The simplest parts of life can be fascinating in a foreign county. Two of my favorite past times in Japan are exploring convenient stores and 100 yen shops, aka a Japanese dollar store. Convenient stores in Japan are very different than in the U.S. They provide seemingly endless Japanese foods, which seem like delicacies to the foreign eye.options include full meals, from curry to fettuccine Alfredo to rice ball sandwiches to full bento dinners. Unlike an American convenient store, all food groups are present and the food is actually tasty. Portions are just right for individuals. You can literally live off convenient stores for every meal and snack. I’m confident this will not be my last reference to the wonderful world of Japanese convenient stores. Now for the dollar stores! Today my international license arrived and I went out on my own with Baby Leo. We drove past temples, got lost among the rice patties, and found our way to a 100 yen shop. They have a little bit of everything, just like home, but they have many items made in Japan and unique to this culture. There are numerous slippers: slippers that fold up for travel, terry cloth slippers for the bathroom, slippers for visiting friends and public places and “cozy slippers” just for home. There is an entire aisle of Japanese washi (decorative paper), ornate stationary, and money cards covered in metallic ribbons. There are crackers of unique Eastern favors, like shrimp, pumpkin pudding, and these green tea (matcha) biscuits.
There are neat souvenirs, like a tsunami fan and fan case made out of kimono fabric:
There red is fun to be had for all ages at the 100 yen shop, with Hello Kitty, Thomas the Train, Anpanman, and other adorable Japanese cartoon characters placed on every imaginable item. This includes chopsticks, hand towels, slippers, toys, and even rice crackers with colored images directly on the crackers.
My adorable date thoroughly enjoyed his pumpkin pudding crackers!