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Aug 25, 2012

駅弁 Ekiben

5日間の旅行から帰ってきました。
今回はちょっと変わっていて、ずいぶんあちこちしてきました。
まず、新幹線で名古屋へ。名古屋城と名古屋コーチンを楽しんだら、翌日は新幹線と特急列車を乗り継いで出雲大社へ。
翌日車を借りて、津和野へといった具合です。

I just came back from a 5-day-trip.
It was rather an unusual trip.  We visited three different cities in 5 days. 
First, we took a shinkansen to Nagoya, and visited Nagoya castle and enjoyed their famous brand chicken, Nagoya cochin. (Yum!)
Then, we went to Izumo by shinkansen and train and visited Izumo Taisha shrine.
Finally, we rented a car there and drove to Tsuwano.  

いろいろ楽しい旅でした。またブログにもアップしたいと思います。

でも今日は駅弁について書いてみようと思います。
駅弁はどうも海外では珍しいようなので。

We had a wonderful time, and I'm going to share some of those experiences later.

But today, I thought it might be fun to make a post about "ekiben."

駅弁の歴史は古いようです。日本で初めて鉄道が開業したのが1872年で、そのわずか13年後1885年には初めての駅弁が宇都宮で売られたとか。(諸説あるようですけれど。)

Do you know what ekiben is? It is a boxed meal we eat on a train.
You can buy it at the stands in the station or on the platform.  Sometimes, they come to sell it on the train, too.  But I recommend you buy it beforehand, or you might have to be hungry all the way.

Ekiben has a long history.  Japan's first railway opened in 1872, and it is said that the first ekiben was already sold  in 1885.

駅弁について詳しいホームページなどを見ると、現在2000から3000種類もの駅弁が全国で売られているようです。ご当地の名産品などが入った駅弁を食べるのも旅の楽しみの一つですよね。
日本では食堂車というのがあまりないのも駅弁が人気のせいでしょうか?

Some say about 2000-3000 different kinds of ekiben are sold throughout Japan now, each region developing its own unique ekiben, filled with its local specialties.
I think the popularity of ekiben is the reason why few trains have dining car in Japan.

今や駅弁人気は駅を飛び出し、各地のデパートで催される駅弁大会はものすごい行列ができたりしますね。

It has become so popular that many department stores have  ekiben fairs that you can buy ekiben from different regions without ever making a trip.

私はデパートで駅弁を買うほどではありませんが、でも列車の旅ではやはりよく利用しています。

Though I never bought it at a department store, I enjoy ekiben when I travel on a train.

今回の旅では2度駅弁を食べました。

So, during our trip this time,  I had two ekiben.

これは東京駅で買った駅弁。
銭形平次の平次弁当。

This one, I bought at Tokyo Station.
Heiji Bento (about 1300 yen)


2段になっていて、中は…


It was in a two-tiered wooden box.
When you open the box...




なんてカラフルできれいなんでしょう!
一段目はいろいろなおかずが少しずつ、2段目はあなごやいくらやサーモンののったちらしずしでした。
おいしかったです。でもいつも思うのですが、立派な箱を捨てるのはもったいないことですね。 (-_-;)

It was colorful and beautiful!
In the top box are "A" black bean, rolled eggs, "A" meatball, "A" shrimp, etc.
In the box below is chirashi-zushi with anago, ikura, salmon, etc.
It was delicious.  I felt bad about discarding this nice-looking wooden box though. (-_-;)


こちらは岡山駅で購入。栗おこわ弁当です。

I bought this one at Okayama Station.
Kuri Okowa Bento (900 yen?)

栗型のお弁当箱です。中は…。

Kuri means sweet chestnuts.  So this box is shaped like a chestnut.
When you open it...



栗ののった赤飯はおいしかったです。右側のおかずもまあ、よかったかな?
Sekihan (sticky rice cooked with red beans) on the left was very good. Many small goodies on the right was good, too.


これまでで面白かった駅弁は、ひもを引くと温まるお弁当。
駅弁も進化しますね~。

In the past, I have had a more unique ekiben, too.  When you pull a string, the meal gets warmed up.

こんな駅弁文化は世界的になかなかユニークなんだそうです。
列車の旅では景色とともに、駅弁もいろいろ楽しみたいですね。

So, if you have an opportunity to travel on a train in Japan, please enjoy these unique ekiben, as well as a beautiful scenery.


山陰のたんぼ rice field in the mountainside in San-in 

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ

2 comments:

Rurousha said...

Welcome back to Tokyo!

I like ekiben so much that I've bought it at department stores. Blush! (#^.^#) However, I didn't know that there were 3000 types, or that they've been available since 1885!

That Kuri Okowa Bento looks delicious. Yum.

Now I will wait very (im)patiently for more trip posts. ^^

Merry Witch said...

You've bought ekiben at department stores? You are such an interesting lady from Africa!(^^)

The Kuri Okowa was very very tasty ; sweet kuri + salted sesame seeds = happy combination (^_^)v