Thank goodness for neighborhood convenience stores. At home in Toronto, corner stores like Mac’s Milk & 7Eleven are few and sparse. In the olden days (before my car, mortgage and super sized refridgerators) I used to make regular runs to Mac’s for milk and midnight snacks. Milk, snacks and lottery tickets seemed to have been their main purvey. However, with the advent of 24 hour mega drug stores selling groceries, pharmaceuticals and stamps and gas stations providing petrol, coffee and doughnuts, it’s no wonder that these convenience stores are slowly disappearing.
Not so in Asia.
In Singapore, Cheers and 7Elevens are found in every train station. They sell everything from sandwiches, mobile cards and parking coupons. In the rainy season Cheers is my main supplier of umbrellas.
In Tokyo they take it up a notch by selling railway tickets, bento boxes and emergency supplies of chapstick, socks and neck ties. Yup. Neck ties. I guess it’s a common enough occurrence for Japanese salarymen to need replacement neck ties. Maybe after an all-night bender at the local izakayas or all-you-can-drink nomihodais.
Personally, I relied on Tokyo’s FamilyMart for my daily lunch selection.
My favorite was freshly fried chicken for the nifty price of 180 Yen ($1.80 USD) a piece. Aside from being cheap and tasty, it came with typical Japanese style packaging.