Experience Japan’s Flavors with Ekiben on a Shinkansen
As you embark upon a shinkansen in Japan, a tantalizing aroma of delectable cuisine wafts through the air, creating an unforgettable sensory experience. And what better way to indulge in the country’s exquisite flavors than with an Ekiben? These special bento boxes originated in Japan over a century ago and have transformed over time.
The story of Ekiben dates back to 1885 when Shirokiya Ryokan, a local inn, responded to the inauguration of the Japan Railway by vending boxed meals to famished passengers at Utsunomiya Station in Tochigi Prefecture. The early boxed meals were composed of solely two rice balls enfolded in bamboo leaves and two slices of pickled daikon radish.
Since then, Ekiben has undergone a significant evolution, with vendors carrying boxed meals on their shoulders or mobile wagons at train stations. In contemporary times, boxed meal shops can be found inside train stations throughout the country.
Every region of Japan presents its unique range of Ekiben, showcasing regional flavors and ingredients, proffering an opportunity to experience the country’s culture and cuisine. These lunch boxes transcend being just a quick bite to eat but instead take you on a gastronomic journey that tantalizes the taste buds.
So, the next time you’re darting across Japan on a shinkansen, be sure to seize an Ekiben and relish the flavors of the country. Each bite takes you on a culinary expedition that is both delicious and unforgettable.