the bento packing, lunch cooking, photo taking, dog loving blog

Bento Photo Contest Announced


Please read the updates post for this contest as well. Thank You!

I’ve talked for a little while now about hosting a contest here on Not Exactly Bento. Life got in the way yesterday afternoon, and I was unable to post the contest as I mentioned. However, the time is now. Please welcome yourselves to the 2008 Bento Photo Contest.

It took me a little while to come up with the theme for a contest here on Not Exactly Bento. Then, one day while taking a picture of my current bento I realized what I was going to do.

The purpose of this contest is to share with everyone what you feel is your most visually appealing bento…the bento picture you’ve taken! This is the bento you sometimes think, “Boy, that one was really good. I should do that one again.” Or it is the bento that when you see the picture again you think how great that bento looked and then you begin to salivate.

Here, I have an example to share.

Bento: Kibi Filling (111)

This is a fairly recent bento, but I look at it now and again for inspiration that “yes, I can do this!” I have about 4-5 pictures from the last year of bentos I go back and look at for ideas.

Before you read the guidelines, I’m going to forewarn you…no character bentos. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that I’m not a cutesy bento person. I just don’t have the imagination or energy for it. Plus, one goal of this contest is to offer up everyday, practical bentos for those of us who use bento for health reasons, portion control, or just because that’s how we prefer to pack our lunches. This doesn’t mean you have to totally give up your nori punches, egg molds, or the like. It does need to be something that I or anyone else could recreate easily enough.

Here are the contest guidelines:

  • Choose your best bento picture of a bento you’ve made. It must be a bento you’ve made.
  • You may choose a recent bento or an older bento from many moons ago. As long as it is a bento you’ve made, time doesn’t matter to me. :)
  • Each person can submit up to two entries.
  • If you have a blog, post the picture to your blog with the above logo and link to this blog. Then leave a comment in the comments section on this blog post with the link to the URL. I’m putting a link to this blog post in the sidebar so it will be easy to find again.
  • If you don’t have a blog, you can e-mail me your picture with your name. E-mails can be sent to nebento at eatel dot net.
  • Be sure to list the contents of the bento you are submitting.
  • No character or kyraben bentos, please.
  • Picture must be submitted to Not Exactly Bento no later than August 22, 2008 to be eligible.

After all pictures are submitted, you, my lovely readers, will have the chance to vote on which bentos you think are the most delicious, the most delectable, the most..well, just the most!

The top two rated bentos will win a bento set I showed off yesterday. The top rated person chooses which set they want. The other set goes to number 2.



Let’s make this good people! If this goes well, we’re going to have another bento contest later in the year with a better prize (or so I think). LOL!

Winner will be announced September 1, 2008.


  1. Yvo says:

    I know exactly which bento I am going to enter… sad thing is, it’s like the 2nd or 3rd bento I ever made. Ah well. Is there a requirement that it has to be recent?

    Awesome contest btw :)

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for remind me. I forgot to put that in the rules. I’m going to go and update that right now.

  3. Joslyn says:
  4. admin says:

    Yay, the first entry. I’m so excited. :) Thanks for entering Jos!

  5. Lisa says:

    Woooo-hoooo! A contest! I’m lovin’ your little smiley logo :)

  6. Krisaki says:

    I love bento contests! I’ll have to think of some ideas and make a great bento to send in.

  7. Mary says:

    Hi! I’ve got one bento to enter now, and I’ll try to come up with a more worthy entry soon.

    Here’s my entry:



  8. Ms.____2 be! says:

    Cool…going to give it a try…
    here’s my bento meal..

    Flickr –
    ( protected / add as friends to view )

  9. Tenae says:
  10. admin says:

    Thanks everyone for your entries! I’ve recorded entries up to here. We have 7 entrants so far and I’m so excited this contest is happening!!! YAY!!

  11. Skywise says:

    Why not. I’ll throw my favorite bento into the pot.

    Happy faces in the meadow. Lots of yellow pepper and carrot flowers, with green edamame. On the right, tuna sushi (store bought, though I added a seaweed wrapper) On the left, hand made onigiri stuffed with chicken and hoisin sauce, Sweet egg omelet spirals with cherries.
    Not shown: Mango wafer cookies in the chopsticks slot..

  12. Jill says:

    Here is mine! I’ve only made a few and this is the only one I have pictures of so it wasn’t a hard choice for me. lol.

  13. Skywise says:

    Lets try that again.

    This time following the rules.

  14. JoanieLSpeak says:

    I made a German bento box for my boyfriend. I hope everyone likes it!

  15. Molly says:

    This sounds like fun! Alot of my bentos are pretty cutesy, but I found some I’m proud of that are less so :)

    First entry (two pictures)
    (I hope the smiley onigiri is acceptable ;) )

    Second entry

    Again sorry about the prevailing use of animal cookie cuts and what-not…I’m happy to pull out and resubmit less charactery bentos if these are too much :)

  16. Samantha says:

    My entries are in my Livejournal post, you can check it out -here-.

    I hope that the hearts are not against the rules.



  17. Krisaki says:

    Alright I finally figured out which bentos to enter!

    I can’t wait to see all the entries.

  18. Laeb says:

    Here’s my first entry into the contest (since both bentos on this page are pretty much the same except for slight variations due to taste).

  19. Juliani says:

    Here is my entry for the contest. Breakfast Bento that I made for my husband coz he had to fast for his blood test the whole night. I thought it would be nice for him to have a bento breakfast in his office.

  20. Nilmandra says:

    Hi, here’s my entry for the contest. Can’t wait to see the round up :)

  21. jokergirl says:
  22. Laeb says:

    Here’s my sencond entry to the contest!


  23. Here are my two bento entries, I couldn’t decide on a favorite!


  24. Yvo says:

    Yay! Here’s my entry. Since there are two photographs of the same bento, I figure that’s my allowance for entry.
    Thanks again! Can’t wait to see the other entries, ooh-wee! :)

  25. i love egg says:
  26. Sarah (zoochica) says:

    OK, I’ve settled on a couple. I’ve only just started making bentos (and aesthetics have been a bit of a challenge with all of my food allergies!), but I’m quite pleased with some of my results.

    Entry 1:

    Entry 2:

  27. Jennifer says:
  28. silverkeys says:

    What a wonderful contest. :)

    I hope it’s all right that I have several things from the Chinese bakery/market in my lunch. I’m not sure if they classify as “easy to recreate” (since I know that Asian ingredients are not always easy to obtain). But they were ready-made when I bought them, so they were definitely easy in that sense!

    My entry

  29. says:
  30. Nicola says:
  31. Lisa~~ says:

    I’m pretty new at this and most of my bentos are cutsie because they are made for an extremely fussy 2 year old but hopefully these two will make the cut.


  32. Holly says:
  33. gracie says:

    I only “discovered” bento about 2 wks ago so I’m sure my creations will be embarrassing to see on the same page as the other entries. (Plus this is my first attempt at a blog…)

    But I’m gonna enter anyway because the bento community seems like a really kind & positive one, so at least maybe I’ll get some useful tips and suggestions this way!

    My entries are on the posts “A High Protein Day” and “Flower Power” at

    So here goes… Please see the

  34. Dddiva says:

    I have started to make bentos twice a week for my daughters to jazz up their lunches, these are our first two attempts. I ran across this contest at the last minute, but we figured what the heck. My photography skills are not the best (yet) but we’re working on the chance.
    Thanks for the chance to show them off. We are so excited about them that we even started an offshoot to the main blog.
    Oh, I am adding you to my blog list to keep up and get new ideas.
    Both photos are on the same post, with details for each, hope that is okay.