Once again it's Adam here. Cheree's been very gracious to let me take over her blog once more to pass on a little bit about my life in Japan.
One of the best things about life in Japan are the コンビニ (Conobini). Convenience stores are serious business here. Family Marts grow like weeds here. You can't walk a block without running into a fresh one. There's nothing quite like the feeling of exploring the strange and unique food from your local conbini.
Australia doesn't really have convenience stores. The closest we have to them are the petrol stations where you can buy quick munchies along with your fuel. Over here petrol stations only sell fuel. This is made up for by the omnipresent conbini selling everything from snacks to hot food to beer (yes, even alcohol can be purchased at the local store) to workshirts to stationary. Pretty much anything you could want under one roof. Most places even rent videos. One thing I have discovered is that each store has different stock, so you can go to the exact same store around the block from each other and find something new in each place.
Conbini are an excellent place to practice your speaking ability. I was in one so often that the staff knew me and my order on sight. I got to chat with them plenty of times. There's usually someone happy to practice their English. When I had to move one guy that I'd spent a lot of time chatting to actually gave me a touching goodbye. I was actually a bit sad to go.
If you ever visit Japan I recommend trying as many things from the hot box near the registers as possible. You'll always find a tasty treat that'll have you going back for more. My personal favourite is the karaage bou, salty chunks of chicken on a stick. I usually end up eating three in one go. They're just so good.