How Convenient?

Without a doubt, one of the joys of Japan is the abundance of convenient stores. In central Tokyo, you can usually spot the next convenience store (or “convini” in Japanese) while standing in front of another. At the base of Grand Hirafu resort, there are two main convinis that cater to the needs of the guests.

First up is Seico Mart. Located smack in the main intersection, this is definitely the crowd favorite. The “Hot Chef” hot-foods corner offers fresh-cooked meals during most hours of the day. But be sure to get there early during peak hours since a significant portion of the local seasonal staff spend three straight months on the Hot Chef diet. Also, if you choose to go during lunch or in the early afternoon you may find yourself in a sea of visitors buying a week’s worth of bottled water and ramen while everyone tries to figure out the everlasting queue.

When the glorious Seico Mart ironically turns into the antithesis of convenience, head just down the road to Lawsons. Arguably the most scenic convenience store with Mt. Yotei in the background, Lawsons seems to be a bit quieter at all times. Their bento-box variety is respectable, and although it might not be Hot Chef, the staff will microwave your food for you. By the way, they also sell short-term SIM cards which cannot be found at Seico Mart.