Top 7 Adorable Charaben (Character Bento Boxes) Instagram Accounts


“I Make Food That Tell a Story” reads @leesamantha’s Instagram description. Instagram has increasingly become a popular platform for showcasing kyaraben or charaben (short for character bento boxes), and has created a trend around the world of arranging famous characters and cute animals in lunchboxes.

Charaben had started as a way to charm children into eating their lunches in Japan. Since then, creative Asian parents have gained as many as hundreds of thousands of followers for snapping photos of the lunchboxes. Creating a balanced and appetizing meal with vegetables has developed into an art form.

Now, broccoli are trees, tomatoes can be found in between princesses, and between baked eggs and carefully placed seaweed, lunch has magically turned into a story waiting to happen.

Here are our top 7 favorite charaben instagram accounts:


1. leesamantha

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An adorable minion gets his own caption, written in cream on the soup.


2. asatoai

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This intricate platter stars some of the most loved Sanrio characters (best use of strawberries ever), complete with a sideplate of soy sauce.


3. pandora607

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Two frogs and a beautiful ham bow, complete with stars and subtle veggies make for a potentially goofy story.


4. akie_raisa

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Who could resist Olaf!? Some people are worth…eating for.




5. yukaritomaron

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This instagram features not just charaben, but the owner’s precious dog posing next to the lunchbox with “how-can-you-say-no” eyes.


6. yukotkk

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Set against a woodland backdrop, these nearly identical lunchboxes star tiny Doraemon flags and broccoli that looks like trees.


7. yooouuuk

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There’s a story waiting to be told with this character and a guest appearance of the piggy in the center.


To find more of these beautifully decorated bentos boxes, explore the #キャラ弁 hashtag.

A Mother’s Creative Bento Boxes Teach Japan’s Geography And Look Adorable


We’ve seen everything from adorable Hello Kitty bento boxes to intricate panda bento boxes. And just when we thought we’ve seen it all, another creative food artist comes along and impresses us even more.

Bentos are home-packed meals common in Japanese cuisine. Traditionally, these boxes hold rice, fish or meat, and pickled or cooked vegetables. More recently, “kyaraben” (which translates to “character bento”) has picked up in popularity. Kyaraben are elaborately decorated bento boxes inspired by characters from anime, comics books, video games, animals, shows, etc. It is not uncommon to come across Japanese children comparing bento boxes at lunchtime to see who has the most impressive looking meal.

But one mother, who goes by the Twitter handle Sasariri, decided that she wanted her bento boxes to not only be cute but help educate her child as well. To do this, she very skillfully incorporated Japan’s prefectures as the theme for each bento box.

For each bento box, she used food items such as seaweed, egg and rice to accurately show the shape of one of Japan’s 47 prefectures, including Hokkaido, Kyoto and Tokyo. She even added the name of of each prefecture written in the roman alphabet to help her child learn even more.

Creative, yummy, cute and educational? Yes, please.








Image of The Day: The Cutest Hello Kitty Bento Boxes

September has been quite the month for Hello Kitty fans. First, Sanrio brought fruit-flavored Hello Kitty beer to China. Then the Hello Kitty jet made its first flight to the U.S.

In honor of Hello Kitty’s rather eventful month, we decided we ought to show some fan-made Hello Kitty love. So what impressed us?

Hello Kitty bento boxes!

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Common in Japanese cuisine, bento is a single-portion meal that is usually placed in a box container. Traditionally, a lot of time and effort is put into the arrangement and preparation of bento boxes. Clearly, these Hello Kitty bento boxes are no exception.

These impressive bento boxes are quickly going viral on various social media sites and for good reason. Check them out for yourself:

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