As I am preparing to leave Japan, I asked some Hiroshima locals about their favourite konbini products.
And, the people have spoken!
Matt Mangham (GetHiroshima writer and author of the ‘Matt’s Moment column): I had to ask Matt because his column, Matt’s Moment is perhaps my favourite thing (and the first thing I read!) in each edition of the GetHiroshima Magazine.
Anyway, I was very lucky that he actually replied to my email as he’s too famous for interviews and rarely grants them. His publicist said no to any photos that aren’t approved by him and so we decided to forgo that and just focus on what he told me.
The inside scoop is: he favours the wasabi kakipi [わさびピー柿ピー] mix from 7-Eleven and Yebisu Beer. He said he gets particularly excited about Yebisu Beer’s limited releases and that the ones done by Joël Robuchon have been quite nice, though he’s not entirely certain just what a Joël Robuchon is.
Nevertheless, I told him that I agreed because it’s beer and that’s always a good thing, right?
Goto Izumi (Deep Hiroshima columnist, owner of Organ-za and all-round creative soul): Due to her wild and crazy work schedule and commitments, I wasn’t able to hear back from Izumi-san in time for this week’s column, but I do remember her telling me on the night of the first Deep Hiroshima Salon show that she was worried about my love for konbini food as it wasn’t all that healthy. I know she eats it sometimes because she told me she does, but the verdict was out on her favourite product at that time. When she does tell me, I’ll be sure to let you all know.
BOM (The owner of Koba and Hiroshima’s real tourism ambassador): When I asked BOM what his favourite konbini product was, he said he doesn’t go to konbini much but often buys ham sandwiches when he’s drunk (yes, they were his exact words!).
From his wording, I wasn’t sure if he meant he’s often drunk or just that if, on the off-chance, he is drunk, it’s ham sandwiches that he buys often.
Judging from his answer that he likes buying beer and the Suntory Horoyoi brand Peach Flavour, I’m guessing the former.
JJWalsh (GetHiroshima Co-founder): JJ is a Family Mart fan and loves their walnut bread rolls.
My best friend, Shintaro (‘Shin’) Fukuhara (Language extraordinaire): My best friend and I have a tradition of meeting up in the morning and heading to our ‘Konbini of the Day’ (usually 7-Eleven to be honest!). We then take our lunch and sit in Peace Memorial Park to eat it.
Shin said he has a sandwich addiction and that he loves 7-Eleven ones the best. He said he especially loves the hamu-katsu sando [ハムカツサンド] but he hardly ever finds it now. He doesn’t know if they’ve stopped making it or not (just like that missing anpan… no, I’m never going to let that go or get over such a traumatic experience).
He went on to say: “I miss it so much. Sometimes I find hamu-katsu sando at Family Mart. Then I feel so happy.”
Thanks, my best mate and soul brother for answering my konbini question. I’ll have to shout you a sandwich before I leave.
Me mum (yes, sometimes that’s how us Aussies speak. Yes, we know it’s incorrect English!): Yes, I realise my mum isn’t a local, but I figured we needed at least one international opinion.
I knew what my mum was going to say.
Her favourite product hands-down, is the tuna and mayonnaise onigiri [おにぎり] rice ball from 7-Eleven. She ate at least one, sometimes two of these a day when she came to visit. I tried to convince her to try another flavour, but she’s a stubborn woman and she would not budge. She now makes her own version at home in Australia too.
Her parting comment in her email was, “Remember I used to open it incorrectly and end up throwing away the nori?”
Yes, Mum, I do.
From what everyone told me, I must conclude a few things.
Firstly, I need to get myself to 7-Eleven and buy a ham sandwich (or the hamu-katsu) if I can find it, because obviously, it’s a winner. If I get drunk first, maybe it will taste even better, hey BOM?
Secondly, 7-Eleven looks like it’s the Number One choice of konbini for the people I asked. I used to agree with them, but as you know, I’ve had a complicated, ‘relationship,’ with FM (Family Mart) and I’ve decided I’m more of a single gal. I don’t want to be tied down to one konbini.
So, with that parting thought, I’m off to visit my konbini of choice (for the moment, anyway!)