In 1958 Momofuku Ando, the founder of the Japanese food company Nissin created Cup Noodles, basing his idea on ramen soup noodles. The snack is now also available as instant rice or instant soup, in an array of delicious and bizarre flavors. The king has to be the Big Curry, enough food to keep any city worker going all day and at a bargain price to boot.
Select convenience stores, ¥195.
A famous quirk of Japanese pop culture is limited-edition flavors of popular biscuits and cakes. KitKat produces numerous lines per year, with quirky flavors and seasonal packaging designs. Current flavors are ginger ale, milk coffee, English tea, fruit and vegetable, and of course, classic chocolate. Have an unusual break, while you can.
Select convenience stores, ¥120.
Minute Maid has created a quick and easy start to the day with Morning Banana, a fruit flavor gel pack. The name Morning Banana gained fame as adiet, where people eat just a banana for breakfast. Created by Sumiko Watanabe for her husband, the diet became so popular in 2008 it caused banana shortages across Japan. This is now no longer a problem thanks to the packaged version.
Select convenience stores, ¥198.
The secret weapon of salarymen and office ladies are wet wipes. You may overlook them now, but as spring turns to summer, the heat in Tokyo steadily rises. Gatsby is a leading brand, made particularly for men, and offers facial paper and deodorized wipes in different sizes. Now you can turn up to your business meeting feeling―and looking―clean and refreshed.
Select convenience stores, ¥525.
The conbini is the ultimate in convenience in the city, with many even stocking neckties and business shirts. Japanese lifestyle brand Muji offers a selection of handy and well-designed products at some branches of FamilyMart. Among these are basic socks, just in case you ever have the need to grab a fresh pair with your takeout lunch.
Select FamilyMart locations, ¥350.
For a short time, game fans and collectors can pick up a limited-edition Final Fantasy ‘Elixir’ soft drink, complete with a free character figurine. The latest installment of the hugely successful video game is the 13th in the series, boasting an impressive million units sold. Expect to see the drinks for sale on internet auction sites once they’ve all been snapped up from convenience stores.
Select convenience stores, ¥934.