Akita Prefecture: Regional Specialties in One Box at Wattaribouzu (Gotanda)
Kiritanpo—which just sounds fun—are cylindrical-shaped pounded rice skewers unique to Akita. At Wattaribbouzu, these are cooked as hearty dumplings in a veggie-packed hotpot. They also serve Hinai chicken dishes, such as oyakodon (chicken & egg on rice) or yakitori and are offering a beautiful tasting bento box packed with morsels of regional flavors to be paired with an evening drink of sake. That includes the moreish Akita classic of iburi gakko, smoked daikon pickles sandwiches between cream cheese. Takeout or delivery via Uber Eats.
1-7-1 Nishigotanda, Shingawa-ku
Fukuoka Prefecture: Hakata-style Grilled Meat on Sticks at Vegeta (Shinjuku-Gyoen)
Fukuoka is perhaps known for its tonkotsu ramen but overlooking its special form of kushiyaki would be doing a disservice to your stomach. Sometimes called nikumaki, yasaimaki or even makikushi, the principle is far simpler: veggies or sometimes cheese wrapped in pork belly, grilled on sticks and screaming “eat me!” The owner of Vegeta trained in Hakata and brought this delicious cuisine to Shinjuku. The store offers takeout or delivery depending on your location.
Yasai Kushimaki Vegeta
1-30-12 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0022
Yamagata Prefecture: Recreate a Classic Stew at Home from Gassan (Sangenjaya)
Imoni is an umami-full stew of taro, meat and vegetables that ticks all the comfort boxes of tasty, healthy and hearty. Gassan has put its menu classic into a very smart box, allowing you to reproduce it like a pro chef in just 8 minutes! Plus they deliver nationwide, so there are no excuses for not giving this a try. Order from here. You can also get bento takeout from their sister stores in Sangenjaya, Kahokurashi / Kanon (same location).
2-10-16 Sangenjaya, Setagaya-ku / 03-6450-9971
Kahokurashi / Kanon
2-12-10 1・2F Sangenjaya, Setagaya-ku
Ishikawa Prefecture: Fresh Fish from Noto Peninsula at Kanae (Kagurazaka)
The remote Noto Peninsula on the Western coast of Japan is known for its fresh fish but also produces rice, miso, salt, sake and plenty of veggies. It’s impressively packed with variety. Bento boxes on offer at Kanae include Noto fried fish of the day or Noto breaded fried horse mackerel (how can you go wrong?), along with otsumami (small dishes to go with sake) such as Noto wild boar miso and soy-sauce cheese.
(Takeout details here)
3-6-19, Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku
Okinawa Prefecture: Get Mouth-Watering Pork Belly at Taketomijima (Ginza)
Always a fun and delicious night out, Taketomijima is offering three of its menu classics in bento from from 15:00 to 19:00, and at ¥500-600, they’re a bargain! Don’t miss their rafute—melt-in-the mouth stewed pork belly—or try the taco rice (taco ingredients on rice, minus the tacos), which is a tasty Okinawan classic. There’s also a goya (bitter melon) for those who can handle its distinct flavor.
6-12-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku