The Ekiben of Eastern Japan

Gourmet lunches for Japanese bullet trains


Boxed lunches bought in a station and eaten on the train, known as ekiben, are a little-known art form in Japan. But many Japanese people take great pleasure in buying a carefully packed, beautifully arranged lunch of local specialties as they head towards their next destination.

Now you can too! We've listed some of the ekiben consistently ranked as the most delicious and most unique lunches of Eastern Japan.

Kōshū wine lunch - kobuchizawa station, yamanashi

The Kōshū area in Nagano and Yamanashi Prefectures, near Mt. Fuji, are known nationally for their wine. This ekiben has a tiny bottle of local white wine, accompanied by foods meant to compliment the taste, including steak and a little sushi.

You can find this ekiben at Kobuchizawa Station on the Chuo Line.

nikko masu sushi - tobu nikko station, nikko

Nikko masu sushi : Tôbu nikko station
This beautiful ekiben has a stunning presentation, with its bright orange sushi contrasting against the toasted leaves it comes wrapped in. Masu sushi, made with type of trout found locally, is a specialty of the area, and a great lunch to pick up on your way between Tokyo and Nikko.

Find this ekiben at the Tobu Nikko Station, run by Tobu Railways.

bokoi meshi - bokoi station, hokkaido

Bokoi meshi : Bokoi station in Hokkaido
Some eager Japanese learners might recognize the kanji of this name (母恋) as "motherly love," but it's actually the name of the town in which you'll find this ekiben! The lunch is filled with lots of local treats, including rice mixed with northern clam and smoked cheeses.

You can purchase this ekiben at Bokoi Station on the Muroran Line in Hokkaido.

chiba eki meibutsu yakihama don - chiba station, chiba

Ekiben Chiba station
If you can't make it up north for Hokkaido clams, Chiba's famous Hamaguri clams are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Tokyo! This donburi-style bento comes served up in a giant clamshell. On the bottom is rice with burdock root mixed in, and on top there are three different types of grilled clams.

This ekiben is available at Chiba Station on the Sobu Line connecting to Tokyo.

Toro kinme shioyaki bento - izukyu shimoda station, izu

Toro kinme shioyaki :  IZUKYU SHIMODA STATION
If you're visiting Izu, this is a great opportunity to try hearty, healthy, and delicious Japanese fare. The highlight of this ekiben is the salt-grilled Kinme, or Sea Bream, accompanied by crisped nori and a piece of lemon to squeeze on top.

Find this ekiben at Izu Shimoda Station, run by the Izukyu Railway.
As you make your way with your Japan Rail Pass through the Kanto Region, whether it's to Mt. Fuji, Nagano, Hokkaido, or all the amazing places in between, treat yourself to the ultimate Japan train experience with an ekiben!

Your Pass at the best price

National JR Pass From $ 278
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JR Central Pass From $ 130
JR East Pass From $ 246

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