Traveling Japan: Conbini (Convenience Stores)


Last year, I wrote about Taiwan’s convenience stores being awesome. Japan’s are pretty awesome too. I remember one time, a couple decades ago, I found convenient stores in Japan selling Play Stations.

Japan has a reputation of being too expensive, and definitely, high end Japanese hotels and restaurants can really be ridiculously pricy, even for high end, but many a time, with family or friends, I have traveled Japan living solely off of convenience store foods. From an American perspective, that sounds pretty horrible, like chili-dogs and nacho cheese every day, but the above picture is of a soba noodles meal I bought at a local convenience store. I just brought it home, put it in a bowl, and heated it up. Even for health conscious folks, you can find some seriously delicious, rather fresh, and healthy choices. Just an onigiri rice ball would make a great meal, but even if you need something a little more substantial, let’s say a beef bowl, you can grab one at the local convenience store.



The different convenience stores also have different options, so you can have a lot of variety and try a lot of different kinds of foods. Plus, there’s one on every corner, literally.

I also enjoyed a lot of the different drinks they had available. This trip, it was pretty cold in Japan overall compared to Taiwan last year at the same time, Japan being further north and all, so I was hankering for hot drinks most of the time. They have hot drinks in cans or bottle-shaped cans available, but I never found them hot enough, so my preference was to buy tea bags or hot drink mixes that I could add my own hot water to.

Aside from my regular favorite hot green teas or jasmine green, I tried a lot of different other drinks, and my favorite one was this Van Houten matcha hot chocolate drink. Delicious!


Of course, aside from all the convenience stores, there are also all the vending machines everywhere. Word of advice, get yourself a handy little coin purse right away when you get to Japan. You will definitely use it, and it will be a functional souvenir you can take back with you.


Here was the most technologically advanced vending machine I saw there.

A video posted by @tinabot on

Next up, giant robots with Gundam at Odaiba’s Diver City.


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