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The Traffic News site reports on a new sake + snack set available on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen bullet train line that runs from Tokyo to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. 

If you’re on the move and fancy a drink and a nibble, Japan Rail are offering a “Special Spring Service” with a choice of two sake and four snacks at a JPY 30 discount when one of each is bought together on a Nozomi or Hikari service. The special offer runs from 22 March until 25 April 2018. All prices are including tax and before the discount is applied.


  • Shirakabegura junmai ginjō cup (looks like 180 ml) JPY 350
  • Gekkeikan Kyoto Fushimi Meisui Shikomi junmaishu (bottle where the lid doubles as a cup) JPY 310


  • Soft & tender smoked squid JPY 370
  • “Yukari” rich & tasty drinking snack (looks like some kind of prawn cracker) JPY 330
  • Chikuwa fish cake with sea bream JPY 370 

The “snacks with drinks” culture is so established that as you can see with the second choice some product names don’t even say what they are, just that they’re for having with a drink. But all savoury, probably salty and fishy so that seems to be the theme.

What I found a bit surprising is that although the cup/bottle seems to be 180 ml the sake is the same price or even cheaper than the snacks. When I looked for the Shirabegura brewery, the footnote on the site says that it’s copyright Takara Shuzo, one of the small number of huge sake breweries. And it wasn’t until I found a picture of the label for the second sake that I realised it’s from Gekkeikan, another mega-brewery (although I can’t find that packaging on their site). So looks like even in Japan, on the train is not the best place for good food!