The Japanese “Conbini”

The Candy IsleEvery time I chat with friends, I always talk about the magical “conbini.” Even in Japanese, the word for convenience store is konbiniansu sutoa but they often shorten this to conbini. In typical Japanglish fashion, we native English speakers have also adopted this fashionably short word. Often, in Japanese, names of stores or restaurants are shortened to just a few syllables. For example: Starbucks becomes staabaa, McDonald’s becomes Makku, and my personal favorite, First Kitchen becomes fahkin (say it out loud).  Continue reading

The Constant Coffee Conundrum

Ever since moving to Japan, I have this new problem. Coffee. You see, “conbini’s” (convenience stores) carry coffee. And when I say they carry coffee, I mean they have an overwhelming amount of options. You can choose between hot or cold, but that’s only the beginning. Coffee is also sold in vending machines all over Japan (and that’s something like 1 vending machine to every 5 people…. imagine it).

Then there are the flavors. Black coffee? No brainer. Milk? Got it. Sweetened/unsweetened? Take your pick. How about caramel? Want some coffee jelly in there? Cafe Latte? Light? Cappuccino? Almond? Honey? Banana? Cream? Hokkaido cream? Brazilian blend? I’ve got it, you want the “relaxed, evening” coffee. Wait, what does that even mean?! Continue reading