Here’s another thing that’s way better, cooler, more fun, and more interesting in Tokyo: Convenience stores. Sure, they all generally carry the same things as they do here in Vancouver, but we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of food they had to offer.

I went to Tokyo for fun last month with my bff Karlo. We got in at about 9pm, tried to sleep, couldn’t, so we got up at 2am and left the inn at 5am hungry. This is before we realized places weren’t open until 10-11am. We noticed a 7-11 (aka Seven & I Holdings) near our ryokan and decided to stop in. There were tonnes of refrigerated foods to choose from: noodle dishes, bento boxes, and triangle sushi rolls that were wrapped in cellophane to name a few. We ate quite a few of these because they were Y85 each, a filling  go-to snack. They were tricky to open at first– it had been wrapped separately from the nori so carefully to protect the rice from completely hardening, sort of like an origami sushi. We decided on some familiar looking buns with tuna, cheese and ham at about Y125 each and ate in front of the convenience store. We saw a young girl coming out with a full bag of groceries and I remember thinking how weird is it to buy all your groceries from 7-11, but remembered just how common that is amongst language school students here in Vancouver–convenience stores in some parts of Asia are grocery stores. And why not! In Vancouver the idea is disgusting because you’re paying $6 for a loaf of bread when you could be paying half at grocery store x…

There’s this store on Robson that you’ve probably seen or passed by: it’s called Konbiniya, Karlo swore by all of their prepared food last summer when he was living off of Davie. Like T&T in Vancouver, they have a prepared food section which they gradually mark down towards the end of the evening.


I personally don’t like the prepared food here. I tried, but I just can’t eat it for some reason. BUT, unlike this picture suggests, they have added a crepe window where they make Japanese style crepes. I HIGHLY recommend this place if you want something different from Cafe Crepe. It’s only a few more blocks down and they make a more ergonomically rolled crepe for walking than the Cafe Crepe does–you can just grip it better. In Harajuku I had a crepe with peaches, frozen yogurt, and whipped cream. I had the identical one at Konbiniya a week ago and it was just as amazing. Ok, not really because we were walking down Robson on a Thursday night and not on any given day in Harajuku. Still, it nearly brought a tear to my eye…

Konbiniya has all those hard to find Japanese treats, like Glico brand cream filled cookies that are super yummy. It comes in a red box with the face of a little Asian boy happily eating the cookies. You can get that black coffee gum too. And all those canned iced coffees , except the Suntory Boss Brand, which is a shame. Anyway, it’s a nice place to visit when you miss Tokyo, minus the irasshaimase.



One Response to “Konbiniya”

  1. 1 Jesse

    i strangely love me some cold canned coffee, and yes Konbiniya is where i’d usually pick them up when i was living in the west end.

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