When you go to Japan, it's normal that you'll be saving tummy and fat space for authentic Sushi, Sashimi, Ramen, Kobe beef, etc. etc. But if I may make a recommendation, make room for Japan's famous EKIBEN or BENTO BOXES. These delicious Japanese grub on the go is neither expensive nor fancy. But it DOES pack a wallop on the convenience and enjoyment factor.
EKIBEN in JAPAN!!!!!
In our 3rd day in Japan, we were in KYOTO STATION to wait for our Shinkansen (or bullet train) going to Tokyo.
While waiting, my brother suggested that we get some EKIBEN for our long trip going to Tokyo. I really didn't know about this but we were all willing to try it.
You could actually buy your EKIBEN in different stores in various Japanese train stations. But this was the stall which was flocked by many people in Kyoto.
Maybe it has something to do with the EKIBEN cutie lady.
Or maybe, it's because of the colorful long rows of EKIBEN on display.
These EKIBEN in the glass counters are actually made of wax. But really, they look so much like the real thing that you'd be tempted to lick one of them.
Not that I would do that, but somebody might.
Hmmm... What should we get?
Everything just made my eyes move like crazy!
Prices of the EKIBEN were just okay. It's not expensive but not too cheap either.
But still, you'll find yourself buying some because it's hard to imagine authentic Japanese food that you could eat in the train!
The boys and I made our selection in EKIBEN.
We got about 3 EKIBEN. One for me, one for Master Mati, and one for Andrei!
Oops I forgot about the Chinese Adonis!
As usual my choosy Chinese eater begged off and said he will just feast on chips or something.
Suit yourself! Don't try to get from MY bento box while I'm devouring it.
Yub bought his snacks from one of the many food stalls on the train platform. You could also get your EKIBEN here.
In a few minutes, our bullet train arrives!
After we got settled in, it's time for us to eat!
My little foodie Mati was so excited to try the Octupus EKIBEN (Y1,000.00)! Yes! My first born is already very adventurous with his food at such a young age.
The Octopus EKIBEN looked awesome and was packed full to the brim. The great thing about it here is that we could take home the ceramic pot and make more EKIBEN when Mati feels like it!
As for me, I got this dainty 2-layer EKIBEN that's wrapped in a cloth specially made for bento boxes.
You gotta hand it to the Japanese. They include art even in the most simplest items.
Ooh! My EKIBEN was complete with chopsticks and wipes!
My 2 layer EKIBEN (Y980.00) consisted of pickled veggies, tamago egg, steamed salmon, beef teppanyaki, pink mochi....
... and lots of sticky flavored rice.
Oooh! Ooh! I even got itty bitty pieces of octopus!
My complete meal in a box... aka... EKIBEN!
My food was in room temperature but I didn't mind. Just the look of it was very appetizing!
The sticky rice was awesome. It was flavored with seafood stock that it could be eaten even without the accompanying meats!
I was only in the middle of my EKIBEN when Mati was already smacking his lips in happiness.
The pink mochi was okay. It was like our usual buchi minus the sesame seeds!
My Ate Jojit and Kuya Jon also got the same thing!
My Kuya Jay's family got something different from ours.
This one was covered in a colorful printed cardboard!
This has everything (except sushi) for only Y850.00!
They also got this EKIBAN that seemed like a jewelry box.
Yowza! This is a different kind of treasure!
When I was done, I called the Bullet Train attendant for some extra drinks.
The happy EKIBEN family! Ha ha ha ha ha!
After a few days, THE YAPPY BUNCH was once again at the platform for the Shinkansen waiting for our ride back to Osaka.
Oh me hungry!
Mati was excited once more to open his bigger EKIBEN.
It was even sealed in plastic!
To be honest, I was a bit concerned that the Japanese EKIBEN may have been stored on their counters too long since they were displayed like non-perishable items.
But one look and whiff of their EKIBEN and I was sold!
Mati got himself drooling with this Sliced Sweet Pork EKIBEN (Y850.00) that came with tamago, pickled veggies, potato balls, and brown rice.
You may be surprised to learn that my first born LOVED the vegetables also and happily munched it with spoonfuls of the rice.
My dearest Andrei did not order EKIBEN that day. It's not because he didn't like it but more on he doesn't want to eat anything at all!
I forced him to share a vendor sandwich with me though! He he he he he he!
OOOH! Mount Fuji!!!
Happy smiles for our happy tummies!!!!
Fast forward to our last day in Japan!
Guess what Mati has his heart on eating on the way home?
He really savored that Octopus pot and drooled over it some more!
While at the airport, our CEBU PACIFIC flight was slightly delayed.
Mati certainly didn't mind!
His Octopus EKIBEN kept him in delicious company!
So when you plan a trip in Japan, do try out the simple, handy, but delicious EKIBEN. Believe me, it's quite a Japanese experience that's all packed in a stylish box...
JAPANESE EKIBEN IS EVERYWHERE IN THEIR TRAIN STATIONS!!!!