What is an Ekiben?

The one experience I tell people traveling to Japan is that if you take the Shinkansen get an Ekiben.  What is an Ekiben you may be asking?  Well it is a Bento box you buy at the train station and eat on the train.

Each station seems to have a specialty Ekiben, I highly recommend the kobe beef ones in shinkobe and Kyoto stations.  They are sold both outside the Shinkansen gates and inside on the platforms.  All are freshly made and even department stores that are attached to the station sell them (Kyoto).  If you get a chance pick one or two up depending on how long your trip is and enjoy them on your Shinkansen ride.  You won’t be disappointed for the most part.  During our last trip we all had one that was ok not great, and we all had ones that were great.  When shopping they will show you the contents of what is in the EkiBen so just pick the one that peaks your interest.  In my opinion the worst ones we had, were ones that had fish in them from Tokyo station.  The Tokyo Ekiben and the Tokyo Shinkansen themed EkiBen were both good.

There is nothing to pass the time on a Shinkansen like eating an Ekiben while watching the scenery go by at 200+kmh.  And the perfect thing to go with an Ekiben?  Well that would be a cheese tart which I will make an entire separate post on and a flavored water.  My favorite flavored waters are the peach and mango ones.  I love them so much I order them to be shipped here to the U.S. to drink.

 

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