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Find Chara-Ben From All Over Japan at Tokyo Station! 5 Ekiben That Children Will Love

Long train trips and ekiben go hand-in-hand. We picked out some exciting ekiben that are fun to look at and fun to eat. Read on for five cute and tasty ekiben that children will love. You can buy these in the countryside too, not just Tokyo Station, so be sure to use this article as a reference.

What are Ekiben?

“Ekiben” refers to bento (boxed lunches) that are usually sold at stations and on trains. “Eki” means station in Japanese and “ben” is short for “bento”. Opinions are divided on the exact origin of the ekiben, but one theory is that the first ekiben were onigiri (rice balls) sold at Utsunomiya Station in Tochigi Prefecture on July 16, 1885. Nowadays, you can find ekiben all over Japan. They have evolved extensively from using local ingredients to using high-quality ingredients like crab and sea urchin. Read on for some ekiben that are recommended for children that you can buy at Ekibenya Matsuri Gransta inside the Tokyo Station Precinct, that sells a range of ekiben from all the regions of Japan.

What are Ekiben?

Gransta, JR Tokyo Station Precinct, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

1. Kirby Ekiben

The titular character from internationally famous Japanese game maker, Nintendo’s “Kirby’s Dream Land” has his own ekiben. Kirby looks adorable wearing his train conductor's hat. The contents of this bento are truly a child’s dream, including chicken fried rice, hamburg steak, karaage (Japanese fried chicken), Vienna sausage and more. Don’t forget the special Kirby sticker that’s included!

Where to buy: Tokyo Station, Okayama Station etc.
Price: 1,380 JPY (incl. tax)

2. Anpanman Bento

This is an extremely popular “kyaraben”(“kyara” comes from the English “character”) that completely sells out before lunchtime. The iconic Japanese anime character's lovable face appears as we all know it on the bento box. You will also see Anpanman’s face on the chicken fried rice one you open the lid. The bento also contains easy-to-eat-sized things for children, like dumplings, fried shrimp, and thick omelet.

Where to buy: Tokyo Station, Takamatsu Station, Matsuyama Station (by advance order only), Kochi Station (by advance order only) etc.
Price: 1,300 JPY (incl. tax)

3. 500th Hello Kitty Bullet Train Bento

This ekiben started being sold to commemorate the 500th service of the Hello Kitty bullet train that runs between Shin-Osaka Station and Hakata Station. The bento box is shaped just like that bullet train. An extremely cute Hello Kitty is peeking through the window of the train. The bento contains chicken fried rice, hamburg steak, thick omelet and more.

Where to buy: Tokyo Station, Okayama Station, Railway Museum (Saitama) etc.
Price: 1,250 JPY (incl. tax)

3. 500th Hello Kitty Bullet Train Bento

4. Doctor Yellow x Gudetama Bento

Doctor Yellow is a phantom bullet train that never gets announced. Doctor Yellow is a diagnostic train that is operated to test the tracks and aerial wiring. This ekiben is a collaboration between Doctor Yellow, which is thought to bring happiness if you see it, and the popular character, Gudetama. The bento contains curry pilaf, fried shrimp, meatballs and more.

Where to buy: Tokyo Station, Okayama Station, Railway Museum (Saitama) etc.
Price: 1,280 JPY (incl. tax)

4. Doctor Yellow x Gudetama Bento

5. Rilakkuma x Yamanote Line Relaxed Lunch

This is an ekiben made in collaboration with the character Rilakkuma and the main vein of Tokyo transportation, the Yamanote Line. This is a hearty bento that contains rice, penne pasta, fried foods, salad and more. It also includes a cute post card!

Where to buy: Tokyo Station
Price: 1,080 JPY (incl. tax)

5. Rilakkuma x Yamanote Line Relaxed Lunch

Did any of these ekiben catch your eye? Please enjoy your train trip while trying ekiben.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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