What is "Ekiben" that You Can Easily Enjoy Various Local Tastes?
"Ekiben" is a packed lunch that is sold for travelers at train stations and on trains. At major stations in Japan, unique Ekibens full of local foodstuff and products are sold. Recently, it is familiar to people as not only meal while traveling but also a method to easily enjoy local tastes. Now, we will introduce five Ekibens which are especially popular in Japan
“Packed Lunch of Beef Bowl Gyuniku Domannaka” Full of Beef
This is a special Ekiben of Yonezawa city, Yamagata, in which fried minced beef and stewed beef that are seasoned with homemade sweet soy sauce are put on cooked rice “Domannaka” produced in Yamagata. As side dishes, herrings rolled with seaweed, grilled eggs, and kamaboko are added. This packed lunch was developed for the opening of the Yamagata Shinkansen Line, and is known as a popular Ekiben for a wide range of people, regardless of age and gender. It is mainly available at Yonezawa Station or Yamagata station.。
“Arita-yaki Curry” in a Beautiful and Attractive Container
Arita-yaki is a porcelain manufactured in Arita-cho and its nearby areas in Saga, which is one of ceramics representing Japan. It has become widely used after Meiji era. Arita-yaki Curry is made by thoroughly stewing Japanese beef produced in Saga with 28 kinds of spices. The greatest feature is being packed in this beautiful Arita-yaki container. Many people take home this container as a souvenir. Since patters of the container change regularly, you can enjoy it even if you buy it many times. Arita-yaki Curry is on sale mainly at Arita station.
“Toge No Kamameshi” Characterized by Earthenware Pot which Can be Used for Cooking Rice
In response to requests from travelers who hoped to eat hot and homey packed lunch, Yokokawa specialty "Toge No Kamameshi " was born as a packed lunch using earthenware pot of Mashiko-yaki which can keep things warm. It is impressive with chicken soaked in secret source, rice cooked richly with Rishiri kombu, chestnuts, and a flavor of shiitake mushrooms seasoned with a little strong-tasting Kanto style. Some people take home this earthenware pot as a souvenir of travel, and use it for cooking at home. Side dishes are in a container imitating a shape of the pot. "Toge No Kamameshi " has continued to be loved as Yokote specialty, still maintaining the taste of the time when it was born 60 years ago. It is on sale mainly at Yokogawa Station on JR Shinetsu Main Line, the same station as the time when it started to be sold.
"Daruma Bento" Packed in Daruma as a Lucky Charm
"Daruma bento" in which a lot of ingredients using abundant mountain foods are put on cooked rice with soy sauce flavor. "Daruma" is a lucky charm of Japan. There is a custom that a person who have a goal to achieve draws one eye of "Daruma" while making a wish, and after the wish came true, draws the other eye. As the container of this packed lunch, imitating the Daruma, is light, it is perfect for souvenirs. It can be also used as a saving box after eating. Previously, it was released in a special design in collaboration with Hello Kitty, and gained popularity. In addition to the Takasaki area, "Daruma bento" is also available at Tokyo Station and Ueno Station
"Echizen no Kani Meshi" with a Heap of Crab Meat
Usually, “Kani Meshi” means a bowl of vinegar-flavored riced with crab meat put on the top. However, rice of “Echizen no Kani Meshi" is cooked together with crab roe, etc. As Red snow crab meat and snow crab meat are thickly spread over the rice, you can fully enjoy elegant taste of crab. "Echizen Chun Chun Kani Meshi" is sold only in winter from November to March only at Fukui Station. You can eat the warm packed lunch 7 minutes after pulling a cord attached to the container. The original packed lunch is available on a train of Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, and at Fukui Station, Shin-Osaka Station, and Kyoto Station, etc.。