Kyaraben Bento “Character Bento”

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Kyaraben Bento “Character Bento”

Most of us are familiar with the bento box concept; the Japanese origin home-packed or pre-made store-bought meal. However, very few will be aware of what a Kyaraben bento is. A little unusual, fun, cute and artistic; are some of the terms that would best describe a Kyaraben bento!


With the globalisation of food cultures, making meals in bento has found its way into most countries. The fast-growing interest has motivated parents who want to ensure that their children eat a wholesome meal to make lunches in Kyraben bento boxes. Some see Kyraben as an expansion of their cooking abilities, while others enjoy decorating adorable meals for their children.

What exactly is Kyaraben?

Kyaraben or Charaben which mans Character Bento is a cute food arrangement of the bento box. The food is placed in a decorative style to resemble celebrities, famous characters, animals, plants etc. It is a new bento-style and originated to cater to fussy eaters. The artistic and appealing arrangement of food items within the bento lunch would never make lunchtimes an interesting affair and enhance eating in fussy kids. Today, Kyaraben has caught on with adults which is witnessed by the surge in numbers of Kyaraben bloggers, YouTubers and competitions arranged to pick the most creative bento artist and expert. However, Kyaraben bento can be categorised more as a hobby than an everyday form of filling a bento though a few artistic items can be packed into the bento daily once you become an expert in the art.

Characters for Inspiration

Instead of packing a simple lunch, a Kyaraben bento is filled with several edible characters drawn from the world around us. The many characters inspiring the bento box contents include some popularly known ones like Mickey Mouse and his companion Minnie, Ghibli, Sanrio, Doraemon, Anpanman and much more! The options range from bears, pandas, fish, and many cuter farm animals in the animals’ category. As far as flowers are concerned with any form and shape of the flower is interesting.

Accessories of Use

There are some convenient tools to facilitate the making of Kyaraben bento. Some of them include rice moulds, nori-hole punches, stencil plates, vegetable cutters, silicone cups and bento picks. These can be easily obtained from any kitchen stores, supermarkets or children’s goods stores, and they are not very costly. Hence, making a Kyaraben bento does not dig a deep hole to your pocket.

Varying levels of creativity are employed in making the Kyaraben bento ranging from the beginner’s level and moving to the intermediate and advanced levels. The beginners can acquaint themselves with the art through several online sites, which offer several good tips to the advanced creators. Book lovers can avail of several books available in this context from various stores.

Taste & Nutrition is Equally Important

Kyaraben bento may be more geared to the visual looks, but they alone are not enough. Visual appeal has got to go with good taste and alongside nutrition counts too. However, this is not very difficult to achieve. Just look up on some of the online sites and get ideas, expand them to tune in with your creativity, and you will soon have a Kyaraben bento on an everyday basis for yourself and your family.

Found this article interesting? Read more about similar articles including Yochien Obento and the most popular Oekakiben Bento.

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