While walking around near our hotel, I noticed that there were quite a few mobile obento stands in our area. These are not just your typical informal stands that come out during lunch time and are apparently tolerated (i.e., they serve a demand for meals and do not impose themselves upon people). These are mobile kitchens on small vans that have been customized for this purpose. I took a couple of photos of one van near the Kamiyacho Station of the Hibiya Line and another near the JR Meguro Station.
|Mobile kitchen serving curry dishes near the Hibiya Line Kamiyacho Station|
|Mobile kitchen serving a variety of dishes including yakisoba, udon and curry near the JR Meguro Station|
There are similar mobile kitchens in other cities like those in the US (I've seen these in San Francisco and LA) and in Bangkok. However, it is probably the first time I saw these in Tokyo. Of course, it's been a long time since I had been in Japan quite regularly so perhaps this is not really a new thing. In Metro Manila, there are similar set-ups in Makati though the kitchens are on trailers rather than mobile by themselves. The mobile vans I know are those deployed by restaurant chains for events like school fairs and the smaller enterprises that participate in weekend outdoor bazars. Then there are the more informal but hugely popular carts offering very cheap meals that can be seen in many office and school districts that people often refer to as "Aristocart," a play on the name of an established restaurant chain in Manila.