Sakhalin

Something Smells Funny about this 7-Eleven

With over 40,000 stores around the world, everyone should be familiar with the 7-eleven chain of convenience stores. Part of the fun of travelling is seeing how these mega-chains adjust their wares to suit the tastes of the local culture be it the Big Gulps in America, the various onigiri in Japan, or melt-proof ice pops of China.

Take this 7-Eleven found on the Russian controlled island of Sakhalin. The orange green and red markings are instantly recognizable despite the foreign language. So what goods are Russians running out for at 2:00 am in their pajamas?

The answer may shock you.

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Obama Family Matryoshka Dolls Found in Sakhalin, But Something’s Wrong With Bo…

Nothing says traditional Russian fold crafts like Matryoshka dolls. Go to any gift shop in Russia and you’re sure to find a set of the little wooden figures on sale.

Sometimes you can even find dolls painted with a quirky theme, such as famous musical acts or soviet leaders. One of our reporters came across a set of President Obama & family Matryoshka dolls on sale for about US $30 at a souvenir shop in Sakhalin.

Needless to say, he bought it on the spot.

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Sakhalin as Seen From a Japanese Tourist in 42 Points

Sakhalin is a large and sparsely populated island in the North Pacific, lying directly North of Japan and East of Russia. While it currently belongs to the latter, the island was the source of a bitter territorial dispute between the two countries throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Getting into Sakhalin as a tourist can be rather difficult due to the restrictions set by the Russian government, which is why, despite the island’s proximity to Japan, Japanese and other foreign tourists are few and far between. While you can find tours of historical remains from Japanese occupation and landmarks visited by famous Japanese author Kenji Miyazawa, you’ll need quite a bit of cash and patience to get there in the first place.

One of our Japanese correspondents recently returned from a trip to Sakhalin and shares with us his rather random thoughts on the Russian island in convenient numbered list form.

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Kit Kat Ice Cream Cone is Seriously Just a Kit Kat in an Ice Cream Cone

You’d think that when someone at Nestle proposed making a Kit Kat ice cream cone, they would have taken the conventional route and used ice cream with crushed up bits of Kit Kat in it.

But that was not the case with the frozen treat we came across at a supermarket during a recent trip to Sakhalin. Instead, this “Kit Kat Cone” was nothing more than a regular store-bought ice cream cone with a single Kit Kat wedged in the top.

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