Convenience store booze bazaar

Back in the States, the availability of alcohol varies greatly. New Jersey has liquor stores, Pennsylvania has beer distributors, and New York has cases of beer at the convenience store.

However, in the land of beer vending machines, alcohol is easier to come by than anywhere I have previously experienced.

There are 3 major convenience stores operating on literally just about every street corner in Japan: Seicomart, Lawson, and 711. In Japan, convenience stores are called コンビ二, or “conbini,” the shortened and katakana-ized form of convenience.

My favorite is Seicomart for the low prices (although 711 admittedly has better food). All of them, however, have a vast selection of alcoholic beverages.

This Seicomart, in Bihoro, had a wine and whiskey selection to rival many liquor stores back home, alongside 2+ gallon jugs of sake. The staples, such as Smirnoff, Beefeater, and Bailey’s were also in attendance.

Next to innocent bottles of Coke and green tea lies the beer/wine cooler section. While I (sadly) haven’t seen 40s in the conbini, there is a plethora of Japanese beer, shochu, and Smirnoff Ice-esque drinks. Sadly, for the cost of 4 beers here, you could enjoy a 2 hour nomihoudai at a local bar. Who sets the insane price of beer over here?!

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