Food/Drink Travel

Shinkansen Lunch Box (“Bento”)

01/13/2020

What is Bento? Where to buy?

Bento is a lunch box in Japanese. A lot of people in Japan buy Bento when traveling with bullet trains (“Shinkansen”) and eat it inside the train, which reminds us of school trips when we were in small. Normally, people buy Bento at the station, but today, I’d like to recommend that you buy them at a department store instead. The reason why I am telling you this is because Bento sold at a department store has:

  • More healthy options
  • Good value for the price
  • Less additives in food, in general

You may be tempted to buy Bento at the station because it is convenient to do so, especially when you are rushing to get onto the train. However, it is definitely worth stopping buy at a department store (normally, Bento is sold on a basement floor of a department store ) and buy Bento before heading to the Shinkansen station.

Bento to buy when departing from Shin-Osaka

The Hankyu department store in Umeda (https://www.hankyu-dept.co.jp/fl/english/honten/) probably has best Bento options if you are traveling from the Shin-Osaka station. It is located in the Umeda station which is one station away from Shin-Osaka on the JR line. There are so many Bento shops in the department store so you may need some time to make a choice. Also, please be aware that there is always a huge crowd on the basement floor of Hankyu department store so you may want to do your Bento shopping ahead of time.

One of my favorite shops is called “Wa Sai no Kuni” (http://www.iwatafoods.co.jp/wasainokuni/) which has a plenty of Japanese food Bento with good veggie options.

Here is what I got the other day for my trip from Osaka to Tokyo.

There are also some small bites that pair well with alcoholic beverages.

Choosing a good Bento makes your trip even more fun in Japan!

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