When you’re traveling on a budget, one of the biggest issues is finding affordable food. That’s why Japan has the perfect answer to this problem: well-stocked convenience stores where buying a sandwich for dinner doesn’t feel like a cop-out. In line with the Japanese obsession for quality, chains such as 7-Eleven and Family Mart literally compete to sell the best meals each year.
In their narrow aisles, you can find maki rolls, salads, noodle dishes, rice balls and sandwiches (the lettuce in the sandwiches is still crunchy!). Family Mart even has its own daikon farm, and during harvest season the vegetables are distributed within 24 hours of being picked. You can also find hot products such as buns and croquettes—a refreshing sight for those of us who are used to seeing wilted hot dogs at the 7 Eleven counter back home. The employees will always offer to microwave your cup-a-noodles or stir fry over rice.
One of the best parts of being abroad is exploring stores and trying all the local snacks. That’s why the ubiquitous little marts are an obligatory visit if you want to see Japanese culture up close. Plus, you might even find today’s lunch after you’re done perusing the chips and gummies!