Many of you are probably already familiar with the flower-viewing custom in Japan during spring.


Around this time of the year, people gather in open spaces, prepare lunch boxes and eat while enjoying the charming pink tones of the sakura (cherry) trees.

However, because of the restrictions this year, lots of new hanami 花見 (the Japanese word for flower-viewing) alternatives and innovative home-picnic ideas have been buzzing over the internet.

Some of them are the Magic Sakura Tree that blooms inside your home, sakura rental plansonline hanamicherry blossom virtual tours, etc.

Now that there are so many blossom-viewing options, you might wonder: So, what do we do about the bento box lunch?

If you plan on making it yourself, you can find some spring-inspired bento ideas here, or if you want to take an easier path, Seibu Ikebukuro has come up with a couple of hanami bento box lunches for this season.

Seibu Ikebukuro is a large department store linked to a food court and train stations. It has a wide variety of stores, from groceries, household items, restaurants to cosmetics, clothing, and high-end brands.

Their new colorful lunch boxes include bamboo shoots, butterbur, rape blossoms that remind you of spring, and many other seasonal ingredients.

The bento box lunches are available at the Deli Corner (sōzai uriba / 惣菜売場) and baked goods corner (pan uriba / パン売場) of the Main Dish Market (okazu ichiba / おかず市場) on the basement floor of Sogo-Seibu, and most items will remain on sale until the first week of April.

Here are a couple of the options available:

Haruurara (はるうらら) from Nadaman Co., Ltd. (nadaman chūbō / なだ万厨房), 1,944 yen

The bento has bamboo shoots and scattered sushi (chirashizushi / ちらし寿司), and many spring-inspired elements such as sakura or flower-shaped ingredients. On sale until April 10th.

Sakura omekashi bentō (桜おめかし弁当) by Little Chef (リトルシェフ), 1,188 yen

This is a colorful sakura-themed bento with salted cherry blossoms, kamaboko shaped into blossom petals, and fresh strawberries. (On sale until April 10th).

Spring Bento (obentō haru / おべんとう 春) by Kiyōken Co., Ltd. (崎陽軒): 730 yen

This bento from the famous Chinese restaurant Kiyōken is full of spring ingredients such as Spanish mackerel, bamboo shoots, butterbur, and canola blossoms. It will be on sale until mid-April.

"Taste of Spring" Japanese-style shrimp and bamboo shoot fritters (haru wo ajiwau ebi to takenonko wafū-age 春を味わう 海老と筍の和風揚げ) by RF1 (Rock Field Co., Ltd.): 497 yen / 100g

Available until April 21st.

Sakura shrimp croquettes (sakuraebi korokke 桜エビのコロッケ) by Izutsu Maisen Co., Ltd. (まい泉): 216 yen apiece.

Available until April 20th.

Hors d'oeuvres for flower-viewing at home (ouchi de ohanami ōdoburu お家でお花見オードブル) by RF1 (Rock Field Co., Ltd.): 2,160 yen

Available on April 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

From February, the department store has been offering a delivery service that makes it a lot easier for those who want a fresh, delicious spring-inspired bento box lunch delivered right to their door.

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By - cinnamonellie.