A deeper look into Japan’s creative packed lunches.
In Japan, a boxed lunch isn’t just a meal on the go — it’s also a work of art and a means of communication from the maker to the receiver.
Obento, or Japanese boxed lunch, has hundreds of years of history for providing hungry men, women and children with a meal on the go. Though the original obento was initially a simple, dried rice meal, over the years it has slowly morphed into a beautiful, and oftentimes, a time-consuming art.
The significance of obento-making culture is evidenced in a lot of ways in Japan. Today, a simple search on Instagram will give you over five million hits for #お弁当 (obento). It is considered an essential part of every Japanese’s life, and you can find it everywhere — from homes to train stations, at schools and at park benches.