Freitag, 12. Dezember 2014

[Oh! Japan] Things I miss about Japan Pt. 2 Konbinis

Hello lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well. I'm currently still dealing with a lot of stuff hence the lack of updates. Hopefully that will change soon.

Now on to part 2 of my series about things I miss about Japan: Konbini


 Another one of my life-savers during my stay in Japan: Konbinis. Konbini is short for "convinience store" (Japanese and their love for shortening words XD). While there are no convinience stores at all in Germany, I know that there are such stores in countries like Canada or America. I cannot say much about those stores since I've never been to one but I can say a few things about konbinis in Japan. The first, and probably most important thing: they are convinient. Kinda obvious you may think but I never thought about a store being "convinient" before going to Japan.

There are a lot of chains including Family Mart, Lawson, 7 Eleven, Sunkus & many more. They are open 24/7/356. Yes, you heard right. They are open no matter which day or time you go there. Talk about convinient. You may think that no one need stores being opened all the time. I thought that, too. Surprisingly I found myself going to those stores at the strangest hours and it was kind of reassuring that no matter what day I could just walk right around the corner if I missed something important at home. No more hectic bulk shopping before sundays or holiday. You can literally find them at almost every corner, we even had one on the campus of our (very small) university.

As for the things you can buy there: almost everything. At least it seemed to me like that. Two of the things I bought there most of the time were food and drinks. Especially onigiri and bottled green tea were often my companions on a late morning with no time to make breakfast at home, a sight-seeing trip, on the way to Tokyo or after shopping.

I already knew Onigiri from Germany but they are quite expensive here (being an "exotic" Japanese food and all) and in Japan they are probably one of the most inexpensive on-the-go food you can find. My personal favourites were Tuna-Mayo, Shrimp-Mayo & Wakame-rice. You probably shouldn't live on Onigiri for the rest of your life but I really liked them when I was on the go and had no time for a proper meal. They always left me satisfied but not feeling greasy or stuffed in a bad way.
The cold bottled green tea felt like a gift sent from heaven during the crazy hot summer days. Most Konbinis offer a great variety of teas and other drinks, you could probably spent a month or two trying every flavor they have. During winter you can also find a lot of hot drinks which is very nice as a warm-up on the go. They also have seasoned food like Oden in Winter.

Another great tip during summer: go to the Konbini and try one of their many flavours of ice cream. My suggestion is the mochi ice cream, this stuff is soooo yummy (Some might know scenes like this from's not fiction, you will see a lot of people doing it in summer).
Konbinis also offer some pre-made meals which I stayed away from because I like cooking and I'm not a big fan of pre-made products. I like to know what's in my food (Onigiri are an exception because I love them "^^).

You can also find products outside of the food & drink category in Konbinis: a small selection of stationary and beauty products, umbrellas, Manga & magazines. I rarely bought those products but especially the stationary and beauty products can come in handy when you're traveling in Japan and you forgot to bring something. Just hop around the corner to a Konbini and problem solved. The prices may be a bit higher than in a drug store or supermarket though.

There are also some things you can do at a Konbini that you might not expect. You can withdraw money, load money on your prepaid phone card and pay for concert tickets. (I had a very funny story with concert tickets and me confusing all the stuff members of a Family Mart "^^).
One thing I didn't like about Konbinis: they will give you a plastic bag without asking. Coming from environmental concious Germany and getting eco-friendly behaviour hammered in my head since childhood days I didn't like that. Of course you can tell them that you don't need a plastic bag. But be warned you will confuse the poor staff member and he will probably forever be scared of you XD

All in all I think that konbinis are really great and they made my stay in Japan much more pleasant. I realized how much I got used to them the first few weeks back in Germany. I often found myself thinking "I'll just hop to the konbini now to get xy" before realizing that there are no konbinis here.
One downside is probably that being opened all the time means you need staff all the time and the working conditions for them are not the best, I could imagine.

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