Know the Ekiben when taking the trains in Northern and Central Japan

Ekiben are Japanese boxed lunches available in train stations as well as inside the trains across Japan for commuters who are rushing for their afternoon trains. Best part is, not only they are affordable, but the boxed lunches surprise you with different local specialties in different locations. Let's take a look at what the Hokkaido, Tohoku and Kanto regions are offering.

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There are huge varieties of Ekiben available in train stations across the country

Although the Japanese, as we know, live in a rushing environment and so many do not have a proper lunch time, but they do take their lunch seriously. You know that I'm telling you the truth when you walk into a train station where you will fine beautifully packed lunches everywhere - and the taste, I would say, is so much better than packed sandwiches.



This Ekiben is commonly found in Otaru Station as well as the Hakodate Main Line trains. It comes with salmon roe (ikura) as the main dish with rice and then is accompanied by shiitake, squid and herring roe.



Usually contains two or three rice-stuffed ika (squid), Ika-meshi is available at Mori Station and Hakodate Main Line trains. The squids are cooked with sweet and spicy sauce.


hirotomo t/Flickr

Also available in Hakodate Main Line trains, Nishin-migaki-bento is also available at Hakodate Station. In this bento, you will have boiled nishin (herring) in sweet and spicy sauce to go with the rice.


Gyuniku Doman-naka


Inspired by the famous Yamagata Domanaka beef rice, Gyuniku Doman-naka is served with sweetened grilled beef and stewed slice beef. It is available at Yonezawa Station and Ou Main Line trains.



This comes in Takasaki's famous icon - the daruma doll-like plastic container. This bento contains mainly mountain vegetables - the perfect lunch box for vegetarians. This special packaged lunch box is available at Takasaki Station and Joetsu Shinkansen trains.


Tatsuo Yamashita/Flickr

This ekiben is available at Yokokawa Station and Shin-etsu Line trains. You will find rice cooked in stock with chicken, shiitake, sansai, boiled egg, burdock root and takenoko.

Inside Toge-no-kamameshi

Daisuke tashiro/Flickr

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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