Ekiben   駅弁

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The ekiben come in the form of compartmentalized trays'm leaving commen all bentos.

The ekiben come in the form of compartmentalised trays, like many bentos.

A stand offering ekiben for lunch on the train

A stand offering ekiben, for lunch on the train

A balanced ekiben

Food on the move

The ekiben is a specially prepared bento lunchbox. With each region including its own culinary specialties, these special meals are often sold in train stations or on the platforms.

An abbreviation of eki-uri-bento ("boxed meal sold in the station"), the ekiben is eaten during a train journey. Carefully packed, it includes several small, beautifully arranged dishes. Cheap, delicious and plentiful, this on-the-move food is particularly enjoyable as you watch the scenery go by from your train seat. 

Eat as you travel

An ideal solution for long train journeys, the ekiben comes with disposable wooden chopsticks, a napkin, soy sauce and green tea. A balanced and easy to enjoy meal, it's perfect for those who don't want fast-food or other unhealthy foods. On sale at the station, on platforms and on board long distance trains and shinkansen, ekiben are now also available in department stores.

Economical and delicious

These lunch boxes are available in hundreds of versions. All offer quality regional produce, cooked the same day, for a relatively low cost: between 700 and 1,500 yen. An ekiben is usually eaten cold, but recently on some specially packaged boxes a pull-tab chemical reaction can heat the dish in less than a minute! At some stations or in some shops, microwave ovens are also available to heat food bought there. Vegetables, meat, fish, rice... it's a complete meal for all tastes!

The ekiben phenomenon 

Making its first appearance in the late nineteenth century, the ekiben spread quickly in the 70s and 80s with the increase in long distance journeys. As the Japanese are great lovers of cultural and food tourism, ekiben are now often the subject of television programs, festivals and magazines... but it's a passion that won't help you lose weight!

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