If you’ve ever stopped at a convenient store in Japan, you’ll know that all stores stand true to their name—they are truly convenient. From stocking daily essentials like shampoo, stationery, pre-packaged meals and fresh produce, these small establishments also offer services like package drop-offs, a copy and print station, and you can even pay your taxes. It’s an essential component to everyday life, whether you’re a student, office worker or housewife, you’ll find yourself popping into one sooner or later. On our visit back home, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and grab some snacks we enjoyed over the years from one of our favorite convenient stores, Lawson.
Choco Balls are a classic chocolate snack that have been around since the 1960s. Flavors range from peanut covered chocolate to strawberry and caramel. Our favorite is the original peanut!
KINOKO NO YAMA (大人のきのこ山)
Also a childhood favorite, the original Mushroom Mountain features a crispy biscuit stem and a creamy milk chocolate cap. Recently, Meiji released a “grown up” version with dark chocolate caps. Both are equally delicious!
CHOCO-MONAKA JUMBO (チョコモナカジャンボ)
A perfect treat for those hot summer days, the Choco Monaka Jumbo is a large-sized ice cream that comes in the shape of a classic chocolate bar. Outside is a delightfully light and crispy layer, with an inside that features velvety vanilla ice cream and a single sheet of chocolate.
KAKI NO TANE (柿の種)
We love this snack called The Persimmon Seed for its salty peanuts, crispy rice treats and savory and also spicy qualities. The snack is packed into individual plastic sacks so you can bring them around with you on the go.
Rice balls are the quintessential snack. Nowadays the market has come out with more gourmet versions with fancy ingredients, but the classic triangle-shaped ones with crispy nori seaweed will always be our favorite. Salmon, kelp, and tuna mayo are some of our go-to flavors!
HOT CAKE SANDWICH (ホットケーキ: バター広がるホットケーキメープル＆発酵バター入りホイップ)*
They might not look like much but when you take one bite of these fluffy pancake sandwiches, you’ll understand why they made it on our list! Slathered between two round hot cakes (pancakes) are salted butter and sweet syrup. We recommend heating yours up a few seconds in the microwave.
*Originally recommended by Keith Abrams from Kinfolk.
Naomi: The fried chicken baskets by the register also get an honorable mention. We used to eat them as an after school snack, they are surprisingly crispy.