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North Japan firm to open temporary bento shop at Lyon station in Paris

This concept image shows the new bento store at Lyon station in Paris. (Image courtesy of Hanazen)

AKITA -- A long-established north Japan manufacturer and seller of "ekiben" -- bento meals sold at railway stations -- will open a limited-time store at Lyon station in Paris from November this year to the end of April next year.

    In addition to its famous "Torimeshi Bento," the Akita Prefecture's Odate-based Hanazen will also sell bento meals made with ingredients produced in the prefecture.

    "We want to spread the word of 'ekiben' to the world," said Shuichi Yagihashi, president of the company, during a news conference at the prefectural government office on Sept. 14.

    The company opened a roadside store in Paris in 2019 to sell its bento. The new EKIBEN ToriMeshi Bento store at Lyon station is expected to generate about 82 million yen (about $746,400) in sales.

    The bento meal, which will be sold only at this store, will include specialties from Akita Prefecture, such as Inaniwa udon noodles, Kiritanpo made from mashed rice, and Iburi-gakko smoked daikon radish pickles, in addition to Torimeshi chicken rice.

    Furthermore, children from Odate Municipal Ariura Elementary School in Akita Prefecture will make souvenirs to give to customers in France, and junior and senior high schools in the city and Akita International University will also cooperate to promote sales.

    (Japanese original by Kaho Shimokobe, Akita Bureau)

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