maps on Lunch in a Box. The Locator uses information input from readers around the world with bento stores with them, and shows reader feedback. Try it out if you haven't already; there might be a store near you so you can save on shipping costs!

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:49 pm
by KaedeF
Living in NE Ohio is basically a bento wasteland. Even asian groceries are few and far between. I began getting the bulk of my gear over at jlist/jbox. They are based in Japan, ship worldwide, and have fantastic customer service (I shipped a package to my boyfriend and they included an adorable love note.) I have never been stuck with a duty from them. I also looked through eBay stores until I found a girl in Virgina who was shipping bento accessories. Unfortunetly she closed her bento store, but you can probably find someone in England (or anywhere you feel comfortable shipping from) who gets shipments from Japan and is selling on eBay. I have never had a problem with the few direct eBay shipments from Japan/ China I have recieved. Biggie's bento locator directed me to Ichiban Kan's online store which has been fantastic, however they do not ship internationally yet. T.T
Good Luck with your bento search~!

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:27 am
by scraggyheed
There are some great sellers on ebay
I get most of my gear from them. I've also used JBox as mentioned by KaedeF, who are tremendous and sometimes you can pick up some treasures at your local Aldi or Lidl store. I got some silicon bun cases from Lidl that I use in my box to seperate foods and they're great for making little individual jellies that pack right in. :D

I'm always scouring shops and supermarkets for suitable items but it can be frustrating trying to get stuff. :roll:

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:13 am
by RDOwens
Online mostly. Our area is bereft of bento supplies.

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:05 am
by anadandy
When I have another reason for making a trip to Boston, I usually go to the KanMan Marketplace in Quincy, MA. Otherwise, I've been lucky enough to find Lock & Lock boxes in my local Target and similar style lunch containers in my local "odd lot" store.

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:37 am
by ravendance
I live in east TN, so I have yet to find anywhere around here that sells bento supplies.

As far as boxes, go, all of mine I've purchased through Ichibankan (http://www.ichibankanusa.com). They have such a great selection of inexpensive boxes, plus they've just started selling the nicer Hykoya boxes too! I can't wait to get one! I've seen alot of pretty boxes I like on JList and Ebay, but I just can't justify spending $30+ on one box.

As far as accessories, I've found mine in all sorts of places, from Ichibankan to the $1 zone at Target to craft stores.

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:40 am
by veganf
My gear is mostly from eBay or from Japan (my husband travels a lot). But he'll be in SF and LA next week with one morning to kill and a rental car so I just might give him a shopping list! :mrgreen:

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:42 am
by veganf
Anybody know if Ichibankan has plans to accept Amex or PayPal in the future?? They are losing some serious business from me only taking MC/Visa!

Re: Where do you buy your bento gear from?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:00 am
by ravendance
veganf wrote:Anybody know if Ichibankan has plans to accept Amex or PayPal in the future?? They are losing some serious business from me only taking MC/Visa!


I haven't heard anything...but you can always post your question on their blog. They're pretty good about answering questions there.