Ready to jazz up your meal in the most adorable way? Put some fun in your lunch box with your own kyara-ben.

Known as the “character bento,” the kyara-ben is a great way to get artistic with lunch—not to mention the secret weapon of many creative parents with fussy kids to feed. With shapes ranging from cute, simple faces to incredible likenesses of popular characters, there’s no end to the possibilities!


Sweet and salty stewed konjac root.(upper middle part)

Place your nori cutout (see “today’s tip”) on a slice of cheese, then place another sheet of nori on the back to prevent the cheese from curling up. Serve the slice over rice.


Potato croquettes, broccoli and Japanese rolled omelette.(upper right part)

Today’s tip

Trace your illustration on a sheet of wax or parchment paper, place it over a sheet of nori and cut it out using a graphic cutter. Use the original illustration as a guideline when placing pieces of your nori cutout on a slice of cheese. Since your nori might soften due to the moisture from the cheese, try to place it correctly the first time around.


Rie Kamiyama

Mother of two sons, aged 9 and 14 years old. Started making Kyara-ben six years ago when her son came back home without finishing the lunch she made him.