1. Hipparidako-meshi (Hyogo)bryan…/Flickrbryan…/Flickr
What makes this bento stand out from the others is its container. The glazed jar is a reproduction of the traditional trap used for octopus fishing. Inside you will find Akashi octopus, conger eel, and vegetables packed with seasoned rice. Akashi is a fishery famous for delicious octopus. It is sold for 1,000 yen at Eki Marche in the shinkansen concourse and the local train concourse on the third floor. Many people seem to enjoy using the pots in various ways afterwards.
HP: www.awajiya.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
2. Kakisen: Takomusu (Osaka)
Takomusu is a combination of takoyaki and musubi. As the name implies, a musubi riceball is topped with takoyaki, the famous fried octopus dumplings that Osaka is known for. The takoyaki used here is rather salty compared to standard takoyaki so that it will match better with rice. You can find Takomusu at Omiyage Rakuichi, inside the ticket gate on the third floor. A box of five pieces is sold for 810 yen.
HP: www.kakisen.co.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
3. Kushikatsu Daruma: Pork Loin Katsu Sandwich (Osaka)
Kushikatsu Daruma is one of the most famous kushikatsu restaurants in Osaka. Kushikatsu is an Osaka specialty, deep fried skewers served with a relatively sweet dipping sauce. Their shop in Shin-Osaka Station serves sandwiches made with deep-fried pork loin seasoned with their special sauce. The sandwiches are cut into 8 pieces to make it easy to eat. Their fried meat is crispy even after it gets cold. You can buy it for 680 yen at Osaka Noren-meguri inside the ticket gates on the third floor.
HP: www.kakisen.co.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
4. Nakanoshima Beef Sandwich (Mie)
Another sandwich recommendation is the Matsuzaka-gyu beef sandwich. Matsuzaka-gyu is beef from Mie prefecture that is well-known for its high quality. While the price is rather expensive compared to others, at 700 yen for a half size and 1210 yen for a full, it’s worth paying. This is the sandwich for people who prefer quality meals. You can buy them at M-deli next to the waiting space in the shinkansen concourse, inside the ticket gate on the third floor.
HP: www.matsusaka-projects.com/mdeli_JR_web/mdeli_JR_web.html (Japanese Only)
5. Suiryoken: Hakkaku Bento (Osaka)
This boxed meal has been sold in stations across Osaka for almost 40 years. This ekiben showcases typical Kansai cuisine, where relatively mild seasoning is preferred. Most bento use deep-fried food, but this bento consists of grilled fish and vegetables prepared using traditional methods. If you’re interested in the refined culinary style of the region, it’s worth trying. You can find it at bento stalls or shops in the shinkansen concourse such as Junsai Chuo for 1,131 yen.
HP: www.suiryoken.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
This box consists of an assortment of various bite-sized sushi. This ball-shaped sushi is called temarizushi and is usually served during festive occasions. The ingredients are similar to regular sushi. Rectangular sushi is called oshizushi (“pressed sushi”), and it’s one of Osaka’s specialty. Everything you find in the box might be different from what tourists can find at regular sushi restaurants, so they are popular particularly in the Kansai region. It costs 1,030 yen and can be found at Eki Marche inside the ticket gate on the third floor.
7. Kakinoha zushi (Nara, Wakayama)norio_nomura/Flickr
Kakinoha-zushi is bite-sized pressed sushi individually wrapped with a persimmon leaf. They are made in Nara and Wakayama, especially in the mountainous areas where traditionally only salted seafood were available. Popular ingredients are mackerel, salmon, and sea breams. While persimmon leaves are edible, they’re not intended to be eaten with the sushi; they are used for their antibacterial effects. You can purchase these refined local treats made by several manufacturers at several shops in the shinkansen concourse inside of the ticket gates. Prices start at around 1,000 yen.
8. Kinki Ajimeguri
Kansai has many specialties including vegetables and many famous beef brands. You can enjoy such local food with this boxed meal. Most of the ingredients used are local products such as beef and chicken from Shiga and eggplant from Osaka. The illustrated map on the inner lid shows you which product comes from which area. This box offers you the unique experience of the food culture in the region. You can find it at several bento stalls and shops inside the ticket gates and for 980 yen.
HP: next.jorudan.co.jp/ekiben/3913_shin-osaka.html (Japanese Only)
9. Kukuru: Takoju (多幸重) (Osaka)
One of the most popular specialty in Osaka is takoyaki. If you’d like to try takoyaki or taste it one more time before you leave Osaka, you can find this box at bento shops inside the ticket gates on the third floor. Produced by Kukuru, a takoyaki shop in Dotonbori, this box contains real takoyaki and seasoned rice cooked with octopus. It costs 1,030 yen. Why not enjoy Osaka food until the very last minute?
10. Chiki-ben (Osaka)
Chikira-House is a Nissin antenna shop featuring Chikin Ramen in Eki Marche, inside of the ticket gate on the third floor. What they offer at the station is not ramen itself but Chikiben, a combination of Chikin Ramen and ramen flavored rice. Chikiben is more than instant food as it comes with charcoal grilled chicken and stewed chicken. What’s more, this box bento has its own self-heating system! The price of 1,188 yen may sound a bit expensive, but it’s worth trying.
11. 551HORAI: BUTAMAN (Osaka)
551 Horai Butaman is not an ekiben but a Chinese pork bun only sold in Osaka and its neighboring regions. This delicious pork bun is quite popular in Japan, though you cannot buy it fresh outside of Osaka. You can, however, buy it frozen. This simple food consists of pork filling stuffed into a large steamed bun. They are made by hand and steamed in the shops, so you can eat them hot on the train. You can buy them at the several 551 HORAI shops inside and outside of the ticket gates such as Entrée Marche on the third floor.
HP: www.551horai.co.jp/shop/551shop.html (Japanese Only)