Monday, January 18, 2010

Convenience Stores Are Awesome...in Japan.

When was the last time you went to 7-ELEVEN besides to fill up your tank? In America, 7-ELEVEN is only good for one thing: Slurpees. In Japan, however, 7-ELEVEN is the mecca of delicious snack foods. And, they're literally everywhere. According to wikipedia, of the 34,200 7-ELEVEN stores around the globe, 12,349 of them are in Japan with 1,577 in Tokyo alone.

Sounds like a lot, right? That's just the 7-ELEVENs! In Japan there are other convenience stores that borrow the 7-ELEVEN business plan and they're as ubiquitous. They bring the tally to 42,345 total convenience stores in Japan, a country the size of Montana.

There's Lawson!
Family Mart!

Sunkus...really.
or even ampm...
But the shear quantity of stores doesn't make them good, no. That's left to the convenience and the selection of delectables.

Here, for instance, you see an amazing assortment of beverages.
A good chunk of them are coffees and teas, but there are still many fruity drinks, drinkable yogurts, and assorted sodas.
Here are some vintage Japanese sodas (Cheerio and Ramune--it tastes like Smarties, in a good way! and you have to open it by popping a marble through the neck. Fun!)


It tastes like the sweat of a mild, gatorade-laden grapefruit...quite refreshing actually.
Calpis water is great too, despite the name.
Here's a shot of a great variety of tasty pastry-type breads. I don't know why, but bread in Japan is so soft and fluffy. It blows my mind! They borrowed the word from the Portuguese I think ("pan")
Breads like this MelonPan
Karepan (curry-filled)

And Dorayaki (technically it's a pancake)

Instead of nasty hotdogs, we get fantastic box lunches and yummy onigiri (rice balls).
Even hot snacks...like nikuman (steamed meat buns?) Good for warming up your hands on a cold winter's day.
and Oden (floating fishcakes and what-not)
This is the closest thing approaching the nastiness of a rotating American 7-11 hotdog.

How about some candy?

Chewy and delicious, hence the name: Hi-Chew.
Or maybe some gum?

This "Sweetie" gum also tastes like a mild grapefruit-- a popular Japanese flavor.
Here's some pudding, "purin." It's kinda like flan with a caramel sauce on top. Some gaijin (foreigners) hate the stuff, but I'm rather partial to it.

And if a convenience store isn't convenient enough for you, there's always a vending machine.
("Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita, with about one machine for every twenty-three people. [8] ")


Banana Chocolate Bit Waffled Ice Cream

So convenient. So delicious. I guess when America is as tightly populated as Japan, we can look forward to closer waystations of deliciousness. Until then...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Not Too Encouraging...

Could you pass a driving test?

Created by Auto Insurance

Well, at least I can spell...

The Twitter Spelling Test

Created by Oatmeal

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Foods I Love: Japan Edition

Not that you really care but here are some delicious Japanese foods that I love...very much. (Incidentally, yes, I am hungry.)
Gyoza (pork potstickers)
Miso Soup
Soumen (chilled; a summertime food)
Raamen (this is how it's done!)
Shabu Shabu (see Ghengis Khan (sp))
Soba (buckwheat noodles)
Takoyaki (octopus filled doughballs)
Tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet)
Udon
Yakiniku
Yakisoba

This list is by no means all inclusive (Sushi could take up its own blog post). Next time though, we may look at the Japanese convenience store delicacies. Until then...

Addendum...
As per Cameron's Request

Japanese Curry
Sukiyaki!
Ofukuronoaji---
Nikujaga (meat and potatoes! and carrots...)