While visiting Tokyo be sure to make a visit to the amazingly well-stocked convenience stores. If I am out and about in the city I am sure to stop by a convenience store at least one, if not several times during the day. Usually for something to drink. The selection can be dizzying; coffee and tea – both hot and cold, fruit juices, pre-mixed cocktails, beer, and one cup saké just to name a few.
Needing a small snack between meals? Onigiri (rice balls) stuffed with a variety of fillings like uméboshi (pickled apricots), nattō (fermented soybeans), or “sea chicken” (canned tuna with mayonnaise). There is an impressive selection of fresh vegetable salads – great to keep in mind as many travelers seem to be craving vegetables while in Japan.
One thing worth making a special trip to the convenience store for is for the Haagen-Dazs mini cups. The flavors change throughout the year, so from time to time I like to see what’s in season. Currently select from rare cheesecake, melty caramel, strawberry marscapone, rum raisin, and pumpkin – Japanese kabocha pumpkin with a caramel sauce.
Don’t dig in right away. Let it melt just a little bit for the best flavor and texture of the ice cream, as shown on this commercial.
You can thank me later.
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Hear hear! When our party of 10 arrived in Kyoto at 11pm, the convenience store was our sole dinner option. The rice balls were a godsend – everyone liked them, from the 7-year-old to the 72-year-old. And I’ve lost count of how many times I’d snuck in since, for delicious, slightly sweetened plain yoghurt, crunchy snacks and well-priced coffee (both hot and cold!).
Yes! convenience stores have something for everyone – including hot and cold coffee!