Japan's 7/11, or should I say...magic rabbit hole of fresh, affordable food. When we hear the name 7/11, we automatically think of words such as slurpee, hot dogs, and junk food. There is truly nothing exciting about 7/11, as it is just something we pass by on our way to school, work, or for late night munchies. But in Japan, it is a whole other story. 

First off, there are 7/11's EVERYWHERE. When I say everywhere, I mean it. Japan is a tiny island, yet there are 17,569 stores, compared to America's 8,124. Turn down the corner of every street, you will lay your eyes on a beautiful 7/11, filled with all the food to complete a scrumptious and nutritious full course meal, as well as other daily necessities. 

Snacks Galore

7/11's in Japan are tiny. You gotta squeeze through the narrow aisles in order to discover all of the magic that is stacked neatly on the shelves. There is an unlimited amount of snacks, just like those in the U.S., consisting of chips, candies, you-name-it. Japanese people don't really snack on Doritos like Americans do. Instead, there is a vast amount of rice crackers, cheeses (called "candy-cheese" because it is wrapped like candy!), and so many sweets such as well-known Pocky, and creamy chocolate goods. The snacks are never ending, and they're gonna stay that way.

Fresh Food and Fried Chicken

Next, we have the prepared foods section. Not the kind of hot dogs and burgers sitting in the food warmers here in the states. I am talkin' freshly made food. There is an array of pastas, salads, sandwiches, soba, ramen, and more...made fresh that morning. You don't have to sit there wondering how old that sandwich is. The best part of the prepared foods section is the onigiri. Onigiri is a Japanese rice ball filled with things like tuna-mayonnaise (my personal favorite, plus they call it tuna-mayo), salmon, soft-boiled eggs, shrimp tempura, and the list goes on. They even have a fried rice one. I. am. drooling. Oh, and on your way out, there's an entire section of fresh, hot foods such as chicken nuggets, pork katsu cutlets, and croquettes. 

Sweet Treats

To fulfill your sweet tooth, they have an incredible dessert and drink section. Japan has 7/11 brand pudding, cake, and mochi. I know 7/11 brand-food may sound scary, but remember...this stuff is made every morning! And if you are an ice cream person, you will not be disappointed. They have flavors such as melon soda, green tea, azuki, and watermelon. The names for the ice creams are even better. For starters, there is Pino, which are delicious little bon bons filled with vanilla ice cream, and of course Suika Baa (meaning Watermelon Bar), which is a watermelon flavored popsicle shaped like a watermelon, with little chocolate chips shaped like seeds. And, my favorite is called Choco Monaka Jumbo, which is a Japanese take on the classic ice cream sandwich. The outside is a soft wafer, almost like a thin waffle. Enclosed, there is a thin layer of chocolate, for a crunch factor of course, and with the perfect ratio of vanilla ice cream. 

Hydrate and Get Turnt

Thirsty? Trying to decide on your drink of choice can take a while. Whether you are down for some "cha", meaning tea in Japanese, or somethin' a little fizzy, or even to get your drank on, Japan's 7/11 has it. They've got iced oolong, green, and barley tea to keep you hydrated. There's also so many sodas to choose from, such as melon soda, apple soda, mango soda, and even peach-flavored Coca Cola. One of the most common reasons most people wander into 7/11 after a long day is for a drink called Chu-Hi. This is an alcoholic drink in a soda can, usually carbonated. It is basically a hard soda, coming in so many flavors it is hard to count. 

Skincare and Clothing

Aside from the ridiculously delicious, fresh, and affordable food, there are so many daily necessities located in 7/11. They have your beauty needs, such as face masks you can find in department stores to shaving razors, and high-quality shampoo/conditioner. Need to add instant class to your look? They have clothes too! You can pick up a neck-tie, or a button down-shirt, or a floral handkerchief to jazz up your look.

Japan has got it so good! Every few hundred feet they have a teeny, tiny store filled with everything you can ever need in your daily life. America's 7/11 has got to step it up. If you are like me, and dying to have a warm, handmade onigiri for only a dollar, I suggest you book a flight to Japan ASAP. You won't even need a map to find what you are looking for.