Thursday, December 12, 2013

Your Ekiben is a Lie!

駅弁

Ah, ekiben. Such a clever idea. Make mediocre packaged lunches with famous local goods, and sell them to people who have a long train ride ahead of them. 駅- eki - means train station, and 弁当 - bento - is a packaged lunch. Here is an example of one from Tottori Prefecture, using local matsubagani crab:

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There is a fascination with these things. Everyone I've asked is happy to have a culinary chance.

But I'm always a dick about it, spoiling their fun. "You know, you can buy that in Tokyo." Shock. Followed by denial. Guilt for wasting some yen. Acceptance.

Here's a photo of the shop front that I stole from the internet.

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Google Map for ma gangstas. I mean my Granstas!



So there you go. You can buy the most famous of the country's ekiben all in one place. Mediocre packaged lunches by the train-load must arrive in Tokyo every morning. I recognize a few I've bought, back when I didn't know. I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance!

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All the regional ekibens of Japan, available everyday at Tokyo Station!

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There's the Tottori one!

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This is my favorite one, available to many stations in Tokyo (even though it says it is from Nara). 柿の葉寿司 - sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves. The salted leaves have curing properties, keeping the sushi fresh. Super bomb!

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You are not meant to eat the persimmon leaves, but I do. Like a rookie. Whatever.

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Honestly, though, these ekibens are just $10, and coupled with a cold beer the make for a tasty train snack. And the Tokyo Station Ekiben Shop is a one-off thing, so folks outside of this big, stinky city have to travel for their gimmick-food.

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3 comments:

Michael Vito said...

Ha! Figures. In 70 years no one will be living in those places anyway. The ekiben will all be made at the same plant in a Tokyo suburb and sold as nostalgia gimmicks.

Anonymous said...

Do you plan on ever returning to the States?

Brian said...

No plans!