Does that beautiful breakfast look like it came from the kitchen of a high-class ryokan inn or loving Japanese family? Guess again – it’s all from 7-Eleven!
Convenience stores around the world are known for stocking everyday items like toiletries, magazines, snacks and soft drinks.
But in Japan, the konbini is also a place to send and receive deliveries, buy movie and theatre tickets, and pick up a life-sized Eva doll and Evangelion SIM-free smartphone.
Zeitaku is one of those lovely Japanese words that sounds as elegant as its meaning. As the word for luxury, it conjures up images of high-class ryokan accommodations with private outdoor rotenburo baths, multi-course kaiseki meals served by elegant ladies dressed in kimonos and extravagant purchases at department stores on the Ginza shopping strip.
While most of those luxuries are, sadly, out of reach for many of us, there’s one affordable item that comes to mind when Japanese people are looking for a bit of zeitaku when a friend decides to visit or as a treat after a long day. That small symbol of luxury is the rich, creamy ice cream of Häagen-Dazs, and now they’re releasing an amazing new chestnut and azuki red bean Japonais flavour to add a bit of class to the upcoming fall season.
Back where I come from, it wasn’t uncommon to pick a grape off its stem and pop it right into your mouth without a second’s thought. The very idea of peeling a grape was something along the lines of a diva demanding a bottled-milk bath while dining on a bowl of only red-colored Skittles.
However, in Japan, where many varieties of grape have thick or rubbery skins, peeling them is pretty much standard. In fact, whenever I eat a grape with its skin intact, I’m stared at as if I had just plucked a live spider off the wall and ate it.
That’s probably why 7-Eleven can get away with marketing their frozen bags of grapes as having “edible skins” here.
With the Tokyo Olympic Committee (TOC) officially cutting ties with Kenjiro Sano’s much maligned emblem, one obvious question is on everyone’s lips: What does this mean for that oden poster made by the 7-Eleven in Musashikoganei, Tokyo?
Some of you may recall that this particular franchise had made a poster promoting their oden sale which bore a striking resemblance to the former Olympic emblem. After a request was made to the TOC, they had denied the poster’s commercial use and likeness to their intellectual property. However, now that the emblem will no longer be used, is the poster back in play?
The dispute over the emblem for the 2020 Olympic games and its alleged plagiarism continues to simmer in Japan people are still suggesting alternatives to what are currently the most beleaguered geometric shapes in the world.
And then there are those who are embracing the still official emblem for what it is. Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is one such proponent. One franchise in Musashikoganei created a homage out of the delicious Japanese stewed food known as oden for a promotional posted to be hung in their store.
However, the Tokyo Olympic Committee politely refused use of the poster saying that the placement of foodstuffs infringed on the likeness of their emblem which is currently being accused of infringing on another logo.
As we’ve mentioned before, Japanese convenience stores are pretty awesome. Since so many people do their shopping on foot in urban and suburban Japan, convenience stores often function like small grocery stores for the immediately surrounding neighborhood, not just a place to buy junk food, beer, and dirty magazines (although they stock all three of those in abundance, too).
Because of this, Japanese convenience stores sell a lot of stuff that you might not expect, like a fairly extensive array of low-calorie dining options, or, as 7-Eleven is now offering, a life-size replica of hit anime Attack on Titan’s 3-D maneuver gear.
Up until fairly recently, convenience stores may have not been your first thought when it came to procuring a cup of hot coffee. But in the past year or so in Japan, the likes of 7-Eleven and Lawson have begun offering some really great tasting and affordable fresh coffee options with the help of nifty self-service machines positioned near the register. Sure, there are plenty of bottled and canned coffee options in the back, but there’s something about holding a steaming cup of joe in your hands and being able to smell that coffee aroma that makes it hard to resist.
Now, a mysterious new black cup has made an appearance alongside the regular clear iced coffee cups sold in 7-Eleven stores. Get ready for a classic coffee flavor with 7-Eleven’s new iced cafe latte.
If you are unemployed and living in Japan, we may have found a perfect job for you. No experience is necessary, it’s a pretty safe gig and you won’t have to do anything too difficult. You will, however, be a savior, a hero, and a knight in shining armor for one overworked, stressed-out, and understaffed, 7-Eleven store manager in Tokyo.
Beginning on Friday, May 22, 7-Eleven stores across Japan will finally team up with the wildly popular Attack on Titan franchise to bring you a special lottery with all sorts of winnable prizes! Be sure to check out the details as well as an amusing new promotional video after the jump.
For many of us, Mother’s Day is just around the corner. We’re sure you’ve already got a present picked out, but just in case you forgot, here’s a friendly reminder: Get your mother something nice to say thank you for wiping your butt when you were a baby!
Of course, we’re not the only ones getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day. 7-Eleven Japan is also making the most of the holiday with their annual Mother’s Day art exhibitions. While most of the drawings are done by young children, some of them are impressive illustrations by much older artists…and others are just down-right hilarious!
The frozen food section at the local convenience store may not hold any lofty culinary treasures, but it does hold the key to saving time and energy after a long day. All around the world, people value frozen foods for their convenience and, sometimes, their deliciousness.
But can you really trust the picture on the front of the package to be what comes out of the microwave? One Thai netizen went on a quest to demystify the frozen food section of Thailand’s 7-Elevens and posted photos of 24 heated up meals to see how they compared to people’s expectations.
Convenience stores are easily a part of everyone’s daily lives in Japan. So long as you’re in an urban area, you’re probably never more than a five-minute walk away from one. More commonly known as “conbini” in Japanese, they really are just as handy as their name suggests. Need to pay a bill or for an online purchase? Do it at the conbini. Want to print some photos or scan something? Get it done at the conbini. Late-night alcohol- or munchies-run? TO THE CONBINI!
While some convenience store chains can only be found in certain regions, others can be found nationwide. After opening its first stores on Friday, March 6 in Kouchi Prefecture, 7-Eleven only has three more prefectures to go until they’ve got the entire country covered.
Fans of the popular anime franchise Evangelion would probably get a pleasant surprise if they walked into this particular convenience store in Japan. Instead of putting up pictures of the actual products to advertise their new line of donuts, the creative store employees of this branch decided to take a cue from the popular anime and dress their window a little differently.
Take a quick look at the picture above. Notice anything strange? Perceptive readers may have spotted something out-of-place right away. If you didn’t, well, no worries, but you’ll probably want to facepalm yourself when you take a second look.
Like this Chinese “7-Twelve,” there are a number of fake, localized versions of popular convenience store 7-Eleven scattered throughout the Asian continent. They may think they can slip through the cracks, but perhaps it’s only a matter of time before a lawyer comes knocking at their doors. We have to hand it to them, though–they score high on creativity for coming up with some amusing names.
Walk into any Japanese convenience store during the colder part of the year, and along with such welcome refreshments as heated cans of coffee and bottles of tea you’ll find a case of steamed buns. The orthodox version is stuffed with minced pork and vegetables, but curry and pizza sauce steamed buns are pretty easy to find, too.
Some convenience stores even offer sweet varieties, like 7-Eleven is doing now with its chocolate cream steamed buns. Since they’ve been released just in time for Valentine ’s Day, they’re even shaped like little pink hearts. Or, that was the plan at least, but to some people, they look more like little pink butts.
How complicated can a cup of self-serve coffee be? Well, it depends who’s making it. Sometimes little kids and tech-phobic older folks might benefit from a little extra guidance, but your average coffee drinker isn’t too likely to get themselves into too much trouble when using a conbini coffee machine.
So it’s understandable that some people were, quite frankly, shocked and insulted by the plethora of “helpful” stickers plastered all over this 7-Eleven coffee machine. Who knew brewing a cup of machine-made joe required so many complicated steps?
There are many “symbols of Japan”–from Mt. Fuji to Akihabara, the country has numerous faces to the outside world. But regardless of what comes to mind when you think of the country, there’s a good chance that you’ll stop by one of its many convenience stores on the way to your destination. In many ways, the army of small shops that squat on half the corners from Hokkaido to Okinawa are the perfect symbol of the country. But it looks like the convenience stores of Japan are now facing a serious problem: They can’t find enough employees!
For a Westerner in Japan, breakfast is just incorrect. If North Americans living in Japan had to pick the one thing they miss most about home, a lot of them would probably scream, “Breakfast food!” Traditional Japanese breakfast is completely different and usually consists of rice, fish and miso soup. It’s boring, lacking in any real taste and basically good for you, unlike our favorite breakfast dishes. Of course, some places serve a “Western-style” breakfast, but that usually includes ham that they call “bacon”, in other words, facon! Get outta here you fake bacon!
So when 7-Eleven dropped this “Eggs Benedict Sandwich” onto its shelves, we figured it couldn’t possibly be worse than any other breakfast food out there, or could it? Better prepare yourself Eggs Benny, we won’t play nice. Get ready for the toughest food review yet!
Last summer, we thought the heat might have been getting to the executives at 7-Eleven. Sure, offering two-meter (six-foot, seven-inch) tall Evangelion statues as special promotional prizes was a cool idea and all, but did they really expect anyone to pony up the 1,836,000 yen (US$16,000) they were asking for the 25 more giant figures they was selling outright?
Well, not only did all 25 of those Eva statues find homes, they sold out in just two minutes. Emboldened by that success, 7-Eleven has teamed up once again with the hit anime franchise to release the most expensive item the convenience store has ever sold: the Evangelion car.