Bento bako or bento box actually presents Japanese lunch box.

What is the difference between simple lunch box and Japanese lunch box and actually is there some important difference?

Japanese bento box is nutritionaly balanced lunch box. This box is always made of proteins, garbs, fruits and veggies. Japanese bento box is always full of different colors.

Japanese box is economical solution because in most of the cases Japanese bento box is homemade lunch.


First tool you need is actually lunch box which can be made of different materials. If you have chance to choose choose boxes made of more natural materials like bamboo or stainless steel. Of course bpa plastic lunch boxes are also option but if you take care about your health and environment on higher level, take something more natural.

Beside lunch box you will need some kind of food separators … I mean in case you can’t find the box already split in categories. But in case you look for some practical solution you can take muffin molds for packing different ingredients.



Proteins- like meat, fish, seafood, eggs…If we talk about meat in Japan people usually use pork or chicken meat and if they have to choose the fish they usually goes for the salmon or mackarel.

Carbs – rice is of course the most important, but very often people use different type of noodles like soba (buckwheat), udon (wheat), sweet potato, corn and etc.

Vegetables – carrots, soybeans, broccoli, onion, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, asparagus and squash are main veggies used for preparation of bento box.

Fruits – I don’t add fruits into the bento box because it will slow digestion, but many mothers in Japan put fruits as kind of healthy dessert of bento box and they usually choose grapes, berries and apples.

Other ingredients which you can often see in Japaneses bento boxes are tofu, seaweed, lotus root, pickled plums, kimchi, nuts and as a dressings, spices and similar miso, soy sauce, sesame oil, bonito flakes, wasabi are the main ones which add asian flavour to the lunch served in bento box.

Maybe there is no some crucial difference between Japanese bento box and regular lunch box but still there are few principles which can help you to make lunch box more similar to the original Japanese bento box:

  1. RAINBOW PRINCIPLE – when you choose ingredients choose different colors in order to make more nutritious box and in order to make lunch visually more attractive.
  2. PLANNING PRINCIPLE- you will save time, effort and money if you plan your bento boxes one week in advance..that is what Japanese mother do.
  3. PACKING TIGHTLY PRINCIPLE- pack food tightly so you prevent shifting of the food
  4. DECORATION ALSO COUNTS – be creative and make your bento box visually attractive.