If you’re feeling hungry and just want something substantial but easy to prepare, then take a look at what Japanese office workers will be using this autumn to keep themselves going on the hard daily slog at the desk.

The Smart Han (smart rice) is a kind of push-pop in which you can put all your leftover rice and other food from the night before, and then squeeze it out in this tube of rice.

smart han bento rice lunchbox takara tomy

If it seems a bit crude, take note that there is also a lid to keep everything fresh and even a cap for your furikake rice dressing.

Clearly it’s a re-invention of the classic Japanese lunchbox, or bento, though it doesn’t match the usual visual feast you normally get with local cuisine and is essentially a low-fi plastic design — hardly the Walkman — but it works like a treat and it’s not trying to look pretty. This is all about “smart” and unpretentious functionality.

smart han bento rice lunchbox takara tomy

There are two colors — blue or orange — intended for men or women diners respectively.

We’re not the only people talking about this and its unusual tube or sleeve-like shape, and making comparisons to push pop ice creams or so-called Sushi Bazookas.

smart han bento rice lunchbox takara tomy

We also love the whole curio retro style of the packaging and the marketing behind this product. Takara Tomy does a lot of this kind of oddball innovation in which they show that they know what they have made looks a little strange at first. The presentation is always a bit of tongue-in-cheek since they are aware of the bizarro ratio — but ultimately they also just love the functionality and concept of what they have made!