Ekiben of Eastern Japan

Part 2

eki ben

Ekiben, or boxed lunches bought in train stations, are an essential part of any long train journey in Japan. Many of these bento celebrate local flavors and products, and some are so good that they’re noted across the country! Here are a few more that you should try if you get the chance.

Sakura ebi meshi - mishima station, shizuoka

You may pass by Mishima Station if you're riding the bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka. But if you happen to make a stop, there's some great ekiben for you to taste. The rice in this bento was steamed together with sakura ebi (a small shrimp)-infused broth instead of water, for a sweet and fragrant taste. There are also 10 other types of tasty seafood morsels in this bento, including a few different types of cooked shrimp as well as teriyaki fish fry.

takizakura bento - koriyama station, fukushima

This bento was inspired by the Miharu weeping cherry tree, one of Japan's three best spots for sakura. There's nanohana (chinese broccoli) marinated in soy sauce and young bamboo shoots (a springtime delicacy), as well as fish cooked in special miso.

sakura masuoshi zushi - sapporo station, hokkaido

Packaged in a nice little wooden box, when you take off the lid to this bento, you're greeted with the shining bright pink of fresh salmon wrapped in a green bamboo leaf. This cherry salmon comes right from the coasts of Hokkaido.

shimotsuke genmai bento - utsunomiya station, tochigi

If you're traveling to Nikko using your JR Pass or JR East Pass, you will most likely be making a stop at Utsunomiya Station to change trains. This bento is really good for you, with healthy foods and low calories. It includes seaweed, brown rice ("genmai") and bamboo shoots.

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