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Thursday, February 24, 2005
 The FuyuSona Bento

Fuyu no Sonata Bento

Do you know FuyuSona? Fuyu no Sonata, or Winter Sonata, is the Korean drama TV series that started the Korea-boom in Japan. It is so popular, people go to Korea just to take Fuyu no Sonata tours. It is so popular, they make bento using its name. Somehow, this ekiben, or train food, became the teachers' lunch and again I was lucky enough to receive the extra one.

The box lid opened up to reveal the chopsticks and a plastic film over the food. By the way, did you know that aside from the ubiquitous break-apart disposable wooden chopsticks (as in this bento), while the Chinese have long plastic ones and Japanese have pointy wooden ones, Koreans have metal chopsticks? Which of those would stand up best to Big Bad Foodpocket!

Japanese Korean

From left to right, top to bottom, using the Japanese approximations of the Korean food names, the kimuchi gyoza was surprisingly spicy--not a bad thing--but in among the mush that was the filling, there was chopped hard raw cabbage!

The seafood chapche was a little spicy and wet but that's all I remember about that.

The eight grain rice was basically like white rice with a few beans in it.

The so-called spicy toppoki tasted just like Chef Boyardee Ravioli! Mushy, tomatoey, sweet, only without the beef. Tteokpogi is like mochi formed in cylinder shapes or sliced into ovals, in a very spicy and sweet soupy red sauce. It has a special meaning in Fuyu no Sonata!

The kinpap was probably the most like any authentic Korean food I ever ate. Gim means roll and bap means rice. It's like norimaki but with certain ingredients, unlike any typical Japanese roll. This one had ginger, imitation crab, egg, cucumber, ham and carrot inside.

The namuru was good. I love those beany bean sprouts anyway.

The black grain rice was a nice change. To me it's chewier than white.

The purukogi was like Yoshinoya meat but tasted sweeter like Sukiya. Nothing like left pocket's bulgogi of course. See the pineapple stars in the purukogi? Cute, like the fishcake snowman on the chijimi. Later I found another snowman hiding under one piece of chijimi, but it was too late so they didn't get to kiss. The chijimi was suspiciously an awful lot like takoyaki!

I hope this bento doesn't give Japanese people the wrong idea about Korean food. I had heard one of the teachers open the box and comment to himself on the mysterious foods within. Maybe it's a good thing I wasn't around to hear the comments while everyone was eating.

Anyway, my favorite part of the bento was the gimbap!

Mini Curry Cup Noodles

This was apparently part of the teachers' lunch. There was an assortment of mini instant noodles, including kitsune udon and wonton soup. This was my first mini cup noodles, not to mention first curry flavor. It was better than I thought it would be. I liked the meat and potato chunks!


I'm not sure why they make these small sized cup noodles. They're too much trouble for a snack and it's not like the regular serving size is very big. They must be for kids to eat. Whatever they're for, they're cute!

Winter Sonata was big in Singapore too. It sparked off immense interest in Korean dramas, K-pop, and Korean food. But the bento you had doesn't do much justice to Korean food, huh? The curry noodles look interesting, though. And it's so small! It seems the Japanese like to make things look cute and petite. :)
Hi Julia! Yes this bento was another funny attempt at "foreign" food in Japan. I guess all countries have their versions of non-native foods so I shouldn't complain so much about Japan! =) I must admit I was really excited to get a FuyuSona bento and I pretty much ate it all up! =p

About the tiny cup noodles, yeah I am amazed at the efficient size of things in Japan and when I go back to the US I'll be thinking how massive things are there (>_<)! Extremes, extremes... my chopsticks barely fit into that mini cup! =D
Love the mini cup noodles.. really good for folks like me.. who needs to eat 6 times a day.. hahah!! ;)
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Seize the food, for Japan is time-service only! In other words, this blog is to preserve, share, and make the most of my six months left living in Japan. Yes, I am obsessed with food. Cheap food!

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Location: Tokyo/Saitama, Japan

Life is short so I eat fast, lest it get cold or disappear. I'm currently teaching English in Japan for two years. I was born and raised in California, and will be returning there in Summer 2005. I was ovo-lacto-vegetarian for about seven years but decided to let it go during second year in Japan!

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