Tag Archives: 駅弁

Ekiben/Railway lunch Box: Oku Suruga No Iso Chirashi in Mishima JR Station!

Yesterday I suddenly had to go all the way to Mishima City, about half an hour and two stations away by Shinkasen from Shizuoka City and just had the time on my way back to sample a new ekiben/駅弁/Railway Lunch Box (or boxed lunch)!

Nice packaging!
Oku Suruga No Iso Chirashi/奥駿河の磯ちらし basically means a chirashi/decoration-style sushi made with ingredients from the far corners of Suruga Bay!

Can you see the little sign in the left top corner?
It is the registration as a “True Japanese Ekiben”!

Tounakaken Co in Numazu City advertises precisely all the contents. And there certainly were a lot of ingredients!

A rigid transparent plastic cover protects the contents.

Now, what do we have?
Actually a lot!
As the ingredients are all a bit “mixed up” I’ll give them right away. Let’s see if we can distinguish them later:
Sushi rice, Nishiki ko Tamago/shredded omelette, octopus, simmered shiitake, Sakura Ebi/Cherry shrimps, crab, gari/pickled ginger, tobiuo tamago/flying fish roe, cucumber, ooba shiso/perilla, white sesame seeds and seaweed!

Cucumber, omelette, Flying fish roe, octopus,…

Pickled ginger, shiitake, omelette, flying fish roe,…

Omelette, crab, cucumber, sakura ebi, flying fish roe,…

Here you can see that the sushi rice was first topped with konbu seaweed and simmered shiitake!

Eating local sushi on a train! What more can you ask? LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Kazutoyo Gozen in Kakegawa JR Railway Station

Kazutoyo Gozen/一豊御膳 refers to Kazutoyo Yamauchi, a Lord that lived in Kakegawa City during the Feudal Japan Era in the 16th Century and made famous in a TV Drama Series, while Gozen means “Repast”!
I bought this ekiben inside the Kakegawa JR Station on my way to work!

The whole ekiben could have made for a real present to take home!

As usual Jishotei Company in Hamamatsu City give precise explanations of the contents!

The ekiben as it looks without the sticker.
It is wrapped in very sturdy paper in the shape of a “furoshiki/bento box wrapping cloth”!

The box cover is another collector’s item with the introduction to the story of Lord Kazutoyo Yamauchi!

The inside was protected by a sheet of hard translucent paper and a wet towel was also provided!

Now, what do we have?

Two o-musubi/rice balls both molded into the shape of cherry blossom.
The first one is mixed with sansai/山菜/wild mountain vegetables and topped with a salted cherry blossom!

The second one consists of rice steamed into green tea from Kakegawa City!

Pickles and wasabi zuke to season the rice and a wagashi/Japanese cake made of anko/sweetmeats and jelly.

Chicken meat ball, simmered carrot, tofu flower atop a boiled sato imo/taro, boiled edamame, simmered burdock root, simmered shiitake mushroom, Takano tofu and Yuuba maki/tofu skin roll.

Maitake mushroom/Hen-of-the-Woods Mushroom tempura, prawn tempura and deep-fried sweet potato.

Salted matcha tea was provided to season the tempura!

The tempura once seasoned with salted matcha tea!

I wouldn’t mind going back to the 16th Century if people then ate like that!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Fuyu Chisen

Fuyu Chisen/冬千扇 means the “Thousand Fans of Winter”.
This is the fourth ekiben of a year-long limited series I already have introduced in Spring, Summer and Autumn! I finally made it all!

The ekiben as it was sold to me this morning at Shizuoka City Railway Station!

As usual Tokaiken has clearly written the contents on their wrap!

Some collectors will want this box!

Notice that it lies on the table in front of me on the Shinkansen Bullet Train!

Beautiful design, isn’t it?

As usual a film of rigid transparent paper protects the contents!

Now, what do we have?

Rice steamed with chicken and burdock root shavings and a little soy sauce.

Boiled lotus root and cucumber lightly marinated in rice vinegar.

Boiled green asparagus, steamed mushrooms, steamed sweet potato and mandarine orange.

Boiled egg with soft yolk seasoned with black sesame seeds, boiled string bean, carrot, burdock root, seaweed (konbu) and konyaku jelly.

Shuumai, Ebi chiri Harumaki/Shrimp Spring Roll and fried buri/Japanese Amberjack!

No better way to learn about Winter food in Shizuoka!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Natsu Chisen

Saturday is a busy day and I just don’t have the time to go to a restaurant or back home.
No problem at all as the Shizuoka City JR Station is quite near!
As I knew that the new seasonal Summer Ekiben called Natsu Chisen/夏千扇/”The Thousand Fans of Summer” was on sale it was a good occasion to sample it!

Like the Spring edition, the box is longer than usual and beautiful and served with chopsticks and toothpick!

At 1,000 yen, it is not so cheap, but it is fresh and fast! And it is local food!

As usual the contents are clearly indicated by Tokaiken Co. Ltd.

A piece of hard transparent paper protects the contents.

Now, what do we have here?

Ume Chirime Han/梅ちりめん飯/steamed rice mixed with bits of umeboshi/pickled Japanese plum and fried shirasu/sardine whiting also called chirimenjyako!

Katsuo Ryuuta Age/鰹竜田揚/Deep-fried bonito which had been previously coated with cornstarch.
Salad of rice-vinegar-pickled cucumber, wakame seaweed and thin rice noodles.
Orange wedges.

Nikudango/肉団子/Meat ball in sweet and sour sauce.
Tamagoyaki/卵焼き/Japanese omelette (quite sweet!)
Salad of cooked beansprouts and senmai/せんまい/ a kind of wild mountain vegetable.

Yuba Hirouusu/湯葉ひろうす/Tofu ball containing vegetables.
Boiled stringbean and carrot, konnyaku/elephant’s foot tuber jelly, and simmered tougan/冬瓜/Winter melon in the shape of a leaf!

Lettuce around broiled aji/鯵/Horse mackerel and soy sauce mini bottle.
nasu/茄子/eggplant (aubergine), in this case mini-eggplant grilled, peeled and served with grated ginger!
The little green cube is matcha jelly!

Very satisfying and delicious. A real summer ekiben in spite of the name “Winter melon”!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Hotsprings: Sumatakyo-Part 2

Check the Hotel Homepage for more information (Japanese)!

Now, how much did we pay for one night at Suikoen Hotel, thebest one in Sumatakyo, lost in the southern Japan Alps with full dinner, breakfast and onsen bath/hotsprings bath?
130 US $ each, not bad!

Meals are taken early in Japanese hotsprings hotels.
Ours was launched at 6:00 p.m.!
A plate of zensai/appetizers was waiting for us. I can’t remember all the descriptions as I had no time to jot down anything, waht with being busy the pics (with a mobile phone, which is not the perfect way! Sorry) and the Missus waiting impatiently!

Bamboo Shoot

Vegetarian sushi with rice steamed in green tea.

Stewed mushrooms and pickled ginger.

Kogomi/fern, moutain vegetable.

Tea leaves tempura.

Fuki, mountain vegetable

And the procession of appetizers continued with stewed cold chicken and boiled vegetables,

yam, pickled wasabi and myoga ginger,

grilled yamame, you can eat the whole!

Japanese-style bbq with pork and vegetables and miso paste,

20 minutes later!

Shika tataki/Seared venison sashimi (the venison comes from wild deer in the nearvy mountains!),

an interesting “sashimi plate”: gomadofu/sesame tofu, salmon and konnyaku/devil’s tongue tuber jelly mixed with local green tea!

I don’t know too much baout this one. All I know is that it was made with azuki beans, yam and tofu. Very hearty!

Chinese-style fried salmon with sweet and sour sauce,

tsukemono, Japanese pickles,

Yamasemi (Mountain Kingfisher) white wine from Nagano Precture (extra fee!),

Freshly steamed rice is brought inside a double-lid pot,

so simple and delicious!

Miso soup, naturally,

Kawane Green Tea (did I tell you that Shizuoka Prefecture produces more than 45% of all green tea in Japan?)!

And Kawane green tea jelly for dessert!

before taking our first bath of the day, we took time to admire the carps in the garden pond!

The entrance of the hot baths…

The noren/curtain barring the view of the hot baths for men.
”男” means “men”. Don’t make a mistake!

The noren/curtain barring the view of the hot baths for women/ladies.
”女” means “women”. Don’t make a mistake again!

The “venues are switched every 12 hours. Do be careful and check! LOL

A view of the “make-up” room.

The indoor bath.

Scrub yourself before entering any bath!

Rotenburo/露天風呂/outdoors bath. A bit small, I must admit!

The relaxation room by the outdoors bath.
Do not trust the scales!

We did dip in the baths the next day before and after breakfast.
The breakfast was the all you can eat self-service style, both European and Japanese style. Above was my first helping (European).

I was really hungry after allthe walking the day before (and more coming on taht day!), I couldn’t help wolfing down another, Japanese-style, breakfast!

All considered, a good enough hotel, good steady food and very reasonable. Definitely recommended!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Shizuoka Hotsprings: Sumatakyo-Part 1

Suikoen Hotel entrance in Sumatakyo

The Missus and I finally found a couple of days off work to go to a favourite destination of ours: Hotsprings.
Shizuoka Prefecture is probably the most famous region in Japan for such a venue.
Hotels, Ryokans (inns) and Minshuku (Pensions) can wildly vary in prices, services and meals served, but my other half is a wizard (sorry, witch!) when it comes to find out the best deal out of the Internet.
She planned the whole trip as my experience has taught me it is better this way in spite of all the grumbling (why do I have to do everything?….).
The following three articles are a journal of the two days spent together (in bliss?) along the railway tracks and mountain lanes in search for simple pleasures!

Kanaya Railway Station, Oi River Railroad (minuscule!)

We left Shizuoka City (Higashi Shizuoka Station) at 09:56 and reached Kanaya Station at 10:34 using the Tokaido Railway Line.

Before buying our tickets, we checked with the small food stand at Kanaya Oi River Railroad Station (next to Kanaya Station) as they always sell good local ekiben/railway line bento!

Large signs across the track made sure you know your destination!

We ignored the SL train as we were planning to board it on our return and instead used the diesel-pulled train. No need to say that all trains along the Oi River Railroad track are crowded with train buffs on week-ends!

That railroad is mainly a single-track line except inside stations (and not all at that!).

My bento box!
I wrote an extensive article at Ekiben/Railway Station Lunch Boxes-Bento 8!

It even contained a postcard!

The food inside!

The bento chosen by the Missus!

The food inside!

Cute SL train-shaped soy sauce container!

Green tea rasks for dessert!

Kawane Green tea to washi it down. Don’t forget that Shizuoka Prefecture produces more than 45% of all green tea in Japan and the area we are going to cross on our way, Kawane, is the major green tea producing area!

Although the train runs along the Oi River between montains, thereis plenty of place for (tea) farming.

Tea fields everywhere!

This is the season and farmers are busy even on Sunday! You will find very few recreation spaces there as farmers are just too tired at the end of the day!

The Oi River has always been a major river in Japan! For once the weather was clement!

Wherever you go in Jpaan, you will discover ball parks where Elementary School kids are eager to show off their new uniforms!

We left Kanaya at 10:49 to reach Senzu Station, the last station for that particular train. Nice natural decoration!

A view of Senzu Station, which stands pretty high in the South Japanese Alps!

We had arrived at Senzu Station 12:04 and still had sometime before taking the bus to Sumatakyo at 13:30. We were getting a bit hungry. Luckily we noticed a gentleman grilling/bbq-ing large yamame!

Yamame (山女 or “Mountain Woman” in Japanese!) is a kind of trout, either called Japanese trout or Seema.

One can either eat wild ones or pond-raised ones. These fat samples are raised in local ponds fed with fresh mountain waters. Griiled with salt/shoyaki/塩焼き, they are succulent. You can eat the skin, too!

Almost “next door” to Senzu Station stands a very interesting museum dedicated to sound in their many form, natural or devised.
The place is called Otogi No Sato/Sound Village.
Check their (Japanese) HOMEPAGE.
I was particularly interested in the “percussion faces”.

Long teeth!

Another one for a music-loving dentist?

Another one for hard hitting!

We finally reached our destination Suikoen Spa Hotel at 14:10.
Now, who is that lady?
Check the Hotel Homepage for more information (Japanese)!

I can assure you they will never lack water to turn that wheel!

Hotel lobby sitting room.

The lobby seen from the inside courtyard.

The same from another angle.

A small but scenic courtyard, indeed, with the nearby wooded mountains.

A small carp pond, naturally!

A traditional irori/囲炉裏 with a real charcoal fire!

As we still had plenty of time until dinner (served at 18:00, a bit early by Western standards!), we took the opportunity to visit the locality!

A traditonal minshuku/民宿 or pension.

Narrow streets with plenty of verdant nature!

Rivers and waterfalls running through the village!

Traditional Houses and shops.
And then it was time for dinner, but that is for Part 2!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Ekiben/Railway Station Lunch Boxes-Bento 8

Just came back for a tw0-day, one-night trip to Sumatakyo Hotsprings at the foot of the Southern Alps in Northern Shizuoka Prefecture.
We took our last train from Kanaya Oi River Railway Station (private railway) and bought our ekiben (railway Station Lunch boxes) there before boarding the diesel train (we took the steam locomotive on the way back).
A series of three articles are coming soon to describe that trip in detail!

The bento I chose was called “Oikawa Furusuato Bento/Oi River Hometown Bento” and was commemorating the C11 SL.
It included Sato Imo/taro on a stick with sweet miso sauce, Tamahoyaki, Takenoko/bamboo shoot, Fried and sweetened Sakura ebi/Cherry shrimps, Gobo/Burdock root, Chicken Karaage/Deep-fried Chicken, yama imo/yam seasoned with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums and amazu/sweet rice vinegar, Yamame trout (Japanese trout) and two nigiri wrapped in seaweed.

The Yamame trout had been simmered for a long time in soy sauce, mirin and sugar. The whole was edible, head, tail and bones included!

The bento included a complimentary postcard of the SL locomotive and chopsticks in original paper wrapping.

Even the soy sauce was included inside an SL-shaped tube!

The Missus chose the “Shimada Hatsu Shizuoka Aji Monogatari Bento/Shimada Start Shizuoka Taste Story Bento”. It is the second time she had it but the contents were slightly different from last year. Th saber-dancing samurai is a figure of a very famous matsuri/festivaltaking place every 3 years in Shimada City where Kanaya is located!

It contained a Sakura ebi nigiri, Unagi Nori Maki/Ell sushi roll, Wasabituke/wasabi plants pickled in sake white lees in its little container, Tea tempura, Menchi Katsu/Minced pork croquettes, Kuro Hanpen/Sardine paste, Take no ko and sato imo (nimono/stewed, kamaboko/fish paste “flower”, lychee and mikan!

And we had cold tea from Kawane (the region covering the area between Kanay and the Southern Japanese Alps, one of the best tea areas inJapan!) to wash it down!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi