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Convenient Choice

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
One of the best things about cycling in Japan is, that the maximum distance between one food/drink replenishment point and the next one is in average approximately 467 meters. Even out in the countryside there are many places where you can buy something 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no need to stuff the jersey pockets full of sandwiches and muesli bars and worry about finding something to drink along the way. Yes, thanks to the rapidly increasing number of convenience stores, Japan has become cycling wonderland.

[The massive problems created by them should be of no concern to the cycling world reading this blog].

Recently I noted that unconsiciously I established my own preference of conbis, (the wonderful Japanese shortcut for this unhandy English word): I see a 7-Eleven and I want to stop, lusting after the special raisin bread. I see a Lawson and I might consider to stop. On the other end, I notice a Yamazaki
and I feel no particular sensation in my brain. So among the more common combis, 7-Eleven and Lawson are the preferred ones, somewhere in the middle is AM/PM, Family Mart and Three M, then Popular, Ministop and Yamazaki should be avoided whenever possible.

What is your preference ?

And what do you buy there? Come on, let's be honest. Of course I buy the Weider energy gel every time I am afraid to fail on the next climbing attempt. But I also but the heated cheese/ham burrito from 7-Eleven, the mow icecream with coffee taste, the ampan bread, the CC lemon drink and sometimes I sit on the photocopy machine and make copies of my tights. No, just joking.

What do you buy ?
Family Mart.

Onigiri or maybe some oden selections.

Beer, too...
I have one of those nanaco cards issued by 7-11, which enables me to buy all my goodies with the swipe of a card, saving me the hassle of having loose change jangle around. Of course, sometimes a 7-11 is not to be found in deepest Yamanashi, so I carry some cash as well.

I highly recommend the nanaco card. I believe an edy card can be used at FamilyMart (or is it Lawson?). Actually, what I would really like is to have a cell phone with the "wallet" function so that I could use it for all my kombini purchases. No fuss, no muss.

As for what I buy, it tends to be Wieder Energy glop; Calorie Mate bars; the occasional SoyJoy; the occasional genki drink (Rambo Juice to those in the know) before a wicked climb that I must be the first to summit at all costs; ChipStar (faux-Pringles) when sweet treats have grown vomitous due to over-consumption; manju (a habit picked up from TOM); sometimes a bag of "kaki-pi" peanuts and sembei; peanut cream sandwiches.

That's about it. I tend not to be in the mood for onigiri when I ride. And as I don't eat meat, the hot foods are usually out of the question.

What I really wish is that they sold Clif bars in Japan.

My favorite conbini food has always been the Parisian Sand from am/pm. Big hunk of french(-ish) bread with ham, cheese, and a mustard/mayo mix in the middle. Unfortunately, it's a little too big to carry in my back pocket while riding, so my next favorite are the many curry-pan varieties the different conbinis all carry. So far, I haven't identified a favorite.
conbini = energy

I don't have any conbini preferences... as long as they sell coconut jelly and business trash bags - anything is OK :D
I agree with Sergey here. In desperate times, and I've had plenty of those lately, any conbini is OK! Oh Mob, I mentioned it on another post, but the Yamazaki conbini on the junction of R35 and R20 has it's own small bakery. It's awesome and their freshly made warm pizza saved me from certain collapse after Matsuhime on Tuesday! I recommend it if you're ever in that neck of the woods:D

Oh, and the girl behind the counter was quite cute and friendly! Oh s%$t now I have to watch out for Simon. He'll be there every day.....
Always go for

7-11; Lawson if need be. I would rather starve than go to a Daily Yamazaki.

I do like those squidgy sour sweets called Puffy, or something like that.... can't remember the name, that come in the little bags and are covered in sugar. They come in lemon, grape flavours etc.

Those and mochi cakes.
Usually 7/11 because I bank with Shinsei.
Seeing as it's been so long since I visited any other konbini I don't know what I may be missing.
Usually I'll buy bad food and attempt to burn it off... The usual quick meal would be a raisin bread (like mob), a drink (anything from coffee, cola, sports drink, tea...depends how I'm feeling) If I'm feeling low on energy a snickers bar. or... possibly an ice cream for a long ride on a hot day. Then again I don't eat that much on long rides either. This year I've been trying to lose weight so a 100+km ride has usually only been drinks only... and then eat when I get home.
Used to frequent any conbini that had a campaign for cans of coffee with a miniature car or motorcycle freebie. Quality varies so I don't buy them that often anymore. The better quality ones tend to be clipped on to two cans of coffee nowadays, and the design of the case is such that it can be used as a display case. The last collection had to be given away as desk space became a premium.
What I really wish is that they sold Clif bars in Japan.

Good call on the Clif bars. I am disappointed to find out they don't sell them here, but at least I know what I'll be requesting in my next package from the US.
Those chocolate covered peanuts at 7-11 will be my downfall I'm sure. On my Hokkaidio trip I was going through two packets of those a day :eek:

Nikku-man on a cold winter ride can be a lifesaver :)

It certainly makes longer rides much easier to plan for. Back home I typically have to carry all my food and water as shops are few and far between. Japan is just so damned.......Combinient :p

By the was as an alternative to Clif Bars I really like the Nature Valley muesli bars which you can get at various international supermarkets. Oishi, don't melt and a nice energy boost.
any will do

Japan's combini's are superb. Almost feel stranded when biking in US these days.

These days, my favorite buy is chocolate milk. Its cheap, has protein/calcium and a bunch of other stuff I need.
The bonking conbini stop is intrisic to cycling in Japan. Famimart, Sev and Lawson all at times have bananas. Real bananas. On many occasions in a caloric-deficit mindset, I`ve groggled down those strange, gooey baked cheese bread things that all conbinis have. You know, in a plastic package, yellowy orange, spongey, heavy, expiry date in 36 months... Absent Cliff bars, several of my old riding buddies swore by CalorieMate bars, and I won`t deny their ability to satiate intense hunger. However, as the second ingredient is margarine, I doubt their ability to fuel the body. There is also one `can` coffee I`ll drink. I think it`s called `Rainier` or something vaguely Seattle-ish. It actually comes in a plastic cup, not a can, and there are several varieties. The one I like is called espresso2, as in `espresso squared`.
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