Tag Archives: Japanese convenience stores

OTC

31 May

In an post almost exactly a year ago, I mentioned some of the differences between convenience stores in America and the ones here in Japan.
(Click here to see that post.)

One of the differences I mentioned was that in America, over-the-counter medicines (OTC), such as aspirin and cough medicine, can be purchased at conveniences stores and even at gas stations.

But, in Japan, the selling of medicine is highly regulated and even OTC medicine can only be bought at drug stores (which aren’t open 24 hours a day like convenience stores).
This is because drug stores are staffed by licensed pharmacists and to even buy aspirin or cough medicine, you had to describe your symptoms to the pharmacist and he would suggest which medicine you should use…and explain the proper dosage.

Well, the Japanese government just relaxed the regulation of OTC medications, and beginning tomorrow convenience stores and supermarkets can sell OTC medications like aspirin and cough medicine, etc.

Random

2 Jun

Just some random thoughts and observations, and some photos of various places around Tokyo.

First, when we visited Florida a few years ago, I went to the 7-11 convenience store to buy a six-pack of beer late one evening. But when I went to open the beer cooler, it was locked. The cashier told me that it’s illegal to sell alcohol in Florida after 1:00AM!

I was surprised by that. In Japan, alcohol can be bought at anytime day or night at 7-11 and elsewhere. There are even beer vending machines in Japan.

I looked at the internet and it seems that Florida’s laws are fairly liberal when compared to other states in America (In America, states make their own laws. Unlike other countries, like Japan, that have only federal laws).

For example, in Mississippi, not only are there hours of the day that you can’t buy alcohol…it also isn’t to be sold on Sundays and Christmas!

Missouri seems to be one of the strictest. In that state, alcohol isn’t sold after midnight or 1AM (depending on the day), public intoxication is illegal, and drinking outdoors is, as well.

I guess I have been living in Japan for a long time, because that all seems medieval to me.

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Speaking of 7-11 in America, they are quite different from the ones in Japan.

In Japan’s 7-11 stores, there are no “Slurpees” or “Big Gulp” drinks, nor nachos or aspirin or gasoline (there’s no “Slurpee”, “Big Gulps” or nachos because those don’t appeal to Japanese tastes…but 7-11 Japan doesn’t sell medicine or gas because, in Japan, medicine can only sold by licensed pharmacists and gasoline at petrol stands).

But at Japanese convenience stores, you can pay your bills, mail packages, buy DVDs, toothpastes, underwear, boxed lunches, ice cream, spaghetti, おにぎり (rice balls), squid, beer, whiskey, おでん (Japanese boiled “hot-pot” food), and more.

7-11, by the way, has over 34,000 stores worldwide. 6,200 of them are in America…but Japan has the most—over 12,000 Seven-Eleven stores are in Japan!

The Japanese department stores chain, Ito-Yokado bought the controlling shares of 7-11 stocks years ago.

Ito-Yokado‘s logo is a white dove and it used to be used above all of their stores. But since most of their profits come from the 7-11 stores, they decided to emphasize the 7-11 name. So now all of their department stores have a “7 & i Holdings” sign above the stores (“7” for “7-11” and “i” for “Ito-Yokado”).

Not only does Ito-Yokado own the 7-11 worldwide chain, they also own the “Denny’s” family restaurant chain.

Here’s the “old” Ito-Yokado sign (I took a photo of it a few years ago when I heard that they were changing the signs nationwide):

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Mariah Carey was on TV here recently because she came to Tokyo to promote a new CD.

I’m not a fan of her music so I don’t know much about her, but she seems right weird!

She was doing an interview on a popular morning talk show that I like to watch…and her young husband tagged along and they were snuggling the whole time.

Then the next day, she threw the opening pitch at the Tokyo Dome for a Tokyo Giants baseball game.

She wore stiletto heels on the field and rather than throw the ball…she dropped it right it front of herself.

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Did you hear about the homeless woman in 福岡 (Fukuoka, Japan) who was living in a single man’s closet for a year?

In Japanese homes, there’s a small storage space above closets that many people seldom open, and that’s where this woman was living.

She got into his house and stayed in the closet when the homeowner was home, but whenever he’d leave, she’d get out and take a shower and eat his food.

He found her because he installed a security camera in his house when he noticed food missing.

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Anyways…

here are a few pictures I took around Tokyo: