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Ekiben for sale, photo by Fran Kuzui
September 28, 2016

Ekiben: Train Fare

By
Tokyo -- Any journey on the Shinkansen – Japan’s bullet train – is the perfect opportunity to enjoy an ekiben, the iconic bento filled with an assortment of delicacies tucked into a container and eaten in bite-size pieces.Read more
Tokyo -- Any journey on the Shinkansen – Japan’s bullet train – is the perfect opportunity to enjoy an ekiben, the iconic bento filled with an assortment of delicacies tucked into a container and eaten in bite-size pieces.

The term comes from the Japanese words for train (eki) combined with ben for bento (or “lunchbox”). These little jewel boxes are sold at concessions in train stations across the country and occasionally via pushcarts on trains. Different regions of Japan offer up varieties of local ingredients or specialties, making the ekiben a cornucopia of Japanese cuisine.

Before airplanes became inexpensive and frequent in Japan, rail travel was the only mass transportation for long distances. Read more