Tokyo Station Bento//東京站的飯盒

A typical Tokyo Station bentō shop.
(I want to write some of my posts in Chinese and English. If I write anything incorrectly, please tell me!)


If you want to buy a lunchbox (bentō; 弁当) at Tokyo Station you have many choices! Do you love to eat beef? Are you vegetarian? Do you eat seafood, but not meat? Do you like a lot of rice in your lunchbox? No problem, you will definitely find a lunchbox that suits you at Tokyo Station. There are cheap and expensive ones, but they're all appetizing.

如果你想在東京站買飯盒(bentō; 弁当)你會有很多很多選擇!你是愛吃牛肉的人?吃素?吃海鮮可是沒喜歡吃肉?喜歡很多米飯在你的飯盒裡面?沒關係,你在東京站一定會找到合適你的飯盒。有便宜的,有貴的,但是都很開胃的。

Every time I see Japanese-style lunchboxes (especially the expensive ones) I think, "How special!" In my opinion, each lunchbox is like a work of art. According to Japanese custom, chefs have to consider which vegetables have beautiful colors because a traditional Japanese lunchbox must be colorful. Also, they have to carefully choose the right cooking method (grill, fry, boil, etc.) because after vegetables and meat are cooked they often change color. Chefs also have to consider which foods complement the lunchbox's shape. Naturally, chefs cannot messily put the food into the lunchboxes, they have to plan which placement of the food is the most beautiful. However, I think these guidelines only relate to expensive bentō boxes (1000 yen or so upwards).

每次看到日本式的飯盒(常常是不便宜的)我想,“好特別喔!” 在我的看法,每個飯盒跟藝術品一樣。說到做日式的飯盒,廚師們要想哪個青菜有美麗的顏色因為按日本的習俗,飯盒要包括幾种顏色。再說,他們要小心地選做法(烤,炒,熬,等等)因為做青菜和肉以後它們常常變得別的顏色。廚師們也要考慮哪個食物對飯盒的形狀最合適。當然,廚師不可以亂亂得放食物在飯盒,它們要計劃食物的放置讓飯盒很漂亮。但是,我覺得那些概念關於貴的飯盒(差不多1000日幣多)。

Lunchboxes from connivence stores aren't particularly made with color or organization in mind, but many connivence stores have their own special lunchboxes (e.g., healthy, made with local ingredients, seasonal, etc.)


Below is a video about Japanese lunchboxes.


The display case lunches are all made from plastic.
People say the best Japanese bentōs are often found in train stations beyond the ticket gates. I don't know whether or not that is true, but in Tokyo Station there are many lunchbox shops outside the ticket gates and their bentos look delicious! honestly, when I was in Tokyo I often box lunches from connivence stores, but within my six days there I bought three from Tokyo Station. I'd like to give you a look at the different types of bentos I bought there.

So appetizing!
Bentō #1: 30 Hinmoku baransu bentō (30品目バランス弁当) - 900 yen ($7.25)
第1個飯盒:30 品目平衡的飯盒 (30 pinmu pinghengde fanhe) - 台幣:225.59 元;人民幣: 40.03元
When I saw this bentō, I really wanted to eat Japanese curry! Nonetheless, the lunches in the store's display case were so pretty that I suddenly wanted to try a Japanese style lunch. I wasn't paying attention to the price, I simply looked for the most appetizing.


For a minute or two I watched other people order their boxes, then I ordered mine. Nervously, I said "The penguin one..." ("ペンギンの..."; "Pengin no..."), but the waitress understood me. Why did I choose the balanced lunchbox? I think it's quite clear - it seemed healthy! When I'm traveling I rarely look for healthy food, but if I have an opportunity to buy healthy things I do. The balanced lunchbox is non-expensive and healthy - a great choice!

我一,兩分鐘看別人點自己的飯盒,然後點我的。我緊張得用日文說,"ペンギンの...(企鵝的...)" 但是服務員懂了我的意思,哈。我為什麼選平衡的飯盒?我覺得很清楚 - 給我健康的感覺!我去旅行的時候我平常沒有找最健康的食物,但是要是我有機會買健康的東西我就買。平衡的飯盒又不太貴又健康,很好的選擇!
This healthy bentō includes the following:
1. (cooked) rice (bei; 米)            16. pumpkin (kabocha; 南瓜)
2. chicken (toriniku; 鶏肉)         17. tofu skin (yuba; 湯葉)
3. red fish (akazakana; 赤魚)     18. lotus root (renkon; 蓮根)
4. scallops (hotategai; 帆立貝)  19. eggplant (nasu; 茄子)
5. carrot (ninjin; 人参)                20. burdock (gobo; 牛蒡)
6. soybeans (daizu; 大豆)           21. konjac
                                                          (konnyaku; こんにゃく)
7. hijiki, a sea vegetable (ひじき)   22. rapeseed                (nanohana; 菜の花)
8. sweet potato (sasumaimo; さすま芋)  23. bamboo shoots                                                                           (takenoko; 筍)
9. deep-fried tofu (aburaage; 油揚げ)     24. bell pepper                                                                        (papurika; パプリカ)
10. (chicken) egg (keiran; 鶏卵)        25. plum (ume; 梅)
11. green onion (negi; ねぎ)                                                        26. green beans (ingen; いんげん)
12. bean jelly stick (harusame; 春雨)                                          27. broadbeans (soramame; そら豆)
13. edamame (枝豆)                                                                    28. daikon leaves (daikonba; 大根葉)
14. dried gourd chips (kanpyō; かんぴょう)                             29. sesame (goma; ごま)
15. cloud ear fungus (kikurage; きくらげ)                                 30. small prawns (akiami; アキアミ)

1. 米飯 (mifan)                                      16. 南瓜 (nangua)
2. 雞肉 (jirou)                                       17. 豆腐皮 (doufu pi)
3. 赤魚 (chiyu)                                      18. 蓮根 (liangen)
4. 帆立貝 (fanlibei)                              19. 茄子 (qiezi)
5. 紅蘿蔔 (hongluobo)                          20. 牛蒡 (niubang)
6. 大豆 (dadou)                                     21. 魔芋 (moyu)
7. 羊栖菜 (yangqicai)                           22. 油菜花 (youcaihua)
8. 紅薯 (hongshu)                                 23. 竹筍 (zhusun)
9. 油炸豆腐 (youzha doufu)                 24. 柿子椒 (shizijiao)
10. 雞蛋 (jidan)                                    25. 李子 (lizi)
11. 韭蔥 (jiucong)                                26. 綠豆 (ludou)
12. 涼粉棒 (liangfenbang)                   27. 蠶豆 (candou)
13. 枝豆 (zhidou)                                  28. 蘿蔔葉 (luoboye)
14. 乾葫蘆刨花 (gan hulu baohua)     29. 芝麻 (zhima)
15. 雲耳 (yun'er)                                  30. ??? (英文:acetes)

So beautiful...I didn't want to eat it!
Although there are 30 items in the bentō, each portion is quite small. As the portions are small, one must eat slowly to enjoy the flavor. My favorite part of this bentō was the sweet potato, tofu skin, egg, and flavored rice topped with furikake (振りかけ), a type of seasoning. Nevertheless, everything in this bentō was tasty.

雖然飯盒裡面有30品目,但是每份是小小的。因為每份很小要慢慢得吃,這樣可以享受食物的味道。這個飯盒裡面我最喜歡的部份是紅薯,豆腐皮,雞蛋,和白飯跟調味料(日文:振りかけ, furikake),但是都好吃的。
The delicious sweet potato!

I was surprised to discover that the sweet potato was cooked using the same method some Nigerians do! Its taste was similar to my mom's sweet potato!


Bentō #2: Miyabi no bentō (みやびの弁当) - ~1,800 yen ($14.50)
第2個飯盒:Miyabi的飯盒 (Miyabi de fanhe) - 台幣:451.18 元;人民幣: 90.07元

I bought the second lunchbox from Miyabi. The Miyabi shop in Tokyo Station is next to about 15 other bentō shops, so I chose Miyabi by coincidence, but I think it was a good choice. Miyabi has many high-end seasonal bentō boxes, I chose the one that appealed to me the most. The items inside were not listed on the box, but I just looked at the display case to get an idea of what was inside.


This bento was interesting to me because there were three servings of rice with different seafood toppings. I think this lunchbox is good for those who love seafood, but there was also a little meat included inside.

There were many bits of seafood inside this box.

Bento #3: Tokyo eki no bentō (東京駅の弁当) - 1,650 yen ($13.30)
第3個飯盒:東京站的飯盒 (dongjingzhan de fanhe) - 台幣:413.62 元;人民幣: 80.58元

The story of how I bought this bentō is kind of funny. The day I had to leave Tokyo for Taipei I really wanted to buy another bentō, but I heard you can't buy the fancy ones at the airport, only ones from convenience stores. But...I didn't want a convenience store bentō, I wanted a special, pretty bentō from Tokyo Station! Since my flight was at 10 a.m., I didn't know whether or not I would have the time to ride the subway and go to Tokyo Station to buy a lunchbox. Although I didn't have much time, I decided to go to Tokyo Station. Two lunchbox shops open at Tokyo Station at 6 a.m., and I got to the station at around 6:30. In order to buy a bentō, I had to pay and enter the ticketing area...I thought, "No problem, I really want to buy another bento!"


I didn't have time so I just chose the most expensive one the store had. Afterward, I went to the airport and returned to Taipei. On the plane I at the lunch given to the passengers and waited until I got home to eat my bentō. Because it was so cold on the plane, the lunch wasn't spoiled and all the items inside tasted fresh.

I think the colors of the food go well with the postcard.

I think the Tokyo Station bentō was special because it included a pretty postcard, a great souvenir. The food inside was also organized beautifully. Additionally, this box had dessert - green tea daifuku (大福; daifuku).  The dessert was my favorite part of this bentō, but I liked the fish and pumpkin too.

我覺得東京站的飯盒好特別因為包括一張漂亮的明信片,是很好的紀念品。食物安排也是好看。此外這個飯盒有甜點 - 綠茶大福(日文:大福;daifuku)!甜點是我最喜歡的部份,但是我也喜歡裡面的魚和地瓜。
The fish and kabocha were
absolutely delicious!
If you're going to Tokyo, I suggest you give bentōs a try. They're beautiful and delicious! Also, authentic bentō boxes are likely hard to buy in your home country. The pretty ones are a little expensive, but because I was on vacation I though it was no problem.


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