How pandemic bento boxes became care packages and a new business model

Growing up outside of Tokyo, Chef Kenji Miyaishi’s mother used to send him off with bento boxes of onigiri rice balls, karaage fried chicken, tamago-yaki egg omelets and vegetables from her garden.

Now, as he’s pivoted his upscale restaurant in Napa, California, to prepare and deliver bento boxes amid the pandemic, he says he aims to serve with the same values of precision, culture and care his mother did.

Chef Kenji Miayishi. Credit Bob McClenahan (Bob McClenahan)
Chef Kenji Miayishi. Credit Bob McClenahan (Bob McClenahan)

Bento boxes can be traced back to the Kamakura period in 12th century Japan, and this year — with restaurants relying on takeout and delivery — they’ve become a relevant and culturally authentic way for kaiseki chefs across the country to stay in business.

And some chefs say, at a time of uncertainty, the boxes have also come to symbolize nurturing and comfort.

“Bento is usually made by a mother for her children

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After Mismanaging Their Companies With Stock Buybacks And Lucrative CEO Pay Packages, Airlines Demand Another $25 Billion From Taxpayers

In March, the coronavirus—the name used at the time—wreaked financial havoc on the airline industry. Health experts and government officials strongly advised people to avoid nonessential travel due to the risks of catching or spreading the disease. Fear over the fast-moving virus among passengers on cruise ships terrified potential air travelers. Cognizant of the dangers associated with being confined in tight quarters with people who may have the virus (plus a required quarantine period), air travel came to a halt. It was the worst economic conditions for the airline sector since Sept. 11. 

Gary Kelly, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, announced at that time that he would voluntarily take a 10% pay cut, in response to the dramatic drop in air travel. “The velocity and the severity of the decline is breathtaking,” Kelly said. He somberly added,

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Problematic travel packages surface under Go To Travel campaign

As the government-subsidized Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign picks up steam with the recent inclusion of travel to and from Tokyo, tour companies are rushing to offer travel packages, with some apparently over the top.

Experts say problems have emerged with the program, aimed at supporting the industry hit hard by the novel coronavirus epidemic, because the campaign was worked out in a rush.

A travel agency in Tokyo has started selling a ¥40,000 hotel stay package, with shopping vouchers that can be used at major duty-free shops accounting for ¥30,000 of the total price.

The package became a hot topic on the internet because the value of the shopping vouchers surpasses the amount a person needs to pay for the plan.

The Japan Tourism Agency has told the travel agency that the plan is problematic as the vouchers are easily convertible to cash even if their use is

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Hotels offering ‘schoolcation’ packages to desperate parents

Just what the doctor ordered.

Hotels and resorts across the US are increasingly offering “schoolcation” packages — encouraging frustrated parents to hit the pool while someone else deals with the Zoom calls. The deals come as parents say they’re at their wits’ end working from home while their kids attempt to remotely learn under the same roof.

At Disney World in Orlando, Florida, travelers staying at the Four Seasons can pay for their children to attend “supervised schoolwork sessions,” which cost $50 for a half-day and $100 for a full day, reports NBC News. In sessions of six at a time, students will work at socially distant desks in a hotel ballroom.

In addition to child care, students will do arts and crafts, swim and play volleyball. They can head over to Explorer Island water park for recess — a major upgrade from schoolyard swings.

Also in Florida, the Shelbourne

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District tourism department prepares travel packages | Kochi News

KOCHI: Tourism department in the district is planning to start operations by introducing various packages, including trips to various locations in Ernakulam. The department is preparing oneday packages to start with and later will come up with more projects.
One-day tour packages to locations like Thattekkad-Boothathankettu, Kochi city tour, Alappuzha-Fort Kochi, Kochi-Athirappilly, Munnar and Thekkadi have been prepared. “We will start the tourism activities as and when the government issues orders in this regard. Even if started, we will be conducting the operations by strictly following Covid protocol,” an official with the tourism department said. The department will soon start a booking counter at Durbar Hall ground. The cost of one-day tour package to Bhoothathankettu and Thattekkad is Rs 1,299. There will be special discount for group booking, the tourism department informed.
In the next phase, the department will prepare packages for two-day tour. Two-day tour packages are being prepared
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Cheapest Way to Ship Packages

If you can’t be there in person, shipping a package gives you a tangible way to connect with loved ones.…

If you can’t be there in person, shipping a package gives you a tangible way to connect with loved ones.

Delivery services FedEx and UPS, as well as the United States Postal Service, offer plenty of options, whether you need to ship a small package or something bulkier. Shipping can get pricey, however. And if you’re shipping multiple packages for the holidays, delivery costs can eat into your gift budget.

[See: 12 Shopping Tricks to Keep You Under Budget.]

If you’re looking to save money, here are some of the cheapest ways to ship packages:

— Cheapest shipping option for tiny packages: The U.S. Postal Service’s First-Class Package Service (by weight).

— Cheapest shipping option for small packages: U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail.

— Best shipping option for medium

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Six Staycation packages that Answer your Call for a Perfect Getaway

The world of travel might not have fully bounced back as yet, but there sure is light at the end of the tunnel. The latest addition to the ‘new normal’ are staycations, providing an escape route from our mundane routines. With social distancing as the need of the hour, Marriott International has curated a host of staycation offers across its properties in India. Whether it is a serene getaway or a fun family vacay, there is something for everyone based on their travel style. Here are six staycation experiences that you can customise to your wish and fancy.

Beach Away
Where: Mumbai, Goa and Mahabalipuram
What says social distancing better than a beach?
Calming breezes, serene landscapes and miles of open space to accommodate all the social distancing needed, what better place than a beach for a holiday right now? An urban setting, complimented my an old-world charm, reflected in every nook and corner is what makes Goa,

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GlobalPost Introduces USPS Canada DDP Service Allowing Shippers to Fast-track Packages to Canadian Customers

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

GlobalPost, the industry leader in affordable, innovative international shipping services, today announced the launch of USPS Canada Delivered Duties Paid (DDP) service for Stamps.com and Endicia shipping customers. USPS Canada DDP allows customers to prepay duties and taxes for their First Class Package International Service parcels to Canada. For a flat fee of $6.95, packages of 4 lbs. or less will be delivered directly to the buyer’s door without having to pay required customs fees upon delivery, or having to travel to the Customs Office to pick up their package.

GlobalPost’s USPS Canada DDP service offers online retailers these great benefits:

  • Better Customer Experience: With sellers paying DDP, the buyer receives a smooth and easy delivery experience.
  • Decreased Returns: Shipments that arrive with duties owed face a high rate of refusal, or abandonment, as unhappy
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Sala packages river cruises | TTR Weekly

BANGKOK, 23 September 2020: SALA Hospitality Group is
introducing a new series of private boat sunset cruises on the Chao Phraya
River that flows through the heart of the Thai capital.

The hotel group has formed a partnership with True Leasing
to create a series of boat cruises that sail from the historical Rattanakosin
heritage district in Bangkok.

Passengers step aboard a classic mahogany Hacker-Craft boat
and glide gracefully along this historical waterway, past many of the city’s
most enchanting attractions, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.
These landmarks look even more spectacular at sunset, as the orange sky shines
on the glittering temples.

SALA Hospitality Group has curated two special packages for
up to five passengers that combine cruises with the option of overnight stays
and a dedicated five-course menu crafted by chefs at Sala Rattanakosin
Bangkok’s Eatery and Bar. Sailings can be booked ahead

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