When we are visiting Japan, it is quite likely that we go to old castles, famous temples, natural attractions and museums. However, visiting Japan is also about experiencing its unique culture, both modern and traditional. Two other places that we will likely to visit in Japan are convenience stores and restaurants. Many visitors go to convenience stores in Japan to purchase its unique consumer products and take-out food. Stores like 7-Eleven, Lawson and Circle K may look like those we find in other countries, but in Japan, they have many interesting products.
In the United States and other countries, we would find burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and others in convenience stores. In Japan, we could also find burgers and sandwiches, but it is recommended to try their unique offerings, including bento lunches, cold noodles and fried noodles. There are also a variety of desserts like black sesame seed pudding, custard pudding and Mont Blanc. There are also warm snacks like buns filled with fried noodles and curry-filled buns. All drinks are available in cans, even including hot coffee. It is quite rare to find self-serve drinks or slurpees.
We would also likely visit restaurants in Japan and the country is known for its amazing food selections. Best places to go are family restaurants that serve local foods, not fast food chains or fine dining places. However, we could also try local fast food chains if we want to, such as Coco’s and Denny’s. Other than burgers, local fast food restaurants also offer udon noodles and other modifications of local dishes. Other than drinks, we will also get a bowl of rice, salad and soup. Kid’s meals in Japanese fast food restaurants are great fun. They are available in interesting colourful package with pictures of popular anime characters.
This may not sound like a good way to visit Japan, but it can be quite interesting to occasionally compare popular places like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and Starbucks in Japan. The fun is finding out how they differ significantly from what we are used to. As an example, McDonald’s in Japan often serve hot dogs for breakfast, which are quite unusual compared to other countries. There are also unique meals, such teriyaki burgers, with their unique sauces. We may also visit Starbucks in Japan, which are known for their mechanical, efficient and polite barristas.
Other thing that we immediately see is that portions are smaller in Japanese Starbucks. The Grande is the largest portion, Tall is medium and a smaller portion is available. Visiting fast food restaurants are among the fun things we could do in Japan, although we should only visit them very occasionally, just to make comparisons. There are other places that are not normally attractions, but we could visit them, like grocery stores, schools and even hardware stores. Visiting Japan is also about experiencing the local lifestyle and going to these places can be quite exciting.