“Ekiben” is the abreviation for “Eki”/Railway Station and “Ben”/Bento-Lunch box.
These packed lunches are extremely popular in Japan (I counted more than 90 in Shizuoka Prefecture alone!), as not only they make for a very satisfying lunch during a long trip, but they are usually made up with local ingredients, thus offering a good idea of what is eaten in the particular region you are visiting or going through!
I bought this one (the Missus’ in the next posting!) at Shin Nakaya Station, the station where the Oigawa Railraod Steam Locomotive starts from to Sensu Hot Springs. There are very few steam locomotives left in Japan. Therefore this private railway line and station lunch boxes are pretty out of the ordinary.
Also note the can of Shizuoka Tea (Shizuoka produces 50% of all green tea in Japan!
The contents were typical of that area in Shizuoka Prefecture:
The steamed rice was mixed with pickled wasabi leaves.
Bottom right are simmered burdock (gobo) roots, wakame seaweed, boiled sato imo/tuber, green pepper, boiled bamboo shoot and some decorative tidbit.
Deep-fried meat featured shrimp, kuro hanpen/”black” sardine paste and minced chicken balls with sesame seeds, shuumai/dim sung and lettuce. Note the small train-shaped soy sauce tube!
Pickled daikon and cucumber in the middle.
Top left are pieces of konnyaku/devil7s tongue tuber jelly, tamagoyaki, kamamaboko/fish paste, sweet pickled sakura shrimp and a small cup of wasabizuke/pickled wasabi in sake lees to eat with rice.
Plenty to eat for our trip!