Saturday, April 6, 2013

Japan: Survive Mealtimes with Affordable Convenience Store Treats!

Since our Japan trips are mostly walking trips, it was often for us to find convenience stores and vending machines all around to satisfy our slight thirsts and hunger. 

Convenience stores around Japan is led by Seven Eleven in number of outlets, followed by Lawson, Family Mart and Circle K Sunkus. If you haven't heard the news yet, Family Mart is set to open its first store here in the Philippines, tomorrow! I wonder how similar it will be to its Japanese version. The first branch is said to be opening in Glorietta, with 26 seating capacity.

Here's sharing what we found unique in Japanese convenience stores.

Common to all convenience store companies, whole areas are specially allocated for Onigiri. If you're familiar with Spam Jam's Spam Musubi, you've basically covered Onigiri's concept. It's white rice shaped in triangular or oval form, and sandwiches or is topped with various seafood, pork or squid, usually wrapped in Nori. *For quick conversion to Peso, divide indicated Yen by two.

Salmon-topped Round Onigiri

Specialty kiosks are also available around Japan that sells Onigiri exclusively. I spy a Spam Musubi look-alike!

Full meals are also readily available in convenience stores, which can be microwaved in-store for immediate consumption or take-home. Various pasta, rice meals were spotted.. even Curry Rice Meals!

Gyoza is sold for 200円 for a pack of 6.. that's just Php 100! With these options, I am ready to refute that it's "expensive" to eat around Japan. I can survive with these already.

Oh yes, those are Tonkatsu meal sets!

Cakes, cookies, doughnuts and waffles are also available to complete the meal.

Sandwiches with various fillings can easily serve as breakfast for the following day, or baon for the long days of walking tours or shopping.

We couldn't believe this as well. It's a pasta-filled sandwich!

Rows of single-serve pastry are endless.

You can even sprinkle these chocoate, caramel and garlic powder to taste.

And here's our favourite of all.. Pillow Packed Sandwiches! Within the plastic packaging, two bread pieces are sealed at all corners sandwiching various flavours that range from peanut butter, tuna, ham and cheese, chocolate, egg, cream and even a burger patty! The reason why we know of these variants is because we've tried them all. 

Of course, how can we miss the Nissin Cup Noodles lineup? Regular versions are complimented by their "light" versions on this display.

I know it seems endless, but vegetable drinks, tea and milk tea, coffee and cocoa are also available. I wonder how they make all these fit. Hot beverage sections are also available in refrigerator-looking displays as well. The variety is simply superb!

Here's me enjoying convenience store bought items for breakfast. I'll be posting about the actual stuff we tried out soon. 

Related Post: Our doughnut adventures in Japan!

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