If there is one thing Japanese are known for, it would be their passion to make things efficient. They would innovate to make lives easier, thus Japan is very busy, everything is fast moving and people, well… the busiest. During our stint in Tokyo, I find that people are always rushing, you can even find fast food dining right on a subway station platform for people who wanted to eat in a breeze and rush to the train thereafter.
Japanese are also known to cook good food, talk about one of the most celebrated cuisine. Thus, it would not come as a surprise if the convenience stores offer not your typical microwavables but those bentos that you order out of a Japanese restaurant in a non-Japanese country.
Since we wanted to maximise our time and since the sib is not much of a foodie as I am, we relied on fast food chains that you can so easily find in Japan, for our meals from breakfast to even our midnight snack! haha.
There are a number of stores such as Lawson, good ‘ol 7-11 and Family Mart. All of which would not fail your famished self at the middle of your sauntering.
Another thing that I so love in Japan are what I call the “vending machine fast food” joints. These are commonly found in any streets of Japan and I find that they are most people’s go to place after work or for that midday work lunch. Once you enter the place, you have to order from the vending machine. A bit of a challenge though, everything is in Japanese, so rely only on the photos that which you find delicious, lol. Some even don’t include photos so I had to do sign language to the waiters and chefs and point to the next person sitting and eating and ask what they are having. =))
While I was walking by myself in Ueno, I happened to pass by many different food shops and right in time, the famished me spotted a cozy looking food place (and being a fan of some place less crowded and quiet), I went for it.
There was also this same place at Ikebukuro which sells more of pork and it was just so succulent and tender. It is of the same food shop type and people just order using the vendo, sit down and silently and quickly finish their meal. Gosh, thinking about it now, I want to teleport to Japan and eat this right away! =))
What better thing to sip on a cold weather than a hot cup of coffee! I was amazed by those coffee that you can buy right out of the convenience store which would only cost you 200 yen or less (about 2 bucks). You can even choose what type of coffee… mocha, latte? Or even milk tea. 🙂
Reheating of food maybe something so ordinary, but I was fascinated by the guide that they place on the food boxes, the number is the equivalent of the option that you need to press in the microwaves that you find in these stores.
For example, the number beside the blue icon is 5. So you need to press 5 in the microwave which would give you the right amount of reheat time that the food needs. 🙂
If there is one thing that describes these food, I would say quality. In other places, if you buy something quick, more so a convenience shop, don’t expect a very filling, mouth-watering and appetising meals. But in Japan, you get both convenience and quality nicely packed in these food boxes, and oh, not to mention, they are affordable. 🙂
My food blog in Japan never stops here, do stay tune for more posts. Hai!