conbini

We discover Lawson convenience store lookalike hidden away in Nara Prefecture – Fauxson?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a suspiciously familiar looking purveyor of snacks.

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12 totally addictive and appetizing convenience store sweets

All you have to do is head down the street to get these delectable treats!

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Japanese noodle lovers go crazy for tank-shaped pork ramen served up at … a convenience store!

There’s so much to love about this surprising ramen dish.

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Cute black cat waiting at register in Japanese convenience store makes us wonder where Kiki is

The unaccompanied kitten is winning hearts for looking just like Jiji, the cat from Kiki’s Delivery Service, out on a magical errand.

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Creamy and naughty: It’s Haagen-Dazs Japan’s New York Cheesecake Rum Raisin ice cream!

For some raisin, we’re feeling hungry all of a sudden…

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We taste-tested 10 convenience store roll cakes for Roll Cake Day!

June 6 was Roll Cake Day in Japan, and while we’ve never needed an excuse to stuff ourselves full of cake, we took full advantage of the occasion anyway by sampling TEN convenience store roll cakes!

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We try a dish from Japan’s Michelin-starred ramen restaurant…at the convenience store!

Convenience stores in Japan really do have everything, including a meal from the world’s only Michelin-starred ramen restaurant.

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Convenience store clerk hospitalized by customer dissatisfied with “smile-less” service

When you work in a customer-facing role, you can expect to deal with some difficult people from time to time. Being hospitalized by one of them, however, should never be a concern…

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Five things you’d never expect to buy at a convenience store, but are actually really popular

Convenience stories in Asia are known all over the world for actually living up to their name. Whether you need an emergency swimsuit, want to grab pretty much any drink ever made, or just have a hankering for some Evangelion donuts, a nearby conbini will suit your needs.

But sometimes there are items available in conbini that don’t seem to make any sense… and yet people still buy them. Japanese netizens shared their most confusing yet surprisingly useful convenience store finds online, and we have them here for you. Would you ever admit to buying some of these?

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Our English writer rates 15 teas from Japanese conbini, is fully hydrated for the rest of summer

Walk in to any Japanese convenience store, and you’re bound to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices at your fingertips. Even taking a stroll through the drink aisle will leave you open-mouthed as you stare at the myriad interesting flavors and varieties to be tried.

Of course there’s green tea, barley tea, roasted tea and more, but how do Japan’s black and flavoured teas measure up? We decided we needed an expert’s opinion, so we turned to one of our English writers for help. With a sampling of 15 different teas, we put our parched taste-tester to work.

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Ministop and Koikeya bring six new eats to a conbini near you, but can you handle the heat?

The Japanese are known for not being able to handle spicy food. While it is true that traditional Japanese cuisine tends to have rather mild flavors and limit the use of spices, and there are still many who don’t have the tongue to tough out a bit of heat, times are a-changin’. Now, many Japanese people are more than happy to sit down to a hot plate of Indian curry, a fiery bowl of Korean tteokbokki, or enjoy a kick from a spicy snack like Karamucho (カラムーチョ).

These popular hot chili-flavored chips have been around for years, but they’re now being revamped into six new, unique meal items, from bento to fiery chicken, to be sold at the Ministop convenience store chain throughout Japan. So fire up your taste buds, foodies, and come take a look at the hot, new lineup!

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7-Eleven store manager writes the most sincere, desperate job ad we’ve ever seen

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.

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“Sandwich rice ball”? We give convenience store chain’s new concoction a taste

Rice balls, called onigiri or omusubi in Japanese, are a quintessential staple of Japanese lunches for people of any age. Convenience store shelves are always stocked full of many different varieties, and there are even specialty shops that sell nothing but rice balls for take-away. They can be as simple as rice flavored lightly with salt, but are more commonly found with some sort of filling like konbu (kelp with a salty-sweet soy sauce flavoring) or salmon, and wrapped with a sheet of nori seaweed.

Convenience store chain FamilyMart recently released what they call a “sando omusubi“, or a sandwich rice ball, though it doesn’t quite seem to make it to the rice-ball level…

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7-Eleven Japan opens first stores in Kouchi Prefecture, nationwide domination almost complete

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.

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7-Eleven’s self-serve coffee machine seriously insults customers’ intelligence

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?

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Nonsensical conbini crime: Incapable clerk vs. drunk guy’s money

When you get change after paying for something in cash, do you ever actually count it to make sure you received the right amount? I sure don’t. Maybe I’m just too used to Japan, where the person working the register will count out each bill and the coins in front of you before handing the change over. It’s just a simple measure taken to double-check that the person at the register isn’t short-changing the customer.

Thorough as it may be, it’s not a flawless method, leaving room for human error, like not being able to tell the difference between a 1,000 yen bill and 10,000 yen bill. But really, who would make that mistake?

Apparently a teenager working the register at a convenience store in Nara recently managed to make that very mistake, but instead of short-changing the customer, he ended up giving 46,000 yen (US$390) in change for a 13,000 yen (US$110) purchase. Fishy! Oh and then, the customer got arrested. Fishier!

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Japanese netizens show love for “English Toast” which is neither English nor Toast

With such a wide range of delicious and delectable (and, erm, shall we say unusualsnack foods available in Japan,  it’s a little hard to understand when people get whipped up into a frenzy over plainer options, such as toast and bread crusts fried with sugar. Now, twitter users in Japan are getting their tastebuds in a twist over the confusingly-named “English Toast”, a sweet snacklet that first became popular in Aomori prefecture and has now expanded into a whole range of conbini sandwiches. But what on earth is it?

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In the mood for a little meat? We try “manga meat” chicken from Family Mart!【Taste Test】

One of the manga/anime items that has long caught the fancy of the Japanese public is, interestingly, a kind of meat that has come to be known as “manga meat” (manga niku), or sometimes also as “primeval meat” (genshi niku). From the mammoth meat that appeared in the 1970’s anime First Human Giatrus (yes, the story was set in the stone age and it was supposed to be actual mammoth meat!) to meats appearing in more recent anime such as Dragon Ball and One Piece,  the image of the manga niku has captivated us, making us fantasize about taking a chewy bite of the fictional fare.

Well, Japanese convenience chain Mini Stop is currently offering a product that to a certain degree lets you fulfill that fantasy. It’s the Hammer Chicken Primeval-style Meat with Bone  (Hone-tsuki Genshi Niku fu Hammer Chicken) which went on sale just this week, and as you might expect, we hurried over to a Mini Stop to get a taste.

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【TBT】It’s the little things: One more reason why we love Japan

After a long week at the office, our Japanese writer Yoshio was in dire need of a pick-me-up. After stretching and clicking his back, he stood up at his desk, tucked his wallet into his back pocket and announced in unusually glum tones that he was popping out to the convenience store to grab a few things.

A few minutes later, Yoshio walked back into office and placed his little white plastic bag down on his desk with a tired sigh. But then he stopped. Looking down at his purchases inside the bag, he suddenly began beaming with a level of happiness that we hadn’t seen in quite some time.

“Oo! Sugoi!” (“Oh! That’s awesome!”) he softly exclaimed.

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Here are the limited edition Frozen foods you can buy in Japan

Japan has officially caught Frozen fever and you’d be hard pressed to go on any Japanese forum without seeing at least one strange, crazy, or completely cool post about the movie. It seems Japanese manufacturers have caught on and a storm of Frozen foods in limited edition packages have been produced in celebration of the July 16 release of Anna and the Snow Queen, the title given to Disney’s chilly hit animated feature in Japan. Let’s take a look at just a few!

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