Oh, September. It brings with it the unparalleled joy of Back to School, crisp fall weather, and of course, some precious alone time from the kids. But it's also when your lunch-packing game is at its absolute best. Gourmet-level sandwiches. Yummy sliced fruit. Homemade cookies for dessert, perhaps? Of course, by October this all goes out the window, and you are back to packing lunches in 30-seconds-or-less as your kids sprint out the door for the bus. But for a few brief and glorious weeks, you are a lunch-packing master.
Well, Mom – prepare for even your best packed lunches to be put to shame by the artistry of Maiko Takahashi's bento boxes. The mom of two from Tokyo, Japan puts a whole lot of love and a whole lot of flavor into the delectable lunches she makes for her kids. But let's be honest; that's not why her lunches are making headlines.
Each one of Takahashi's colorful meals is designed to also teach her kids a bit of geography while she's at it. And her creations will leave you pretty impressed.
Here's her rendering of Japan (which looks pretty tasty!).
And Hokkaido, an island off the coast of Japan that was settled over 20,000 years ago.
This tasty re-imagining of the city of Nagano – most famous as the home to a breathtaking 7th-century Buddhist temple – makes our mouths water.
... as does this tribute to the serene city of Kyoto.
But her 4- and 6-year-olds aren't the only ones getting a serious kick out of her creations. Takahashi has become something of an Instagram and Pinterest star, according to Mashable, with countless followers who just can't wait to see what she'll make next.
Takahashi doesn't just stick to geography lessons, either. She's artfully crafted bento boxes themed after her kids' favorite cartoon characters, too, like Pokemon and even Hello Kitty. You can have a look over on her official Facebook and Twitter pages.