Weapons For The Lunchbox Arms Race

Aieeee! Is the mom who made this Anpan Man lunch a graduate of the Harvard School Of Lunchmaking? No, but she knows that in the bentō box cuteness wars, you have to stay on top of the latest technology! Today at the Shibuya Loft store I discovered a few of the secret weapons Japanese moms use to turn out these amazing works of cafeteria art…

Punch a sheet of nori seaweed with these tools to make those rice balls say, “Bite me!”

These punches make all styles of animal ears, piggy noses, and those wiggly things on the top of roosters’ heads.

This panda-centric set has a rice ball mold and a punch for the panda’s smiley seaweed face.

These molds make it easy to avoid making your kid eat a boring old round rice ball. There’s even a helpful diagram showing how you ought to position the umeboshi (salty-sour pickled plum) for the panda’s nose.

If you’d like to visit a Loft store the next time you’re in Tokyo, maps are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more