Japan Essay Series: But First, 7-Eleven

 

In spirit of my article ‘Spirited Away’ being published in SUP the Mag about my time in Japan, I’ve decided to do an essay series on all the things I wasn’t able to squeeze into the article. Some of the more funky topicslike loitering at the 7-Elevens, the toliets, Karaoke, sleeping outside, etc…. Enjoy!

The gang loitering in front of 7-Eleven.

The gang loitering in front of 7-Eleven.

Before you judge us and say,
“You’re in Japan, known for it’s culinary sophistication, and you choose 7-Eleven?”

I understand it seems sacrilege. It’s Japan after all, the home of sushi, soba, and many questionable delicacies. But forget everything you know about 7-Elevens here in America. Forget about the awful lingering smell of taquitos and forget about the fluorescent blue and green slushies. 

Replace all of that with sushi (sashimi, nigiri, rolls, etc), hot dog buns filled with spaghetti, hot coffee in a can (I was particularly excited about this one), gin & tonics, wine & cokes all in a can. My feelings towards 7-Eleven had to change and resulted in it being our home-base, our comfort, our one-stop shop. 

Hot coffee in a can or a plastic bottle. 

Hot coffee in a can or a plastic bottle. 

The closest we could come to the type of breakfast we’re accustomed to was yogurt, croissants, and doughnuts. At first, the thought of mixing coffee with fish seemed rather repugnant but as the time progressed, I kinda liked it. 

Sake by the Liter in plastic bottles.

Sake by the Liter in plastic bottles.

None of us signed up for any kind of international plan so we depended on wifi entirely to communicate with others. Lucky for us 7-Eleven has free wifi and there’s one on almost every corner. Our mornings consisted of us standing like statues on our phones outside of the store. 

After our three weeks we were definitely tired of the convenient store food. By week three you’d find us staring at the selection of food for long periods of time hoping we overlooked the egg and bacon breakfast sandwich…we never did.

In the Japan article I talk about how Japan makes it so easy to be a dirtbag and travel on the cheap. 7-Eleven is one of the many reasons this is true. 

Next Week I’ll be talking about living out of the van with six other people and how we only paid to stay somewhere twice because you can camp just about anywhere in Japan.