ndeed, life in Japan is very convenient though with a high price! Nothing for free if you’d like to live close to amenities and use facilities with fast service. Does the presence of a convenience store in your area make life easier? Imagine me being surrounded by 6 such stores with the same name: FamilyMart!

Inside the Tamagawajosui Station, the nearest train and bus depot from my schoolhouse, are 2 FamilyMart convenience stores then 3 on the ground level plus 1 just a few meters away! They really serve their purpose to me. 

 I can just hop & buy instant meals and snacks for my students and guests. Great that I can post on the front wall of one of the shops our school events’ big poster & flyers. 

It’s admirable to see the locals not eating in public especially inside the buses and trains. As I think I have a fast metabolism, I need to munch something every 3 hours so I stack snacks in my bag bought at FamilyMarts and just “creatively” eat them wherever I am, alone or in the midst of a crowd. This could be a good excuse for being a “gaijin” (foreigner) here. Oh yes, no local is eating & drinking here while walking. I do….but trying to stop this habit especially we have a school uniform now. 

One interesting thing about convenience stores in Japan is they have comic books, beauty magazines, travel brochures, etc. Good thing that there are no more adult reading materials. Some shops took away the container for cigarettes’ butts. I just bought bread for my breakfast at the FamilyMart across Olives Language School and I saw they still have one.

FamilyMart is the second top Japanese convenience store franchise chain. They have a branch in every prefecture whereas the top 1 (7-Eleven) doesn’t have any shop in Okinawa. To date, they have 24,243 stores around the world, including 66 in the Philippines as owned by the Ayala Corporation, Itochu and Rustan’s Group. Check more of their trivia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FamilyMart

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