If there is a feature of life in Japan that appears in more TV dramas than mobile phones, it’s got to be the train. Last year we had the TV adaptation of “Densha Otoku” (lit. ‘train geek’ – but usually translated as ‘train man’), from a novelisation of a blog about a nerd’s seduction of a beautiful, and seemingly unattainble woman.

Most of us NOVA types need to take a train every day to get to and from work – along with about half the population, it seems. Today’s article comes courtesy of The Age, taking in many aspects of the local train culture and obsessions of those fascinated with it.

One thing they barely touched on in the article is the subject of Eki-ben or Eki-soba. Eki-ben stands for ‘eki-bentou’; the lunch boxes you can buy on the station platforms. Some stations are famous for their inclusion of local delicacies, and thus have become destinations in their own right. Same goes for eki-soba; soba being the type of noodles on offer, although other varieties such as udon-noodles are also often on offer.

Himeji Station is famous for its eki-soba. The shops have recently been upgraded with the opening of the new platforms, with the decor playing on the tradition and nostalgia of the original eki-soba shops of the past. Thankfully the standards of cleanliness are more modern.

It’s been a while since I had a bowl of eki-soba – I don’t catch the train to work any more – but I can assure you, it’s a cheap and tasty snack or light meal for the person on the go.

Image courtesy of wikipedia

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