I have always loved EKIBEN (bento sold on trains or at train stations in Japan) since I was a little girl and it is now a very timely topic for me to talk about as I will be traveling through Japan next month. As the people I am going to visit are in different parts of Japan I bought a Japan Railway Pass for 7 days. I was very surprised to find the total distance of my train tour would be approximately 1800 km (1120 miles) which is much longer than the distance between Paris and Oslo!
1800km is a long long distance and I don’t know how many EKIBENS I am going to eat ☺ but I am really looking forward to this train tour.
Because some restrictions apply and we can not take super express NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains with this pass, the bullet trains I can take stop a few more stops and take a little bit more time. But that is ok. I will lay back and enjoy beautiful scenery and the more stops mean more EKIBEN! ☺
I was reading a web site about EKIBEN the other day, it was written by a Japanese lady Shinobu Kobayashi who is known as the Queen of EKIBEN in Japan. She introduces many good EKIBENS to us readers and I noticed many of the excellent bentos I liked were available at the stations which the fastest trains do not stop. I wondered why for a moment. Maybe smaller stations are more local? They may not have so many kinds of EKIBEN we can choose one favorite bento from but to me the most fun part of EKIBEN is experiencing the unique local food from the area prepared by their traditional recipes.
I will take a bullet train and will get off at Toyohashi. That is a rather quiet station 2 stops before Nagoya. I have no people to visit in Toyohashi but just a short stop for the sake of an EKIBEN. While I watch the fastest NOZOMI train passing by like a wind I take one of the EKIBEN of Inarizushi with shiso and quail eggs. I know Toyohashi produces the most Shiso and quail eggs in Japan and their Inarizushi is very well known.
Will there be any better EKIBEN than this when you are at the Toyohashi station?
No, I don’t think so.