Convenience stores, called “konbini” in short in Japan, operate 24/7, offering a large variety of goods, such as onigiri, soft drinks, hot oden, dry batteries, socks, and just about anything else you need, short of visiting a supermarket. You can also make photocopies, reserve tickets, and pay utility bills there. For many people living in Japan, konbini is like a little paradise. An old lady next door to me visits the nearest konbini every morning at the same time. Greeting the store clerk and buying a roll of bread and a cup of café au lait are part of her morning routine. I’m sure the konbini will see her tomorrow and the day after just as other konbini will greet lots of others today and every day after.