Taiwan Railways' first bento shop opens in Hsinchu

First-of-its-kind store part of railway operator’s branding campaign

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Limited-edition Hakka style TRA bento boxes (TRA photo)
First TRA bento flagship shop (TRA photo)

Limited-edition Hakka style TRA bento boxes (TRA photo)

First TRA bento flagship shop (TRA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Railways Administration's (TRA) first concept shop for its signature product — its bento boxes — was inaugurated on Thursday (Oct. 1) at Hsinchu Station, opening concurrently with the revamped station as well as the 2020 Taiwan Design Expo.

To mark the occasion, Taiwan Railways rolled out three limited-edition boxed meals that incorporate local ingredients and are available until Oct. 11. The special edition bento boxes feature Hakka-style fried pork and squid, preserved vegetables, and ginger lily zongzi.

The store has adopted a minimalist design inspired by the rail service’s aluminum train coaches and the recently unveiled blue-and-white TRA bento trademark. The shop is part of the TRA’s bento branding campaign that will see 30 other concept stores open in the next five years.

A culinary attraction for passengers, the TRA bento boasts a history of 71 years, selling over 10 million units annually over the past four years. Six catering centers currently provide the delicious meals to 31 stores at 25 stations nationwide, according to the TRA.

The 127-year-old Hsinchu Station is one of the most historical stations still operating in Taiwan. Its daily ridership is 40,000 passengers, and it has a sister station bond with Japan’s Tokyo Station, wrote Liberty Times.