Kyoto · Restaurants · Tokyo

Kobini (Convenience Stores)

I’m only a week away from my three-week trip to Tokyo and Japan, and I cannot wait.  I put myself on a budget of $70 (CAN) per day for food and entertainment. What can help me stay on budget are kobini –  Japanese convenience stores. I figure I can stay within my budget by purchasing my breakfast and snacks here! There are several popular chains – 7/11, Family Mart, and Lawson’s.

Let’s start with 7/11. When I think of 7/11, I think back to my early high school days. The “tough” students would hang outside the local “Sev”, which is why I was always confused to see my brother Narc there at lunch. I guess if there was a place to do some narcing, that would be it.


7/11 in Japan serves coffee that’s cheaper than speciality stores but around the same quality, for about $1.30 (US). The price is right for me. I heard Starbucks is about $6 (US) for a cup.


I have a fondness for onigiri, which is a seasoned rice ball with bits of egg, salmon, tuna or pickled vegetables in it. A single onigiri is between 100-200 yen, so around $2.50 (CAN). This will do for breakfast.

I found this blog posting by Yoko Suka that was pretty good at describing the food options available. I really enjoyed her quick tidbit about 7/11’s supply chain management and how they operate their stores. I’ve already read that 7/11 is a great spot to get cash from their ATM machines.

Family Mart is another popular chain. I read that Family Mart’s fried chicken is very popular. For a fun review of the different fast food chicken joints in Japan, check out No Ramen, No Life’s blog.





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