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Enjoy a picnic at I Garden after buying a bento box that is packed with delicious flavors which will teach you how to enjoy Japanese cuisine

2017.05.24

Get a colorful and healthy-looking bento box using carefully selected Japanese ingredients at Isetan Shinjuku Store's basement!


Isetan Shinjuku Store Main Building Basement 1st Floor


Many foreign tourists who visit Japan have one important mission in mind- Enjoy Japanese cuisine. "Washoku", Japanese cuisine is attracting fans from all over the world with ingredients unique to Japan, a cooking method with careful attention to detail, and flavors that bring out the original taste of the ingredients. Japan's bento (lunch box) culture, is also unique to Japan that is hard to find elsewhere. When you go to the basement floor of Isetan Shinjuku, you will find about 70 kinds of bento boxes sold, making it a very difficult task to choose one.

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You can find bento boxes from high-class restaurants, such as Imahan, which is famous for its sukiyaki, and kaiseki cuisine (a traditional multi-course Japanese meal) from a traditional Japanese restaurant. I recommend having fun and trying to choose bento at the basement of Isetan Shinjuku Store, such as the staple Japanese cuisine bento box, a filling meat bento box, and bento box of unique, global cuisines.


Let me first introduce Isetan's recommended bento boxes that are healthy, delicious, and allows you to enjoy the traditional Japanese flavors.


■"Koto"

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The "Koto" bento box is very popular among women and has even been given the nickname, "girls' bento box." It has six side dishes with just the right portion, including two kinds of rice, grilled fish, fried dish, and simmered food with a strong flavor of dashi (Japanese stock). The classical Japanese comfort food, tamago-yaki (Japanese rolled omelet) is full of flavor, with the aroma of dashi and the sweetness of mirin (sweet rice wine).

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Each side dish offers a heart-warming flavor, reminding you of what is called "ofukuro-no-aji" (the taste of homemade food cooked by your mother). The bento box was supervised by "Nadaman," a prestigious Japanese restaurant founded in 1830. You can enjoy the refined flavors and the beautiful colors created by the carefully selected seasonal ingredients cooked using traditional techniques.


■Honoka
This is a classical Japanese bento box. There are 15 kinds of side dishes that brings out the delicious flavor of the rice.

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All of the side dishes are staple Japanese dishes, such as simmered and grilled dishes that pairs great with the delicious Japanese rice, the mildly seasoned salmon, eggplant stuffed with shrimp, stir-fried burdock and carrots, and boiled wasabina soaked in a flavorful dressing made with dashi. It is a lunch box that allows you to enjoy a wide variety of Japanese side dishes at the same time.


■Unagi(eel )with dashi-maki (rolled egg omelet cooked with dashi) bento box
This is an irresistible bento box for those who love unagi.

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The bento box combines thickly-cut, high-quality unagi(eel ) and thickly-cut dashi-maki-tamago (rolled egg omelet cooked with dashi). The eel is so good that even those who usually try not eat it have commented, "It's delicious!" The rich flavors are a result of using the best kind of ingredients restaurants use and the brilliant combination of eel and egg. The bento box includes five thick pieces of dashi-maki-tamago and thickly cut grilled, savory Unagi(eel ).
It is sure to satisfy your desire to try an authentic Unagi(eel ) dish.
Small dried fish and berries of sansho (Japanese pepper tree) and powdered salmon covers the rice, which goes great with Unagi(eel ). The bamboo shoots and simmered shiitake mushrooms are great for a change.


■ Seasonal salad bento (early summer)
In recent years, healthy vegetable dishes using plenty of organic and fresh vegetables have been popular around the world. This early summer "Salad bento" that uses half the amount of vegetables needed for a day is recommended for travelers who might be lacking vegetables from their diet.

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The vegetables play the leading role in this bento box. The sweetness of the vegetables is brought out by roasting it. The bento box includes a gorgeous selection of dishes with a seasonal vegetable salad with roasted broccolis, pumpkins, and carrots; vegetable rolls that include brown rice; chicken and tofu hamburger; a salad that dressed dried young sardines and carrots; tofu and vegetable cutlet; and a marinated egg. It is a healthy and luxurious bento box that will fulfill your desire, "I want to have a delicious meal."


■ Masen cutlet sandwich
This cutlet sandwich is supervised by "Tonkatsu Maisen." Maisen, a famous tonkatsu (breaded and deep-fried cutlet) store created this cutlet sandwich by using the best bread, loin cutlet, and sauce. The tonkatsu uses carefully selected pork from around the world.
It is a sandwich unique to Japan that sandwiches thick tonkatsu with bread. It is perfect for an outdoor picnics as you can eat it with your hands without using chopsticks.

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■ Kanda Shinodazushi nori-maki (dried seaweed roll) and oinari-san
Finally, let me introduce kanpyo-maki (dried and shaved gourd roll) and inarizushi. These are both sweet sushi and many foreigners consider as a dessert. Just like the cutlet sandwich, you can eat it with your hands and be freed from using chopsticks. Inarizushi, also called oinari-san, is made by using deep-fried tofu flavored with sweet soy sauce to wrap vinegared sushi rice. Kanpyo-maki is a sushi that wraps a vegetable called kanpyo (gourd) with vinegared sushi rice and dried seaweed after simmering kanpyo with sweet soy sauce. Inarizushi and kanpyo-maki are not the typical sushi that uses seafood, but it is beloved in Japan as sushi for commoners.
I recommend you to try this if you want to know how "Japanese comfort food" tastes. It is perfect as the last dish of a picnic or when as a snack.

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Although I introduced six kinds of bento boxes, these are just a few of approximately the 70 bento boxes that will be sold at Isetan Shinjuku Store. Japanese beef, eel, grilled fish, sukiyaki, and steak...The menus are so diverse that it can compete with a restaurant. Grab your favorite lunch box and enjoy eating it on the roof top, I Garden on a fine day. The seasonal flowers will welcome you.

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It is convenient to eat it with your children while enjoying chatting. There are tables and benches for eating your bento box, as well as a large lawn area and a playground where children can play.

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