I had the good fortune of discovering Ebay as a source of bento boxes. I had traveled to Tokyo many years ago and found these boxes purely by chance. I was looking for traditional wooden lacquered boxes and stumbled upon the more modern plastic lunch boxes. I found two in a large department store called Mitsukoshi which sells just about everything. One was a two-tier blue with a hidden compartment on the top which kept a pair of chop sticks. Over time, the closing mechinism broke and I began searching on the internet for similar boxes with no luck. Only until about a year ago did I stumble upon the bento fanatics in cyberspace like me. And of course I couldn't resist. I just had to replace that old box.
I found both under the Ebay shop Japan Souvenir. The prices were pretty decent for one (the larger of the two) and the second a little more. The first one I purchased for my husband since it was pretty big. It's a two-tier with one of the tiers having its own cover. It has a little compartment for chop-sticks which were included.
The other was a little more expensive since it also was a two-tier but came with its own bento strap (a heavy duty strap which keeps the bento box closed) and its matching bag. Plus it has a nice japanese kanji graffiti design.
I've also purchased from 21stcenturyfineartgiclee also off of Ebay this very nice green bento set. Not only is it a two-tier, it came with a matching elastic strap, utensils, bottles, towel, carrying bag and even plastic grass which is used as a food separator when you make your bento meals. (see upcoming blogs about packing bento boxes). It's not as resistant as the above two but it's a nice matching set and works well for a good quantity of food.
This box was for me a particular bargain given its size and that all the accessories match. Usually you have to buy them all separately.
Many boxes have different themes. You can imagine how many Hello Kitty bentos are out there. Here is one based on a manga pig called Monokuro (I think).
There are also sexy manga boxes too ! Here is one called the Lolita Goth Bento Box. It actually comes with a garter belt as the bento strap. And of course it comes with a matching bag.....you can check the sexy bentos at JBox. They are a little more expensive than most but they have a very interesting collection. I never ended up buying this one and to tell you the truth I wish I had. Together with its matching bag of course !
No matter what you end up choosing to put in the box, the contents become all the more precious when you close it all up and pack up your lunch bag. Leaves something to be desired when you think of the old brown bag lunch!!! Here is this blogs bento :