The very first time Mike and I went to Tokyo, I insisted that we go on a bento picnic. Bento (kind of like a full meal pre-portioned out and packed up very nicely) is kind of a big deal here in Japan. People lovingly make it for their school kids and spouses. There are even some hardcore moms who do very cute and intricate kyaraben. But, fear not, if you don’t have a special someone making you bento, you can do what loads of business people do: pick up a bento at the many combini (convenience stores). Or if you’re looking for something just a bit more fancy, at lunch time, almost every restaurant will put out a table in front of their establishment and sell bento-to-go.
Our very first bento picnic was a casual affair. I wanted to do homemade but, on that very first visit, we stayed in a tiny hotel room and making bento wasn’t an option. So we went to Lawson to pick up some onigiri and karaage-kun (fried chicken). We decided to go to Yoyogi Park to check out the gingko leaves. Everyone around us had picnic tarps, but we didn’t think that far ahead…luckily we spotted an empty picnic table. I love eating outdoors. There’s something about working up an appetite, then enjoying food in the clean, crisp air.
Speaking of working up an appetite, Mike and I have been doing some hardcore urban hiking lately, in an effort to stay active and healthy while eating all the delicious food in Tokyo. What’s urban hiking, you ask? Well, um, it’s just what Mike and I jokingly say when we’re going to go for a long walk. And we’ve been going on some very long walks, as documented by my activity tracker and phone pedometer. We’ve been averaging about 18k steps a day and one day we even hit 40k! And it’s all in the name of food, glorious food.
See, I’m not really one to diet or restrict myself when eating, especially when we’re in what I consider one of the most delicious cities in the world. Still, it’s a new year and I want to be extra active and healthy. So far we’re sticking to that in the most causal form of exercise. It helps that we really love walking, especially when there are things to look at or if we’re on our way to an out-of-the-way restaurant.
I’m really not willing to give up food, especially food like fried chicken, so, through a combo of walking and making fried chicken using an T-Fal Actifry from Best Buy Canada, I think we’re doing pretty good. The other day, I whipped up some healthier chicken karaage, picked up some stuff from the store across the street and Mike and I went on a walk ending in a picnic. It was a pretty perfect day.
Hope you guys are staying on top of your 2017 goals, if you have any. If you’re looking for some fitness gear, make sure you check out bestbuy.ca!
PS – How perfect is that egg that I got from the convenience store?! The onigiri was on point too :)
Giveaway: Best Buy Canada is giving away an Actifry!
To Enter: Leave a comment below with your favorite snack/meal to eat while on a picnic. I want to hear ALL the details! I’ll randomly choose a winner and notify them through email. Open to Canadian residents only. Contest ends January 25th at 12pm PST. Please be patient as it may take me a while to approve comments. Good luck!
Congrats Dave! Actifry parties here you come! Keep your eyes peel for an email from me :)
Notes on the chicken: I used my recipe for chicken karaage and popped it into the top shelf of the Actifry for 18 minutes. They turned out crispy and juicy :)