Hanbei-fu Bento Museum (半兵衛麩弁当美実館)
Hanbei-fu Bento Museum (半兵衛麩弁当美実館)

This little gem hides on the second floor of a famous "fu" shop, one minute on foot from Kiyomizu-Gojo station. No one knows about it, and apparently no one cares either. Which is a good thing.

Bento means lunch box in Japanese. It's what mothers prepare in the morning for their kids' lunch. And their husbands lunch too (if he had the decency to come back home after the pachinko...). It's also what you will find in convenience stores and train stations. And it can be a lot worse than that too. At the other end of the spectrum, you have those rather expensive lunch box served in kaiseki restaurants such as Kitcho. At 8000円 per person it's certainly not on what the salariman is used to. But bento's are actually much older than disposable chopsticks. Originally, they were more like picnic sets, complete with integrated sake (or soup) bottles, cup, trays, etc... Everything you would expect from your classic 1800's paintings, but 100% Japanese style. Don't really see what I'm talking about? Well, look at the few pictures over here, then have a little train ride to Kiyomizu-Gojo and ask for the bento museum. You don't need to buy anything in the shop, although it's polite and worth it. So no excuses!

The museum floor consists of several rooms with nice displays of luxurious bento's, some of them clearly not meant to be transported, maybe just to give this romantic picnic feel to a high-class dinner, just like at Kitcho. Lacquerware is omnipresent and ingenious designs can be frankly stunning, as is the attention to details. The displays also feature old (and for some salacious) books. Time to get into a picnic mood :-)


Nearby: Rakutoihōkan 洛東遺芳館 (170m), Kanshundō sweets shop 甘春堂 (410m), Rokuhara Mitsui-dera 六波羅蜜寺 (490m), Miyagawa-cho 宮川町 (510m), Toyokuni-jinja 豊国神社 (530m), Saifuku-ji 西福寺 (530m), Kawai Kanjiro Memorial 河井寛次郎記念館 (550m), Marishisonten-dō 摩利支尊天堂 (570m), Zenkyo-an 禅居庵 (620m), Shōsei-en 渉成園 (660m),...

Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kansai, 関西, Kinki, 近畿, Kyoto, 京都, 東山, Higashiyama, Hanbei-fu, gluten, shop, 半兵衛麩, 弁当, 美実館, lunchbox, museum, bento

id: 487, 7 photos (1 extra photos can be found in the archive).

Photos of Hanbei-fu Bento Museum: