Convenience stores, or kombini, are the epitomy of Japanese, errr…convenience. There are a few major ones: 7-Eleven, Lawsons, Circle K, am/pm, Family Mart and ….umm…that one that only seems to have heart and star symbols as a shop name. I’m sure it has a real name. Comment if you know!
There was recently a survey which said 24-hour kombini are actual a vital part of many people’s lifestyles. I tend to agree. The local grocery had real meat and vegetables and was open until midnight. But my 7-Eleven was there 24 hours a day if I needed water, or a cheese fix, or if I suddenly remembered at 2am that I hadn’t paid my internet bill.
Or, even, if I was bored and wanted to browse through the magazines.
The food is relatively healthy but you can easily find hot and greasy junk to satisy your cravings too. In winter, you can buy oden, which is basically assorted foods that have been wallowing in some sort of soup broth in the open til it’s at the point of disintegration. Many Japanese and gaijin swear by it as a warm pick-you-up, but personally I’ve been too terrified to eat it. Honestly! They’ve been sitting there for days!
Two good blogs to read up on strange kombini food are yongfook.com, which in the past had food reviews, and Konbini Life, which is a moblog dedicated to reviewing the strange foods found in a konbini. Or kombini. Or combini. Or conbini…whatever!