Eventually came the time where we needed to wave goodbye to Tokyo, up there among my favourite cities in the world, and make our way down south to new territories! With our Japan Rail Passes at the ready we made for the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Hiroshima via Himeji. And when travelling by Shinkansen, you have to eat delicious ekiben! Ekiben is bento specifically sold for people to eat on the Shinkansen – its so much a thing that it has its own name!
I’ve already mentioned how awesome Japan’s major rail stations are in this post, and with bento being a Shinkansen speciality, you can imagine the range of options to choose from! We found our “his and hers” bento at a small combini with lots of different options; Mark chose one called “Makunouchi Bento” and mine was the “Exhibition of Japanese Cuisine” bento.
My bento had two types of rice with different seasonings, Japanese pickles including pickled plum or “umeboshi” – a bento staple, tamagoyaki – a small omelette also common in bento, a small piece of mackerel, a piece of Japanese fish cake, tempura broccoli, a range of small vegetables, bamboo, and some noodles.
Obviously it was all delicious and I particularly loved the variety of colour, flavours, and textures, as well as the dashi flavour infused into the vegetables. It felt quite decadent to be sitting on one of the fastest trains in the world eating our impeccably presented Japanese bento – I could get used to that life…and this view: