12 Crazy Things You can Buy in a Japanese Convenience Store: Part 2

The second half of our look at some of the bizarre offerings of Japanese conbinis. For Part 1 – featuring Slat, Collon and Nutcream Pocky –  click here.


A Tiny Cup of Beans

For those occasions when your hunger dictates you eat no less than five, but no more than ten beans. Comes in what is basically a medication cup: your daily dose of beans.

Remember those shows that used to predict the future in ways that overestimated mankind’s intelligence and grossly underestimated our thirst for cat videos? Tiny Cup of Beans is exactly the kind of thing they would feature, except those five beans would provide us futuristic beings with our required nourishment for the whole day, instead of just five minutes of low exertion movements. It’s a Tiny Cup of beans; a meal that’s over as it begins.

Tastes: Like the fleeting beauty of youth.

8 Calpis


My name’s Cal. I presume I don’t need to explain why this line of drinks holds a special place in my heart.

Tastes: There’s at least six thousand different kinds of this stuff, it’s more like experimentation striving towards an abstract ideal than a range of non-alcoholic beverages. It’s possible each store just mixes whatever hasn’t sold well that month in a large vat, pours it into various containers marked Calpis, then decides what flavour to title it based loosely on the colour.

Tears of a Puppy

The Tears of a Puppy

These are lozenges which, judging by the picture, are made with tears harvested from only the cutest puppies. We hear rumours they’re obtained in a Hokkaido factory where the dogs are forced to repeatedly watch The Green Mile.

Tastes: We didn’t buy this product and we strongly suggest that you should also boycott any candy made with the tears of puppies.

Pickled octopus

Pickled Octopus

Not that crazy to our readers in Japan, but probably strange to those overseas. The more freaked out by it the first time you saw it, the more indifference you have to feign when another Japan newbie gets excited by it. That’s one of the Gaijin Commandments, along with “Thou shall write something scornful and patronising in the comments section of every opinion piece featured in The Metropolis and Japan Today.”

We’re also fond of the fact the name can be translated as ‘Mr. Sour Octopus’, making the character on the front seem as though he’s childishly sulking about being eaten.

Tastes: Pretty good, and you can’t argue with that price.


Bag of Poo

Looks exactly how a bag of human excrement would look, if that were a commercially viable product available in stores. In a meeting somewhere, it was decided that a sausage shape would be the most appetizing form for a dark brown snack, and the packaging should feature them piled on top of each other, glistening in the light.

Nestle were the first to test consumers’ faeces food boundaries with their rabbit dropping cereal Nesquik (and chose a rabbit mascot in what must be the most salient example of western companies making similarly baffling image decisions), but Bag of Poo is revolutionising the concept.

Tastes: Chocolatey. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Smart arse.


Hunk of Mouldy-Looking Green Bread

This resembles something you’d occasionally find at the back of your cupboard during your student days and optimistically sniff before double-wrapping in plastic bags and disposing of in next door’s trash. In Family Mart he’s nestled among the sugared treats, observing the vanity of his neighbours with barely concealed disdain, refusing to conform to society’s pretentious modern perceptions of fresh, elegantly presented food.

He’s green, wrinkly, and proud of it. HOMLGB doesn’t need your goddammed approval.

Tastes: There’s cream inside, it was all a front. Perhaps HOMLGB was toyed with by another customer before being discarded, or maybe his baker withheld affection – we’ll never know – but beneath that rugged green exterior is another sweet bread-based treat that just wants to be loved.

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