Updated: October 19, 2016
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7 Types Of Most Common Bento You Can Easily Find In Japan

Bento is a type of Japanese meal which you can carry with you. Many Japanese people make bento themselves to save money. But you can find bento in every convenience stores in Japan. Here are the most common types of bento.

#1 Musubi Bento / むすび弁当

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Musubi means a rice ball, also called onigiri, so it's basically bento with rice balls. It can be only rice balls. As long as it's in bento box, Japanese people call it musubi bento.
The good thing of musubi bento is that you don't need chopsticks to eat it. That's one of the reasons Japanese people love this bento.

#2 Shake Bento / シャケ弁当

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Shake means salmon in Japanese. As you can guess this bento has grilled salmon in it. The reason why it's common is the salmon has been eaten since prehistoric age in Japan, so the salmon is one of the most familiar fish for Japanese people. And it's cheap.

#3 Nori Bento / のり弁当

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Nori means seaweed in Japanese. The feature of nori bento is seaweed is always on the top the rice, so that you can eat both of them at one time. There is katsuobushi(dried bonito) under the seaweed most of the time. And seaweed is flavored with soy sauce.

#4 Hinomaru Bento / 日の丸弁当

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Hinomaru is another term for Japanese flag. Hinomaru bento has a red pickled plum, called umeboshi, on the middle of the rice, and it looks like Japanese flag. This bento is the most simple bento in my opinion. Although it's not common to eat only the rice and umeboshi, you can find a lot of different bento with this style.

#5 Karaage Bento / 唐揚げ弁当

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Karaage is Japanese deep fried chicken. Karaage is eaten a lot in Japan not only as bento, but also in the restaurants or at home. In short, many Japanese people love karaage. It's still good even when it gets cold. Some people eat karaage bento with mayo.

#6 Makunouchi Bento / 幕の内弁当

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Although the definition of Makunouchi bento is not clear, it's basically a bento which consists of fish, meat, eggs and vegetables along with rice and an umeboshi. The word makuno-uchi means "between act". It dates back to the Edo Period (1603 to 1867). It was served during the intermissions of Noh and Kabuki theater performances.

#7 Gyudon or Butadon Bento / 牛丼・豚丼弁当

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As you may know, gyudon is a beef bowl, and butadon is a pork pork bowl. These bento became very common after the convenience stores developed throughout Japan. Meanwhile, so many gyudon restaurants has also developed.

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