- Gifts under $30
- Gifts under $50
- Gifts under $100
- Quick gift idea suggestions by occasion and situation
There is no shortage of gift ideas for the lover of Japan. A simple search online will generate a myriad of options for people that seek inspiration for Japanese gifts. So let’s cut to the chase and see what you can get from an Australia based Japanese lunchware store that is Majime Life. We are based in Lane Cove, Sydney, and our goal is to introduce more authentic Japanese bento boxes, chopsticks, furoshiki wrapping cloths, drinkware and other bento accessories from Japan to the Australian market.
Gifts under $30
Have a smaller budget and after something simple yet will make an impression? Check out our selection of chopsticks, furoshiki and bento accessories that will cater to a specific interest or occasion.
Chopsticks for the noodle and all round Japanese food lover
Ramen, udon, soba, soumen, yaki-soba, yaki-udon. There are so many choices for people who love Japanese noodle dishes. So much so that many try to recreate the experience at home either from instant noodles, or from creating a broth from scratch.
Japanese chopsticks are designed to be sharp and pointy to cater for the types of food in their culture, particularly seafood and of course noodles. Many have tapered and coarse ends that minimize slippage. They are a thoughtful and practical gift for someone who often eats Japanese food at home, like sushi, fish and yes, ramen.
Here are 3 selections from our curved necked chopsticks that convey a meaning and also boasts a beautiful design. You can check out our full range of chopsticks here, including chopsticks and case sets.
The design of this pair represents the spring and autumn seasons in Japan. With flowers like sakura cherry blossoms and cosmos in a pink hue, it’s a beautiful combo of a floral design and colour. A perfect Japanese themed gift that is both affordable and stands out.
This seven-sided chopsticks has a double coated finish for a gorgeous gloss. The black, blue and white colours may be neutral colours for those who don’t want too feminine a design. The arrow pattern is called “Yabane”, which represent bird feathers at the end of arrows used in archery, and is a symbol of protection and good luck. Back in the old days in Japan, brides were often given kimonos with a Yabane design to bring them good luck. Since a shot arrow never returns, it symbolized that a young bride was not meant to return to her parents once married. This is a great gift for someone who is starting a new chapter of their life, like a graduation or new job.
This pair of chopsticks appear to have a playful design due to its colours. But the traditional “Asanoha” pattern represent hemp leaves which are a symbol of resilience, vigour and growth that are characteristics of the plant. The pattern is often used in children’s and baby fabrics with the hope that they will grow up strong. This is a great choice for new parents to congratulate them and their baby.
Furoshiki for the lover of Japanese art and aesthetics
Give a gift that showcases Japanese design and aesthetics. Furoshiki Japanese wrapping cloths serve not only a functional purpose but also showcase designs that underpin many principals and cultural expressions of Japan. Designs often depict the beautiful seasons and capture a snap shot of sceneries or works of art like that of Hokusai’s ‘The great wave off Kanagawa’. Furoshiki are commonly used to wrap numerous everyday items, including bento boxes. These days, they are often used as gift wraps to then become a reusable, stylish items themselves.
Below is a selection of furoshiki that might be end up being a much cherished item for somebody. Browse our full range of Japanese wrapping cloths here.
This furoshiki features a traditional Japanese design with wave (Seigaiha) patterns. It is a pattern that depicts the gentle waves of the ocean that travels forever, symbolizing a wish for an eternity of happiness. It is often used to wrap wedding celebration gifts to convey that message. Of course it can also be used to wrap bento boxes, like shown below.
If you plain just love Japanese art, this furoshiki features one of the most iconic pieces of Japanese ukiyo-e art, which is a genre featuring subjects from everyday life. This particular piece shows a large wave about to crash into a boat carrying fishermen, with Mount Fuji (another Japanese icon) in the background. You can frame this beautiful fabric to create a picture centrepiece in your home décor. Or wrap your bento box to get a little bit of Japanese sensation before lunch. Also comes in a 100% Rayon material 68cm size version.
Sakura flowers are often used as symbols in many Japanese designs to convey a message of a new start or journey as these flowers bloom in spring. And of course, a furoshiki collection isn’t complete without one with Sakura flowers. This pink furoshiki is adorned with many colours and variations of Sakura cherry blossom flowers. “Miyabi” means elegant and graceful in Japanese. While it is a spring themed design, this beautiful wrapping cloth can be used for any occasion to convey a sense of freshness and tranquillity.
Furoshiki reusable gift wrapping that conveys a message
While furoshiki has been around a long time in Japan, it is fast catching on globally as an eco-friendly alternative to paper gift wrapping. It is not only reusable, but the thought and concepts behind designs can convey well wishes that may even speak louder than the gift itself.
Japanese plum flowers are the main features of this furoshiki that boasts a simple yet elegant design. The red and green backdrops are a common colour combination that brings out a Japanese feel and aesthetic. Japanese plum flowers bloom in late winter to early spring in Japan and symbolize a fresh start. Great gift for weddings or someone starting a new job or embarking on a new journey in life. This is one of our most popular furoshiki designs. Available in 48x48cm or large 104x104cm size.
Cranes symbolize longevity and good fortune in Japan, and in Japanese folklore, it is said to live for a thousand years. You may have heard about folding 1000 origami cranes, and by doing so, symbolizes a wish for good fortune and happiness in challenging times. The celebration crane symbol in Japan is actually a variation of the standard crane symbol, and is often used at celebratory events such as weddings. It has more elaborate and decorative wings. This furoshiki would be the perfect gift in itself, or to wrap a letter or small gift.
This furoshiki has been designed with a hemp (Asanoha) pattern, which symbolizes strength and resilience. Red and gold colours are often used in celebratory occasions in Japan, such as the New Year to convey well wishes. With these colours combined with the Asanoha pattern, this gorgeous wrapping cloth is a thoughtful gift wrap that will embody both the gift and well wishes. The larger 70cm size gives you more choices of gifts to wrap too.
Bento box accessories to liven up a lunch box
Let’s face it. Preparing a bento box every day can get monotonous, especially when you are pressed for time and have a limited repertoire of recipes. If you have kids’ lunches to make too, then nutrition and worrying if they will finish their lunch may play a bigger factor. While we can’t help too much on the cooking front, you can check out our Instagram channel for some nifty bento ideas. And we have bento accessories and tools that will help make preparing your bento boxes easier and more fun. These items can also make a practical gift for busy parents and working adults alike.
This one is probably more for kids, although adults can get a nice kick out of it while on their lunch break. You can easily mould cute faces out of your boiled eggs. An affordable and useful lunchware tool. Available in rabbit/bear or car/fish sets.
These are stainless steel cutter moulds that work not only on vegetables like carrots and cucumbers, but also on fruits, cheese and even bread. They’ll bring out a creative aspect to your bento and will (hopefully!) entice kids to finish their vegetables.
If you’re already familiar with Japanese bentos, then you’ll know that riceballs (onigiri) is a staple dish for them. Making them is easy, but it does take practice and some time. Onigirazu actually means ‘to not hold/mould’, so you this item lets you make a faux onigiri in the form of a sandwich. It probably won’t save you any more time (we are honest, aren’t we!), but it does let you easily make a rice sandwich without a mess, and should expand your bento repertoire.
What bento box is complete without a divider or cup to separate your food? We have a 4 piece square set, a 3 piece rectangular set and a 3 piece oval shaped set to accommodate different types of bento boxes and cuisine. The great thing about these is that they are not flimsy like the silicone types, but are rigid and lets you organize food in a sturdy position.
We’ve already introduced some of our curved neck chopsticks. Of course these can be use along with your bento boxes, but if you are after something smaller with a case, then our chopsticks with case sets may be the perfect answer. These are also a good looking and useful gift, especially when you pair it with a bento box. Below are just some stylish examples - the cherry woodgrain chopsticks case set, the matte white nuri wappa chopsticks case set, and the sakura crimson chopsticks case set.
More like pouches, these are a useful gift for someone who already owns a bento box or wants a small pouch to store their cutlery and other items. These versatile bags come in a range of colours and sizes – just make sure you get the right size. There's nothing fancy (perhaps apart from the designs) about how you open and close them. They have a good old fashioned draw string system. Pictured below are the basic black and the hime ichimatsu bento lunch bags
Gifts under $50
Do you know someone (or yourself) who brings their own lunch to work or school and are using a plain transparent container? While these are incredible useful, practical and often very affordable, they mostly don’t have any character and elegance that you’ll find in a Japanese bento box. These are actually fun and thoughtful gift ideas for the bento bringer and lovers of anything Japanese.
Bento boxes for big appetites
Japanese bento boxes look small as they have been designed to be compact to suit the Japanese cuisine. Organization and arrangement of the food is also key to packing a scrumptious bento. There are however larger sized bento boxes that would easily fit a ‘standard’ sized sandwich or hearty cooked meal.
This microwave and dishwasher safe, sturdy bento box has a smooth dark wooden aesthetic that’s perfect for someone who likes a simple and minimalistic look. At 1000ml and measuring 13.2cm wide and 21.5cm long, it fits a rather large salad or pasta meal, and easily fits the sliced bread you can get in Australian supermarkets, and by extension sandwiches! An internal removable compartment accompanies the item. Of course, it’s great for Asian dishes like leftover stir fries, rice or noodles, and then heat them up the next day for lunch. There is also a cherry woodgrain version! Feast your eyes on this bento:
The Benkei big bento box packs 1300ml of goodness in two layers and is the lunch box you want to get for someone with a big appetite. You can keep wet foods in the top compartment which has an inner firm sealing lid (although not leak proof). The sleek dark woodgrain design gives it a rustic look and is perfect for someone who would like a mature looking bento box. To save space, the top layer can be flipped and stored inside the lower compartment to become more compact after the contents has been eaten. And to top it off, it is also microwave and dishwasher safe (except for the inner lid).
Bento boxes for small appetites
Let’s introduce a couple of smaller sized bento boxes for those who don’t eat a lot for lunch or just want something to put snacks in. These sizes are great for kids too.
Sakura Mokume and Sakura Crimson bento boxes
At 600ml, the Sakura Mokume and Sakura Crimson bento boxes will certainly be standout gifts due to their pretty and distinct designs. The Sakura Mokume boxes are crafted with a pastel white base and the lid features Japanese cherry blossom flowers drifting on a wooden backdrop. The Sakura Crimson 1 tier bento box has a deep crimson hue that is speckled with a glittering gold powder, boasting an elegant and premium look.
This compact, no frills bento case lets you mould a perfectly shaped riceball and some bento side dishes. Ideal for kids or someone with a small appetite. Plus the case is microwavable, and made with 10% corn biomass for a small contribution to being eco-friendly.
Bento boxes for the food artist
If you know anyone who loves to cook and takes effort to make their bento pretty, then we have some bento boxes that will really bring out their food artist. Selecting a stylish and well-made bento box is the first step in creating a gorgeous looking packed lunch.
‘Wagara’ means Japanese patterns or designs. We have curated beautiful bento boxes from Japan to create our Wagara collection. From fabric infused lids to Sakura flower themes, these bento boxes will make any stir fry or salad stand out just as well as Japanese cuisine. They’ll also make thoughtful gifts for anyone who is loves anything Japanese. Below are some of our popular boxes.
This is a custom designed bento box for Majime Life. A pink fabric with kimono-esque design featuring different variations of Sakura motifs has been crafted into the lid by hand. The oval shape of this 2 layered bento box is typical of a Japanese style mage-wappa box, but with the added convenience of being microwave and dishwasher safe (without the lids). A beautiful design to pack a beautifully made bento.
Donning a cute and playful design, the Sakura Usagi red and pink bento boxes show rabbits hopping about Japanese cherry blossom flowers. The red or pink cloth infused lid adds a beautiful backdrop to any packed meal, and is sure to elevate even the most basic bento prep effort.
The deep single layered design of this bento box is great for salads, pasta and even cut sandwiches. But the Japanese Asanoha motif on the cloth infused lid brings out a ‘Wafu’ aesthetic, so for someone who likes to prepare Japanese food like onigiri rice balls or donburi like katsudon, this bento box is the one to get.
Slim type bento boxes
The ‘slim’ bento box design is actually not that common in Japan. At first glance, they don’t look like they can pack a lot of food, but this is deceptive. These boxes do have a decent capacity to store food. What’s more, due to the slim design it makes arranging food much easier and look prettier at the same time. The shape also allows it to fit snugly in compact bags. The ‘long slim’ style bento boxes will be a great choice for someone looking for something different yet functional. Below is a selection of the long slim type bento boxes.
This is the sister version of the Sakura Crimson 1 tiered bento box. Also finished with gold dust on its surface and decorated with a flow Sakura flowers, the slim design accentuates an already premium aesthetic. It not only looks great, but is microwave and dishwasher safe (without the lids), and will really elevate your food presentation!
If you’re looking for a lunch box that is not too flashy but always draws compliments, then this metallic black bento box might do the trick. With a smooth non-glossy coating, this long slim bento box is the perfect gift for dads/moms, boyfriends/girlfriends who appreciate a more sophisticated look. And yes, it is microwave and dishwasher safe (without the lids!).
And for those who want a natural look but still desire everyday convenience, then this bento box with a wooden aesthetic will tick those boxes. We sometimes get asked what wood this bento box is made of. While we would very much like to have a real wooden version (maybe at some point!), our counter argument is that you can microwave your lunch for a hot meal, and save time by washing in a dishwasher.
Bento boxes with a more traditional Japanese design
While our bento boxes are all made in Japan, many designs boast a stylish and modern look. If you are after something with more of a traditional look and shape, then the Nuri Wappa series may be what you are looking for.
The coating of these bento boxes has been finished by hand. What also makes these boxes stand out is their wooden colour tone and mage-wappa shape, making them look like real Japanese style wooden bento boxes. The Hinoki bento box mimics Japanese cypress wood, while the Urushi version features the colour of Japanese lacquer which is often used in wooden lacquerware. Lovers of Japanese food and design will surely appreciate these as lunch ware gifts.
These single layered items also use the mage-wappa design concept for a traditional looking bento box. Their matte surface has been finished by hand for a smooth and premium look and feel. As the entire bento box is both microwave and dishwasher safe, you don’t comprise on convenience with design. They also come with an internal divider to help organize food. Available in matte black and matte white.
Drink bottles to accompany bento boxes
We’ve mostly looked at some of our bento boxes, but we also have drink bottles in store from a popular and boutique Japanese brand, Thermomug. These are a unique gift idea if you are looking for something that you can’t find anywhere else in Australia (at least at the time of this writing). Majime Life is the first retailer in Australia to offer products from Thermomug Japan.
Don’t let the looks of this insulated drink bottle fool you into thinking it is very small. With a 360ml capacity, it can comfortably hold a large Australian sized coffee (12oz, 355ml) or a soft drink can (also 355ml). Plus it is very light weight (195g), and the compact design lets you store it in small bags and even a back pocket if you so choose. The insulation properties are also excellent, storing cold or hot drinks for up to 6 hours. And with the internal casing made from SUS316 stainless steel, it is a cut above many other stainless steel drink bottles due to higher corrosion resistance properties. This is a thoughtful gift that the recipient can use for many drinks to come.
This is the bottle that first got us in love with Thermomug. Sporting a truly unique design, the bottle has been created into the shape of a cute bear. The outer jacket not only ‘completes’ the body of the bear but acts as an insulation layer as the bottle itself isn’t vacuum insulated. And it has straps for easy carriage by its young master. Totally cute gift for kids!
Gifts under $100
With a budget over $50, you can combine different items for a fuller bento experience. Imagine pairing a beautiful Sakura patterned furoshiki with a Sakura themed bento box. The resulting visual is not only eye candy, but the act of wrapping and unwrapping a bento box with furoshiki really immerses one with a Japanese bento routine.
If you don’t know where to start, you could choose from pre-combined bundled sets and take advantage of discounts off the combined price of the individual items. Picnic bento boxes, or ‘Ojyu bako’ in Japanese, are also another functional gift idea that are great conversation starters for get togethers at home. They’ll even make gorgeous gifts for weddings and housewarmings.
Bento box sets
This set is for lovers of Japanese cherry blossums, or Sakura. The Sakura patterned Shujyuu chopsticks and fabric chopsticks case pairs tastefully with the cloth infused Kimono Yume Sakura Pink 2 tier bento box. Sakura blooms in spring and is a symbol of a fresh start and growth. Yet because they have a short blooming period, it symbolizes that life is short and we should live it to the fullest. This is a perfect gift to symbolize new beginnings and for one to try their best.
Available in both red and pink versions, this popular set comes with the 2 tiered Sakura Usagi bento box, chopsticks case set and bento lunch bag. All the items are crafted from the same fabric for a themed Sakura and rabbit gift set that will surely catch anyone’s attention, most importantly the owner’s. Cute gift for people who love Japanese style motifs and ‘Kawaii’.
For a more toned down and minimalistic looking bento box, you can’t get past the boxes from our basic bento box series. This set bundles the grey walnut woodgrain 1 tier bento box with the black Allday insulated drink bottle from thermomug, together with a black bento lunch bag. The bottle and bento box fit perfectly into the fabric bag, so that one can conveniently carry their lunch and hot (or cold) drink for their midday meal time. The 800ml capacity of the walnut bento box can easily store an adult meal portion, and being microwave and dishwasher safe is a bonus.
Picnic bento boxes
From one of our trusted partners in Japan, the Hanamaru 3 tier picnic bento boxes from Kitaichi Shikkiten are a truly a work of Japanese craftsmanship. Decorated by ‘Maki-e’, a Japanese technique of layering patterns with metallic powder (often gold or silver), these ‘Ojyu-bako’ have been adorned with spring and autumn motifs. Maple leaves, Japanese plum flowers, Sakura and bellflower patterns are elegantly positioned in gold across the sides and corners of these 3 layered boxes.
Ojyu-bako are often used during New Year celebrations to present meticulously prepared dishes called ‘Osechi ryori’. But they are also used in restaurants and celebratory occasions to showcase meals through presentation. Use at a fancy afternoon tea or for a sushi party, these bento boxes are a unique Japanese gift that has both form and function. Available in a cool vermillion or deep brown colour.
The Yukimi 3 tiered picnic bento box combines a modern design with the Japanese Ojyu-bako style of packing and presenting food. With each layer boasting a 1.3L capacity, you’ll be able to pack a good amount of fruits, sushi or cheese for any social gathering – it’s up to your imagination. The snow white colour tone of this bento box really conveys a chic design. This picnic bento box is a must have item for anyone who entertains frequently. And the great thing about layered bento boxes is any leftovers can be stored just by stacking the layers and putting in the fridge.
With a capacity of almost 1.5L, the 1 tiered Wakaba picnic bento box is a simple designed but deceptively useful container. It can hold a large amount of one main dish, or up to 4 separate dishes in inner cups you can arrange in the bento box. Pack some sliced fruit or dress it up with salad, it’s perfect for those who love an outdoor barbeque or picnic.
P.S. The flat lid makes for a convenient surface to stand your drinks on.
Quick gift idea suggestions by occasion and situation
To round things off in this guide, here are quick suggestions for some common occasions and situations you might need a gift for.
- Wedding present – Hanamaru 3 tier picnic bento boxes for its spring and autumn themed design to symbolize new beginnings.
- Birthday present (for him) – Benkei big bento box with a black bento lunch bag for the big eater.
- Birthday present (for her) – Yume Sakura chopsticks and bento box set for a Sakura themed gift.
- Housewarming gift – Yukimi 3 tier picnic bento box for those who entertain a lot at home.
- For lovers of Japan – Kimono Yume Sakura Pink 2 tier bento box, red and white in peony snow furoshiki, red celebration crane furoshiki, curved neck chopsticks, for those who love Japanese designs.
- Kids gift – Onigiri maker bento case, dinosaur food picks for a fun bento time.
- Christmas stocking stuffer under $30 – chopsticks or furoshiki for an affordable yet elegant present.
- Valentine’s day gift – Sakura Usagi Pink Bento Box set for a gorgeous and useful gift.
- Father’s day gift – Allday drink bottle and walnut bento box set for a mature and stylish look.
- Mother’s day gift – Sakura Crimson Long Slim 2 tier bento box and Sakura Crimson chopsticks for a sparkling gift experience
- Graduation gift – Cherry woodgrain 1 tier bento box for an all round stylish aand functional gift.
- Gift for new parents – Allday drink bottles, for hot and colds drinks on those sleepless nights
Whew. If you've made it this far, you must be really interested in getting a Japanese lunchware themed gift! We understand there is a lot of information here, so please reach out to us if you have any questions at all. Otherwise, happy shopping!