Japanese convenience stores are completely different from the ones in North America. They are larger, cleaner, and have an amazing variety of food items. The prices are affordable and most of them are open 24 hours. I heard some even have restrooms.
I went to convenience stores multiple times during my trip when I didn’t feel like going to restaurants. I’ll review some of the food items I tried because the only non-food item I bought was an iPhone charging cable because mine broke.
Karaage – Fried Chicken, JPY 216 (~ USD 2)
It was kept hot, and it was really good, especially for the price. I liked it a lot better than McDonald’s chicken nuggets. It was a little soggy, but tasted very umami and a little salty.
Mochi Roll – Roll Cake, JPY 295 (~ USD 3)
Pretty popular item among Korean travellers. It was pretty good. The cake part was dense, so the texture did feel similar to mochi (rice cake). The cream was light and not too sweet It wasn’t mind-blowing, but slightly addictive.
The one I went to in Nara also sold local sweets.
Ilohas Momo – Peach-favoured water, JPY 130 (~ USD 1)
Also popular among Korean travelers, but for some reason I somehow could never find this whenever I tried in other convenience stores or vending machines. It tasted really good, like fresh peach, so much better than Hint water. I absolutely loved it. I could tell why people would go crazy for it. It did have sugar, sadly.
Egg Salad Sandwich – JPY 198 (~ USD 2)
I loved it. I could really taste the yolk and it was slightly sweet. I think it was mostly egg and mayo. It was really cheap for the quality. I think I’ll try to look up recipes.
Tonkatsu Sandwich – JPY 430 (~ USD 4)
Tonkatsu sandwich appeared quite popular as I saw them in various convenience stores and train station bento stores. They were very interesting and I really liked them. There was mustard sauce inside which really added to the overall flavour. I would love to have another.
My favourite flavour for Häagen-Dazs! It tasted amazing. It had a thin layer of mochi on top of ice cream which added a very interesting texture. The flavour of the ice cream itself was a little difficult to tell, and it tasted a bit like soybean, red bean, and even coffee. I was a little drunk when I had this though.
Japanese convenience stores had a lot of great quality food, especially compared to the ones in North America. I think it would have been even more tempting if I was staying in hotels instead of hostels. To be able to just grab something at the end of the day, come back to my room, shower, then eat a delicious food that I don’t have to prepare! I’m sure I’ll eat from convenience stores again if I visit Japan again.