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Posted on Oct 3, 2007 | 6 comments

Delay of Ichiban Kan online store launch

Delay of Ichiban Kan online store launch

Molds for hard-boiled eggsBack in July I wrote that Ichiban Kan, a Japanese-style dollar store in the San Francisco Bay Area, would be opening an online store in November 2007 that would sell inexpensive bento gear. I checked in with them today to see if they were still on schedule, and they tell me there’s been a delay. They now hope to open their online store by the end of the year, but sounded tentative. More details as I get them.

As I wrote in the Bay Area bento gear shopping guide, Ichiban Kan is an excellent bargain store with an ever-changing selection of matching bento boxes, insulated bento sets, bento accessories, collapsible sandwich cases, bento bags (kinchaku, insulated bags), egg molds (2 for US$1.50), rice molds, character bento goods (Cinnamoroll, Hello Kitty, Shinkansen, Pokemon), cute food cups, chopsticks and utensils with cases, etc. Most products are US$1 to $1.50 in the store.

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  1. I’m spending what seems like all of Delurk Day posting comments to the blogs I read … and I’ve saved the best for last.

    My husband and I lived in Japan for a year and a half, and it’s such a bit of nostalgia to see what you’re packing into the adorable little bento containers you find everywhere in your area. If only there were Japanese convenience stores in Cleveland! Well, actually we’ve got a decent Asian import store down by the “real” Chinese restaurant, and I haven’t checked for containers there yet, but STILL – we’re not a hotbed of bento-ism.

    So it’s so nice to see what you’re up to, and how much care you take preparing meals for your family. I envy you your time and commitment to your project – congratulations!

    Thanks for all the great posts, ideas, and recipes. I really enjoy it!

  2. You are so lucky to have stores like Ichiban Kan! Despite the large Asian population around D.C. (more Korean and Chinese than Japanese, though), it is hard to find affordable bento gear.

    I doubt it, but do you know if there are any good bento stores near UC, Davis or Sacramento? I’ll be in Davis next weekend for a conference. Sadly, I won’t have time to venture down to San Francisco.

  3. @1 from Gretchen: I had no idea there was a Great Delurk Day (that I just read about on your blog) — thank you for coming out from the dark and commenting! Bentos really are “natsukashii” (nostalgic), aren’t they? I had no idea even five years ago I’d be so into bentos, but necessity lead the way. Thank you for reading, and feel free to either lurk or comment (even on old posts, which I keep up with) as you see fit.

  4. @2 from LaVidaMD: Believe me, LaVida, I don’t take stores like Ichiban Kan for granted! I don’t know of bento stores up near Sacto offhand, but there are a couple of resources I can recommend for you to check out. The first would be the geographic shopping guide on the LiveJournal Bentolunch community (there’s a link to the guide on my “Shop” page). The second would be to shoot a quick note to Flickr user Kate Ford — she lives up there and is active on the Bento Boxes Flickr group. She could give you the best local info. Good luck to you!

  5. Oh…I am DESPERATE for those egg molds! I have the two (heart and star) from Sugar Charms but I refuse to pay the shipping charges (plus the mark up!) for things from Japan. :( I’m sad that Ichiban Kan is having to delay their opening. When I ask for egg molds in the (very) few asian stores we have around here people look at me like I’ve sprouted horns.

    Oh, for a wee bunny egg in my bento…

  6. Oh no! Well, I will wait for them! The way you talk about ‘em, they’ll be worth the wait, hopefully.

    The few Asian markets we have here don’t carry much in the way of bento goods, and when they do, they’re generally overpriced, which is a shame. Or else, if they are affordable, they’re weird characters that I’m not into, or generally unattractive.

    Online shopping is the best option! I really love sites like SugarCharms that get the good stuff and sell it at reasonable prices. But to have a major seller of Japanese household goods, that would be a real boon!

    Oh, and since I didn’t say it before, I really love your lunches, Biggie! When I first found this site, I spent a whole week going through the entire backlog! Gave me a lot of really neat ideas of things to put in my bento that I never thought of. Foodie blogs rule!