I’ve talked about doing a post on 7-Eleven and its magical powers here in Japan, so here it goes. First, the name on the outside of the store is Seven & I Holdings (which I think is the name of the corporation), but everything on the inside is 7-Eleven, just like in the states. Drive anywhere in Japan for a couple kilometers and you’re likely to see either a 7-Eleven, a Family Mart, or a Lawsons. Convenient stores are a huge business in Japan, and they are very different from how they are in the US. You won’t find any slurpees here!
Let’s start with the food. At least twice daily, all of the food is restocked. For less than about $8, you can get a very complete meal that is actually not bad. Compared to a microwave frozen dinner, it’s considerably more food and a lot better tasting. Around 11:30 in the morning the place is packed with people getting lunch, and then again around 6.
I mean look at that! Mint chocolate chip ice cream on a stick (and it’s premium!). You get 5 for only about $2. All I’m saying is don’t knock it till you try it.
Here’s a pamphlet I found explaining what types of wine are being offered. I can’t imagine buying wine at a convenience store in Portland. Do they even sell it? I really don’t know. I used to avoid 7-Eleven like the plague.
Here’s Kenny buying movie tickets for Elysium (eh, it was good not great). They’re about $5 less expensive if you buy them here instead of at the theater. You can also buy discounted concert and sport tickets. By the way, look at his shirt. Doesn’t he remind you of a fire engine? That is the reddest shirt ever. I can’t make fun of him too much, though, because he missed his train this morning and is out on his bike in a typhoon.
And here is Kenny again this time getting money out of the ATM. That ATM is special because it’s connected to Western Union and is how we’ll be sending money home every month for our student loans. For those of you who are curious, our bank charges a transfer fee of $10, as does Western Union. For sending money to the other side of the world and having it get there in 1 business day, that fee is surprisingly low. This is the easiest of all the money transfer options (and believe me, we’ve explored all of them) and the least expensive.
The only picture I don’t have is of bill paying. We pay our electric bill here, too. I’m not even sure if there are other ways to pay it. We probably go to 7-Eleven once or twice a week, and if you lived here, you would, too.