Getting A Ekiben At Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station is a huge bullet train hub. Chances are that if you're traveling from Tokyo to somewhere else in Japan, your journey will start at that station. While on the train, it's customary in Japan to eat a bento box lunch bought at the station. These are called ekiben in Japanese. Enjoying your ekiben on the train is a fun part of the traveling experience in Japan so make sure to grab yours before getting on the train. Here are some good places to buy them at the Tokyo Station.
Ekiben Matsuri is the most popular place to buy ekibens at the station. It is inside the huge Tokyo Station so you have to go through the ticket gates to access it. It's not exactly easy to find, but if you mention to anyone the name "Ekibenya Matsuri", they'll likely know what you're talking about.
Ekibenya Matsuri is a pretty big store and is always super crowded. It has the widest variety of ekiben of all the stores inside the station.
Some Popular Bento Boxes Of Ekibenya Matsuri
You should probably just choose the one that tickles your fancy, but in case you're wondering, here are some popular choices!
Seafood ekiben such as this one which includes salmon fish roe and shirasu fish (baby sardines) are a sure bet! The popping little oily spheres are just so irresistible, and you should try shirasu if you haven't already!
If seafood isn't your thing then rest assured because there are a plethora of other options for you. Teriyaki chicken bento boxes are very popular as well and very Japanese.
This is a popular choice for obvious reasons! An important factor in choosing an ekiben is the box in which the food is in. Some are toy-shaped like this train, and others are made of actually pretty nice ceramic, so you can keep the ekiben container and use it as a bowl to remember your trip.
There are also some vegetarian, healthy and light options. Everyone can find an ekiben that they love... and don't forget to get a beer! Drinking on the train is also part of the experience.
Daimaru Building Basement Floor
Another great place to buy ekiben near the Tokyo Station is at the Daimaru Bldg.'s first basement floor. This one is outside of the station, near the North Yaesu Exit. This is a good place to buy your bento because it has a huge selection from a variety of small stores all on the same floor. Here are some popular shops.
Takimoto has this amazing seafood bento that sells for ¥1,728. Granted, it's a little expensive but really worth it!
For meat lovers, you can try Kakiyasu's popular Japanese beef bento for ¥1,300.
Another well-liked bento shop is Hirashima. It specializes in sushi and anago, a salt water eel. The anagoni (stewed eel) shown above is a popular choice. Their bento boxes sell for about ¥1,000.
Tokyo Station is a great spot to try lots of bento boxes with specialties from all over Japan. Next time you take the shinkansen from there, make sure get your ekiben before you leave!