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Japanese Conbini

Can I just talk for a moment about how awesome convenience stores are in Japan? They are everywhere. Everywhere.

First, the food. You can get ¬†dozens of different boxed lunches at the Japanese “conbini”. There are hot lunches, cold lunches, ingredients for going home and making your own lunch, a frozen food section, a pastry section, and a small “fast food” sort of section up by the registers.

The hot and ready food at the registers usually consists of some form of fried potato, fried chicken, chicken on a stick, spring rolls, and varied steamed buns. Depending on what store you go to, the selection varies, but generally the quality is about on parr with some fast food places. At least here in the city nothing looks questionable or in danger of health code violations like back in the states.

As if there wasn’t enough reason to go there just from that, it usually doubles as basically a small, well-maintained dollar store. You can usually find everything from pencils and notebooks to work shirts and socks in case of emergency. There’s also a large magazine section and sometimes a manga shelf.

Maybe my favorite part of the Japanese convenience stores, though, is that you can purchase tickets for concerts/theme parks/whatever AND you can pay your bills there! I go by all the time to pay my internet bill. I can also buy things online, take a special code to the store, and pay for my purchases.

Because, you know, who wants to bother with Paypal these days?

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