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Yes, we have seen bentos there; they even have stuff for kids with Hello, Kitty, robots, etc. My husband always picks up chopsticks on each visit, and we have noticed special sets for kids in their own carry boxes. Our problem is that there are so many choices and wonderful things to buy!
I'm an avid bento-ist, and have checked Mitsukoshi regularly. They do have lots of the candies in the back room, but few bento boxes except for Hello Kitty Stuff. It might just be bad luck on our part, but they don't have lots for boys or non-kawaii adults, plus it's rather expensive.
It's true that the selections can be small or change from time to time. My husband looked at a bento two years ago, but decided it was too much. And they do seem to have more for kids along those lines. Last time we hit the jackpot on sale items, mostly fabric, but only bought a couple of pairs of chopsticks from the food section this last trip. We live in an area with lots of Asian markets, so we can choose from 20 different rice cookers and a variety of lunch kits, no problem. I also noticed that Wegman's had some bento-like kits in their natural living area, if there is one near where you live.
I do have a few local choices (Mitsuwa is 30 plus min away) but they have pretty slim pickings. I haven’t had a free moment to venture to some of the smaller stories in the City (I am far burbs of Chicago), but suspect that I could find some other sources locally.
We don’t spend a lot in general on items from the parks but I was thinking that it might be fun to have something that both served as a memory of our trip as well as fit into another passion.
Thanks for your insights.
They work beautifully and came with a divider so that you can put two different foods into the box. The lid has a seal gasket that really holds well although you don't want to tip the box much if you have any very gooey food in it.
When I worked, I used to enclose my bento box in a bandanna double-knotted to secure it with my chopstick case tucked through the bandanna's openings. Worked great for carrying my bento.
We also have a family bento set which has two divided oval trays and one undivided one that stack and fit into a rack which has a built in lid and handle. We used to take it to our favorite Japanese restaurant so that we didn't get a bunch of disposable plastic with takeout. Our restaurant mamasan (the owner) loved how frugal we were. She'd say, "Oh, it's the very-Japanese bento boxes again."
That said, Mitsukoshi does have a wonderful selection of various sized and shaped dishes. We've gotten some really clever little plates and sauce dishes. One of my favorites from there is a striped cat plate that looks like a cat sprawled belly up. It has the cutest face and a paw at each corner of the sort-of rectangular plate.
Christmas Party 2014. In 2015, we were Disney-home for Christmas!
Last edited by Her Dotness; 07-14-2010 at 07:51 PM..
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Great info! I didn't have much time to shop last Dec., but I did find DD one Hello Kitty box at Mitsukoshi, and I will need more since she will be taking lunch to preschool this year. I am very pro-kawaii , so I'd like to be able to stock up on cutsy boxes while there (I HATE how long it takes for J-List to ship). Hopefully they will have a few in stock...
We looked specifically for bento boxes of any sort on our '04 trip and January this year one as well as asking some relatives who went in '06 and '09 to see if there were any. But for the Hello Kitty one, zero zip zilch.
Maybe if more non-Asians start asking for bento boxes, Asian/Japanese stores will carry them on a regular basis.
When I do find any, they seem to be the large lacquered trays or stacking lacquered bento boxes that are lovely (and bunches of bucks!) but won't hold up to all the bashing about that we tend to give our bento-to-go boxes.
Come to think of it, I believe Whole Foods had a set of those round, stacking stainless steel bento boxes last time I was there as well as the Americanized set I mentioned earlier. Those are at least authentic, but we wouldn't find them very useful. We prefer just one rectangular one supplemented as needed by small Pyrex glass bowls with plastic lid.
Christmas Party 2014. In 2015, we were Disney-home for Christmas!
I will be in Epcot only for a business trip in a few months and then back for a family vacation - I'll still take a look but I wont have my heart set on it.
On a side note, I did find some cute "snack" bentos (more americanized) at the local Borders Books. They had 4 or 5 different kinds - small lock top ones with small compartments/trays and others that are just 4 boxes that nest in eachother when not in use.