Oh Thank Heaven!
While other bloggers are taking perfect photos of “instagrammable” meals and desserts…I took time out of my life to share with you about the joy that is 7-11. Yes, the convenience store that we all know. But many of you probably don’t know that Japan’s striped minimarts are on their owwwnnn level. With nearly 18,000 locations across the country, Japan is home to the majority of the franchise locations. And if you’ve ever been to or lived in Hawaii, I’d say especially Oahu, you know that the Sev’s there are nicer than the ones on the mainland. Most likely for the Japanese tourists that come and are used to that level of mini mart :) Fun fact: Hawaii is the #1 Honeymoon spot for Japanese newlyweds. Awwwwwwww <3
In addition to recapping some of the food and snacks we liked, I wanted to write this post that gave a few little helpful tips to anyone that may be traveling to Japan for the first time.
In Japan, you do not eat food on the go. You don’t drink your coffee, snacks, meals while mobile. You either eat them right where you purchased them, transport them home, or eat them at acceptable designated spots. At first I thought this was going to be inconvenient but it really wasn’t and I think if America did this we might be better off in a lot of ways. Japan just does a lot of things better.
A lot of 7-11 locations have these little dining areas where you can sit and eat what you just bought. There are microwaves, free wi-fi, some even have karaoke machines so you can bust out some songs with your friends haha.
Other people just eat literally right outside the store or off the side near the entrance. I liked not feeling like I was rushing and took a nice little break. There really aren’t public places to sit, and we probably looked scroungey sitting on the curb like this. But Japanese people are always on the move. They truly don’t really rest. Some of the hardest working people, some even literally working themselves to death.
Many ATMs in Japan are only compatible with Japanese bank cards so anytime we needed to withdraw cash (which was quite often; Japan operates on cash) we would use a 7-11 ATM.
Almost all locations had a bathroom and an insanely clean bathroom at that. Even convenience store public bathrooms had Toto komodes or bidets and were so nice. Unlike America, everyone will let you use their bathroom :)
You can do things at 7-11’s that have nothing to do with food or snacks. Many had extremely nice corporate office level printing stations where you could print, scan, copy, fax stuff! You can pay bills at 7-11, and purchase event or sporting game tickets.
Now let’s get in to some food.
If you’ve spent anytime in Asia or any part of the world outside the states, you’d find that most countries eat more than just sweet sugary things for breakfast. Especially Japan. Ramen, katsu and even sushi can be eaten in the morning! The triangle shaped little sushi handrolls are Onigiri and come with all sorts of different fillings within the rice. Most of them are fish, duh.
You can buy bento boxes or even make your own up front by the register for pretty cheap. $4.
The bread section is where its at. A coworker raved about these little pancakes. Kawaiiiiiiii.
This was my first of the trip. So soft and spongy. It’s hard to describe the flavor but it was so good.
Tiny little Halloween candy section! Japan LOVES Halloween. I guess they only started really getting into it a few years ago but they are FOR SURE into it now. Halloween decorations were everywhere.
There are hot food items upfront. I snagged a pork bun and Jill loved their mini corn dogs haha. If you are familiar with the chef Dave Chang of Momofuku and his episode with Bourdain where he took him to Lawson’s (a Japanese convenience store chain very similar to 7-11) you’ll remember them eating what he claims as the best egg salad sandwich in the world. As well as fried chicken skewers and other budget friendly but tasty items he ate while apprenticing in Tokyo.
Our very first haul. My favorite peach ice tea in the whole world. My spongy bread/cake thing and a fried rice ball!
Mid-day snacks. The quality of the photos are gonna go back down to iphone from this point haha.
This is melon bread. You need to try it at some point in your life. It is AMAZING.
Thought that thing on the right would taste like spam musubi. It did not. The coffee was hot. Ya you’ll be surprised at how right next to the refrigerated shelves will be shelves that actually hold hot drinks. The coffee was not good. Really though, those were the only strike outs I think on the whole trip. Everything else we tried was legit.
The ice cream game is SOLID.
As well as the dango! If you wondered what the emoji was that looks EXACTLY like this ^ it’s because emojis are Japanese and Japan loves mochi! Sweetened sticky rice balls on a stick. Hell to the yeah.
Even when we did our fancy kimono shoot, our photographer wanted to get some photos of us outside a 7-11. Haha. Well, I think that is probably all I can say about this convenience store. If you go to Japan and you go there let me know what you got ;) Thanks for reading!