I would like to talk about Japanese bento today.
Bento means a boxed lunch. A basic bento looks like this (photo). Half of it is rice, with picked plums on top, and the other half is side dishes.
These days, parents make cute bento boxes for their children called “Chara-ben” which is shortened from “character bento.” People create children’s favorite characters using rice, eggs, or seaweed.
You will find a great variety of bento in convenience stores and supermarkets ranging in price from 300 yen to 600 yen. Since bento gets discounted toward the end of the day, you will save money if you buy the next day’s bento the night before.
Bento sold at train stations is called Ekiben. Many people enjoy ekiben on a long-distance train like Shinkansen. Some ekiben are only available at limited locations making it a fun challenge to buy them while traveling.
I hope you get to try many local bento while traveling in Japan.
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