Starbucks Japan has released a cherry blossom beverage. They say it was really hard to create the flavor without any chemicals. Actually, they only used natural ingredients like dried cherry blossoms. I will try it tonight! :-)
I read that Japanese style bentos are booming in Paris.
One bento costs about $10! That's a pretty expensive lunch. :-) But it's good to
know that Japanese culture is being accepted by foreign people. Actually, I already can find
many English chara-ben sites like this and this. In Europe, the next big trend is Ekiben? It'd be fun to eat each country's specialties while traveling through
Europe by train. Also, how are convenience store bentos in North America? :-)
I was pretty surprised to hear that American visitor said he didn't like to eat fresh foods like sandwiches or bentos, but every morning, tracks deliver fresh food to each convenience store and the food isn't kept until the next day. I saw a Famima in Hollywood and they have fresh foods, though maybe it depends on the area.
Like restaurants, convenience stores change their bento offerings often. This site collects popular convenience stores' new foods information. Because of the recession, they are all pretty cheap, right? In Japan, people think 7 Eleven's bento is the best and actually, I agree with that, but if you can find "bento shops" like "hoka hoka tei" or hot motto, theirs are much better because they are cooked fresh in the shop so that meals are hot. And if you are willing to pay a little bit more, please go to a Depachika. They are food wonderlands! I recommend Tokyo Daimaru Depachika, where you can choose between reasonably-priced, gorgeous, Chinese, Western, or Japanese style bentos there.Check out this page from Nikkei Trendy and their official bento page.
My personal recommendation is here.
1.Maisen, Hirekatsu sand