While at the train station a couple weeks ago, I saw a poster advertising an upcoming “ekiben” festival.  I was pretty excited and wanted to join in!

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Here’s the festival.  Lots of “ekiben” from different parts of Japan.

Eki=Train station

Ben=short for “bento” which is a prepared lunch, very common in Japan.  I don’t think all Americans know what bento are, but I think a few do–especially the foodie type people.   They are becoming embraced outside of Japan I think largely because they tend to be healthier than the traditional American sack lunch of a sandwich, banana and cookie.

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Of course, these are very fancy bentos.  Ekiben tend to be expensive and gourmet.  They are for special occasions.

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The one on the far left is from the Mount Fuji train station.  Lots of distant stations represented.

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These are for kids.

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Really cute.

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I didn’t get one for my son because he was at home ill that day with quite a bad cold.

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He loved trains though when he was a toddler and if he were three years old, I may have perhaps bought this!

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You can see that the food is really elegant.

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Crab.  One of the more expensive ekibens for sale that day.

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This is the one I ended up getting…an ekiben based on a popular manga.  Perhaps from the train station near where the manga’s creator grew up?  I know his area is really touristy with statues and so on related to this manga.

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Bon appetit!

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I didn’t realize it when I purchased it, but I got this keepsake ceramic bowl.  Awesome!