Table Setting #97
Using Lacquerware Bento Boxes at Home

Don't leave your lacquerware bento boxes stowed away in the cupboard only to be used for your outdoor eating occasions! Enjoy a delicious meal in a beautifully crafted Japanese bento box with portable lacquer sake cups for a cozy and well-balanced meal at home. 
We set the table mixing items used for outdoors, with tableware used for a usual table setting at home to create an enjoyable and stylish dining experience.


  • The Simple Elegance of a Lacquerware Bento Box 
  • Creating a Beautiful Bento Box Meal 
  • Fun Touches  
  • Featured Items

Key points of this table setting

1. The Simple Elegance of a Lacquerware Bento Box    

Although simple in design, the luster of the lacquer and the artistic shape of the the Yamanaka Lacquerware bento box make it a very special item on a dining table. It would be a shame to use it only for a bento box lunch to take outdoors. You can use the lacquerware bento box like a small Shokado bento box to serve different types of menus in small portions to entertain guests.

Each bento box is placed on a wooden tray for an added Japanese style presentation. The lid on the bento box is sealed with a band decorated with a ribbon tied in an auspicious motif. The red ribbon has an attractive appeal against the dark transparent shine of lacquer.

Surprise your guests by placing a cute pouch near their seats. Inside are easy-to-carry Travel Zelkova Sake Cup Sets also made of Yamanaka Lacquerware. Great for outdoor use but also great for drinking sake at the table. The lid can be used as a small plate and the two stackable cups allow for tasting different types of sake.
Take a glance at how these sake cups can be used outdoors from our article An Autumn Excursion with Japanese Tableware

Both pieces are authentic well-crafted items perfect for an outing on a sunny day but also elegant enough to be used for meals at the dinning table. 

2. Creating a Beautiful Bento Box Meal 

Japanese style bento box meals include 2-3 courses in small portions with rice, so they're easy to make and convenient to eat. And to further add to the charm is the element of the appetizing presentation. 

Here are some tips on how to pack a beautiful bento box meal. 
 ・Decide which is the front side of your bento box meal
・First place the rice inside the bento box leaving enough space to add in the main dishes
・Place pieces that are bigger in size from the back, working your way forward
・Try to prepare items in different colors like red(tomatoes) , yellow(corn, eggs) and green(cucumbers, broccoli)
・If you are serving white rice, sprinkle it with black sesame seeds or a "furikake(Japanese dry topping for rice)
・Try to serve items that are fairly dry like fried or grilled dishes 
・Use decorative food picks to add color and fun to your bento box creation

 See our article The Charm of Japanese Bamboo Food Sticks for more ideas on how to use decorative food sticks.

3.  Fun Touches

Small accessories can add an element of fun and enjoyment to any meal, especially to a bento box meal. As mentioned above, food picks can be used to add color and to stylishly organize small portions in a bento box. 

Nishijin Ori Brocade Chopstick Cases are a nice touch to a table as it provides color and texture to the setting. A matching decorative band with the auspicious tie is also a nice item to have to be used as a napkin holder. 

For last-minute gatherings or for an unexpected guest, a beautiful lacquerware bento box can assist you in preparing a stylish Japanese meal quickly.  Add small items with a Japanese feel such as small plates, lacquerware coasters and a rustic Japanese vase to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere for your guest.

Featured items

Yamanaka Lacquerware 

Yamanaka lacquerware is produced in the Yamanaka Onsen area of Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture, and has a history of about 400 years. The traditional techniques of Yamanaka lacquerware are highly regarded and are known throughout Japan. It is characterized by the use of wood grain patterns to express a natural texture, and is made with great attention to detail. It was designated as a traditional craft by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in 1975.

View More Yamanaka Lacquerware Items