“Ekiben” or “railway bento” (eki/駅 = station; ben/弁 = box meal) is special bento sold on trains and at train stations in Japan. Ekiben contains local delicacies which are packed colorfully and compactly into a box. Each region of Japan has its own ekiben, and tasting different areas' ekiben is part of the fun of train travel!
In association with the railway 150th anniversary exhibition, we will invite Shinobu Kobayashi, “Queen of Ekiben” , from Japan to give a virtual lecture about ekiben. The expert will introduce you to the history of ekiben and the various features of each region’s ekiben, and she will show you popular ekibens with sizzling photos.
Following the lecture, JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) will give you some basic, helpful information and tips about railroad travel as well as ekiben.
*Shinobu Kobayashi’s lecture was given in Japanese, and English consecutive interpretation is provided.
You can watch these lectures on our YouTube channel.
Shinobu Kobayashi is a travel journalist, and writer whose focus is on food and local culture in Japan. She has traveled all around the country, staying at every kind of hotel and ryokan about 150 nights out of the year for the past 30 years. In those 30 years, she has also eaten at over 5000 ekibens, earning her the nickname “Queen of Ekiben”. In addition to producing new ekiben, she oversees the highway station bento “Dora Bento” series for NEXCO East. Besides serving as Councilmember of the Japan Food Analyst Association, she has made numerous TV and radio appearances, gives lectures, and is the author of many books related to regional food and ekiben.