Surviving Tokyo through Conbinis

Tina Nguyen
June 1, 2017

Conbinis, short for convenience stores, are extremely popular in Japan. There are locations everywhere you could possibly imagine, even in the suburban areas. Before coming to Japan, I never really visited the convenience stores in California unless it was to pay for gas. It couldn’t be helped though since prices of the items would sometimes be a little expensive or they are located in a not so safe area. There wasn’t anything special at the convenience stores back home either. It was just the usual snacks and drinks that people could get at the supermarket or Target.

However, the conbinis in Japan are a whole other story. It is amazing. It takes my breath away. It is just great! The food is one of the best part of it. It is super cheap! Like so cheap it can’t be real right? But, it is real! The onigiri, which are rice balls, are my favorite! It runs from 100 yen (under $1) to about 400 yen (under $4). These rice balls are so delicious and so filling! I recommend the tuna mayo! There are also set lunches that you can purchase and it comes in a wide selection of food. The taste is not that bad either!

Not only do they sell food and snacks, but also basic necessities such as school supplies, toiletries, manga (Japanese comics), magazines, and even clothes! Just in case of a bad day where you happen to spill food on yourself or have mud splattered on you, you can just drop by the conbini and buy a plain new shirt! Usually you would think it would be cheap quality because of the price, but the quality isn’t so bad! There are quite a few conbini companies but the major ones are: 7 Eleven, FamilyMart, and Lawson. These places were all relatively close to the dorm I am staying at so it was super convenient to get to.

Vending machines are also super cool in Japan! They are literally everywhere you go! It may even be at the randomest places. The cool part is that it sells all sorts of beverages to snacks to ice cream! I know right! Ice cream! Though the ice cream vending machines aren’t so common, I have only seen a few in Tokyo. There are even vending machines that are lined up next to each other in a row. Is there a need for that many in one place? I’m not sure but it is a sight to see!

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Tina Nguyen

<p>Hi everyone! I&rsquo;m Tina and I&rsquo;m from California, majoring in computer science at the University of California, Irvine. I&rsquo;ve never travelled to a different country before so I hope to see where the journey takes me and hope you guys can experience it through my writings! I love learning about new cultures, trying out new foods, and traveling. I&rsquo;m, more or less, ready to get and feel lost!</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
University of California - Irvine
Computer Science
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