Hell-ow again world.
This time I would like to tell you about KONBINI in Japan. Konbini is a convenience store in Japanese pronounciation. And, yeah, you can see one of these konbini every 100 meter. There are loads of the brands of konbini in Japan, but I think the ones in the pictures below are the most popular here.
First, Family Mart.
You know this one. Yes, true. Seven Eleven.
Popura (it literally means "popular" in English).
Picture above is the area where I live in Saijo, and you can see the symbols of Family Mart and 2 of 7 Eleven stores there.
These konbinis will help you so much during your life in Japan. Even though Japan is an advance country, but you will rarely see shops that open until midnight, especially in small town like Saijo. The shopping center and restaurants usually closes at 9 P.M and the department store near Hiroshima University campus only open until 11 PM. So this konbini really helps a lot when we need something in the middle of the night, or in the very early morning.
Because these konbinis literally mean "convinient stores", they are really convinient. Different from convinient store like Circle K in Indonesia (sorry, I dont know the condition in other countries :D), you can get many additional services here. First, they got ATM service. This helps you when you really need money and no bank open. Especially with this "unique" ATM service provided by banks in Japan. The services are only available mainly from 9 AM to 6 PM. Yup, no 24 H ATM service beside in konbinis in a country as powerful as Japan.
But, please think twice when you plan to withdraw your money in konbini, because they will charge you around 200 Yen (2 dollars) for each time you withdraw your money. So, if its not for emergency state, I dont recommend you to withdraw your money by Konbini.
Second, you can pay (almost) any bill here. Gas, electricity, water, even health insurance bill you can pay here. convenient isnt it? You do not have to go to the office of those provider, just go and pay in nearest konbini from your place.
Third, they got you unique snack, like Japanese "Oden" and liquor and many alcohol drink, like wine, beer or anything.
Fourth, they got porn magazines and books sold freely here. Yes, freely. You just have to be older than 20 years old to be permitted to read and buy this stuffs. I think Japan is the only country in Asia that allows porn magazines and books sold freely. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Owkaaayyy... That's all for today.
I am sorry that I didnt have time to take picture of these konbinis, so I took them from other source in the net.