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White Day in Japan

The answer to Valentine’s Day is here! In Japan, women give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Honmei chocolates are generally handmade and given to partners or those they like, whilst giri ‘obligation’ chocolates are ready made chocolates given to male coworkers. After Valentine’s Day is done, women hang up their wallets and wait for their turn to roll around! The 14th of March, White Day, is when men reciprocate, with some even being obligated to respond ‘thrice’! 😱



Just like Valentine’s Day, White Day was started by savvy Japanese manufacturers in the 1980s who saw it as an opportunity to profit once again by creating an extension of Valentine’s Day.


Originally, men were encouraged to buy marshmallows as a gift (the white color was meant to demonstrate pure young love, hence ‘White Day’), but obviously this didn’t catch on… who wants to get a few marshmallows in return for delicious chocolate! These days, many other sweets like cookies can be given instead of the dreaded marshmallows. 😉


 

Even better (or worse if you are a man), if they receive romantic honmei chocolates from their significant others, men are expected to give something worth two or three times the value! So for those pleasantly surprised upon receiving expensive and luxurious chocolates on Valentine’s Day… watch out! 😈



However, rest assured that your bank account won’t be completely emptied; for your colleague who gave you giri obligation chocolate, you can just give her back something of equal value. But unless you want to make enemies, don’t give a marshmallow; this is apparently a secret sign that you have no interest in the person whatsoever, even as a friend or coworker! 😅

 

And of course, for those who skipped Valentine’s Day, or participated in Jibun Choco (buying chocolates for yourself), White Day is a perfect excuse to get more chocolate! Don’t forget to spoil yourself with some delicious Matcha sweets

Read more

The answer to Valentine’s Day is here! In Japan, women give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Honmei chocolates are generally handmade and given to partners or those they like, whilst giri ‘obligation’ chocolates are ready made chocolates given to male coworkers. After Valentine’s Day is done, women hang up their wallets and wait for their turn to roll around! The 14th of March, White Day, is when men reciprocate, with some even being obligated to respond ‘thrice’! 😱



Just like Valentine’s Day, White Day was started by savvy Japanese manufacturers in the 1980s who saw it as an opportunity to profit once again by creating an extension of Valentine’s Day.


Originally, men were encouraged to buy marshmallows as a gift (the white color was meant to demonstrate pure young love, hence ‘White Day’), but obviously this didn’t catch on… who wants to get a few marshmallows in return for delicious chocolate! These days, many other sweets like cookies can be given instead of the dreaded marshmallows. 😉


 

Even better (or worse if you are a man), if they receive romantic honmei chocolates from their significant others, men are expected to give something worth two or three times the value! So for those pleasantly surprised upon receiving expensive and luxurious chocolates on Valentine’s Day… watch out! 😈



However, rest assured that your bank account won’t be completely emptied; for your colleague who gave you giri obligation chocolate, you can just give her back something of equal value. But unless you want to make enemies, don’t give a marshmallow; this is apparently a secret sign that you have no interest in the person whatsoever, even as a friend or coworker! 😅

 

And of course, for those who skipped Valentine’s Day, or participated in Jibun Choco (buying chocolates for yourself), White Day is a perfect excuse to get more chocolate! Don’t forget to spoil yourself with some delicious Matcha sweets

Read more


Hina Matsuri Girl's Festival

With the chill of winter starting to fade, and plum blossoms blooming shyly across the land, the atmosphere is perfect for Hina Matsuri! This festival is held across Japan on March 3 to celebrate female children, and pray for their continued health and happiness. 🌸



The main part of the festival is of course, the beautiful dolls! Families display ceramic dolls dressed in ornate, decorative robes from the ancient Heian Period. These figures are often handmade, and are stunning examples of traditional Japanese craftwork, with some being handed down through generations. The dolls are displayed on a red-carpeted tiered platform; on the top are the Emperor and Empress, and sitting on the lower tiers are nobles, court ladies, musicians, and attendants who are often surrounded by elaborate tools like sake cups, chests of drawers, rickshaws, and more.



Girls celebrate the festival by throwing parties with their friends, eating colorful sweets like hina-arare (sugar rice crackers), and hishi-mochi, ceremonial diamond shaped mochi rice cakes. Elaborately constructed chirashi-zushi (deconstructed sushi) is also a common Hina Matsuri dish.



On this day celebrating girls and womanhood, did anyone spare a thought for the poor boys? Fear not! They also have their own festival day, on May 5; keep an eye out for that blog post!  

Read more

With the chill of winter starting to fade, and plum blossoms blooming shyly across the land, the atmosphere is perfect for Hina Matsuri! This festival is held across Japan on March 3 to celebrate female children, and pray for their continued health and happiness. 🌸



The main part of the festival is of course, the beautiful dolls! Families display ceramic dolls dressed in ornate, decorative robes from the ancient Heian Period. These figures are often handmade, and are stunning examples of traditional Japanese craftwork, with some being handed down through generations. The dolls are displayed on a red-carpeted tiered platform; on the top are the Emperor and Empress, and sitting on the lower tiers are nobles, court ladies, musicians, and attendants who are often surrounded by elaborate tools like sake cups, chests of drawers, rickshaws, and more.



Girls celebrate the festival by throwing parties with their friends, eating colorful sweets like hina-arare (sugar rice crackers), and hishi-mochi, ceremonial diamond shaped mochi rice cakes. Elaborately constructed chirashi-zushi (deconstructed sushi) is also a common Hina Matsuri dish.



On this day celebrating girls and womanhood, did anyone spare a thought for the poor boys? Fear not! They also have their own festival day, on May 5; keep an eye out for that blog post!  

Read more


March 2019 Daily Bento Snaps~ Show us your daily bento!

Bento aficionado? Or just starting out on your bento journey? Send us your daily bento photos, and once a month we will choose a random bento to receive a $100 Bento&co Gift Card!


Here at Bento&co we love all bentos, and want to see how bento fits your daily life. Whether it be hurried snaps taken during prep, styling kawaii decorative character bentos, or throwing together simple bentos, we want to see the unique partnership between bento and you.


Please remember

  1. When sending/posting your photo, please use the hashtag #bentoandcophoto so that we can find it ^^ You can also send your photos to contact@bentoandco.com
  2. We want to share your awesome bentos with the world on our website and social media, so please don't use watermarks/logos on your photos! No worries though; we will credit every photo that we use!
  3. Please make sure you bento has food in it ^^ As lovely as our bento boxes are, we want to showcase how you use them to make bentos~

You can enter the February Photo Competition from 1 March 2019 until 27 March 2019 5pm JST. The winner of the competition will be publicly announced by 31 March 2019 5pm JST.


Better get started before it's too late! Good luck bento-ers!


Need inspiration? Check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for fresh ideas!

Read more

Bento aficionado? Or just starting out on your bento journey? Send us your daily bento photos, and once a month we will choose a random bento to receive a $100 Bento&co Gift Card!


Here at Bento&co we love all bentos, and want to see how bento fits your daily life. Whether it be hurried snaps taken during prep, styling kawaii decorative character bentos, or throwing together simple bentos, we want to see the unique partnership between bento and you.


Please remember

  1. When sending/posting your photo, please use the hashtag #bentoandcophoto so that we can find it ^^ You can also send your photos to contact@bentoandco.com
  2. We want to share your awesome bentos with the world on our website and social media, so please don't use watermarks/logos on your photos! No worries though; we will credit every photo that we use!
  3. Please make sure you bento has food in it ^^ As lovely as our bento boxes are, we want to showcase how you use them to make bentos~

You can enter the February Photo Competition from 1 March 2019 until 27 March 2019 5pm JST. The winner of the competition will be publicly announced by 31 March 2019 5pm JST.


Better get started before it's too late! Good luck bento-ers!


Need inspiration? Check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for fresh ideas!

Read more


February 2019 Daily Snaps WINNER!

Thanks for all of your February entries! We are looking forward to your March bentos- check the March 2019 Bento Snaps Blog Post to find out how to enter!

We are super happy to announce that Annie Z. has been awarded the February gift card! 



Here are some of our other favorite bentos!

 Thanks H. Elyn! ~  Chicken, rice, veggies with greens, these are a few of our favorite things 🎶

 

Thanks Andy Reynolds for the superbly color coordinated bento and kitty 🐱

 

Exploding with color, littlemissleng knows how to create a beautiful and cute bento!

And idontlikechocolatebrownies (Instagram) expresses everything that is close and dear to our hearts- I love bento! 💖

 

 

Read more

Thanks for all of your February entries! We are looking forward to your March bentos- check the March 2019 Bento Snaps Blog Post to find out how to enter!

We are super happy to announce that Annie Z. has been awarded the February gift card! 



Here are some of our other favorite bentos!

 Thanks H. Elyn! ~  Chicken, rice, veggies with greens, these are a few of our favorite things 🎶

 

Thanks Andy Reynolds for the superbly color coordinated bento and kitty 🐱

 

Exploding with color, littlemissleng knows how to create a beautiful and cute bento!

And idontlikechocolatebrownies (Instagram) expresses everything that is close and dear to our hearts- I love bento! 💖

 

 

Read more


Valentine’s Day in Japan!

Think you know all about Valentine’s Day? Not in Japan! Valentine’s Day in Japan comes with its own unique style and traditions. On the 14th of February, it is the women who give presents to the men! But don’t despair, ladies; 14th of March is ‘White Day’, the day where men reciprocate with gifts for women (and are supposed to return the gift ‘thrice’ if they are a romantic partner😏).



Valentine’s Day first started to become popular in Japan in the 1950s. In those times, females rarely confessed their feelings to men, making the rare act of confessing love, kokuhaku (告白), somewhat taboo. Chocolate companies jumped on this new trend, and created a day where it was acceptable for women to take a risk and confess their feelings. Not only did manufacturers score big, they helped to create changes in traditional female and male interactions in Japan. Now, it is estimated that a quarter of annual profits for Japanese chocolate companies comes from February sales!


Women commonly gift handmade chocolate for Valentine’s Day, which prompts stores to begin selling chocolate making kits at the start of January, as well as lavishly decorated and packaged department store chocolate. These special chocolates are given to husbands, boyfriends, partners, or objects of affection, and are called ‘Honmei Choco’. The beautifully decorated chocolates will surely bring a smile; yet be careful if your girlfriend throws a cheap pack of convenience store chocolate at you…



There is also a second type of chocolates given to friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends called ‘Giri Choco’, obligation chocolate- no feelings or strings attached! Giri Choco are generally ready made chocolates that you can purchase in grocery stores or department stores, helping girls to save money after the expensive Honmei Choco 😅



But don’t forget about the most important kind of chocolate- ‘Jibun Choco’, chocolates for yourself! Whether or not you have a significant other, you always have a special someone- yourself! Don’t forget to spoil yourself with some delicious Matcha sweets this Valentine’s Day!

Read more

Think you know all about Valentine’s Day? Not in Japan! Valentine’s Day in Japan comes with its own unique style and traditions. On the 14th of February, it is the women who give presents to the men! But don’t despair, ladies; 14th of March is ‘White Day’, the day where men reciprocate with gifts for women (and are supposed to return the gift ‘thrice’ if they are a romantic partner😏).



Valentine’s Day first started to become popular in Japan in the 1950s. In those times, females rarely confessed their feelings to men, making the rare act of confessing love, kokuhaku (告白), somewhat taboo. Chocolate companies jumped on this new trend, and created a day where it was acceptable for women to take a risk and confess their feelings. Not only did manufacturers score big, they helped to create changes in traditional female and male interactions in Japan. Now, it is estimated that a quarter of annual profits for Japanese chocolate companies comes from February sales!


Women commonly gift handmade chocolate for Valentine’s Day, which prompts stores to begin selling chocolate making kits at the start of January, as well as lavishly decorated and packaged department store chocolate. These special chocolates are given to husbands, boyfriends, partners, or objects of affection, and are called ‘Honmei Choco’. The beautifully decorated chocolates will surely bring a smile; yet be careful if your girlfriend throws a cheap pack of convenience store chocolate at you…



There is also a second type of chocolates given to friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends called ‘Giri Choco’, obligation chocolate- no feelings or strings attached! Giri Choco are generally ready made chocolates that you can purchase in grocery stores or department stores, helping girls to save money after the expensive Honmei Choco 😅



But don’t forget about the most important kind of chocolate- ‘Jibun Choco’, chocolates for yourself! Whether or not you have a significant other, you always have a special someone- yourself! Don’t forget to spoil yourself with some delicious Matcha sweets this Valentine’s Day!

Read more