Sake Gumi
Up until Tuesday, I had to cross the street to go to nearest combini (convenient store) at work. In Japan, combinis are rampant - and don't get the bad rap that convenient stores in America get. They sell a wide assortment of lunchables, drinks, magazines, etc. It's also a great place to make an emergency bathroom stop.

So I was absolutely ecstatic to see one open up in the lobby of my work building. And it's not just a regular one - it's a Natural Lawson's. Lawson is one of the most common combini's in Japan. Recently there have been variations of the regular Lawson's popping up around Tokyo - Lawson 100 (100 yen Lawson), Lawson Plus (Lawson with expanded specialties - i.e. produce) and Natural Lawson. Natural Lawson is my favorite - especially as a Northern Californian.

The marketing ploy is similar to say, Whole Foods, with Dr. Bronners toiletries and onigiri made with brown rice (instead of regular short grain white rice). I would only come across a Natural Lawson's when I went to trendy areas such as Omotesando or Akasaka-Mitsuke, but now that it has become just one elevator ride away, I will probably become very well acquainted with all of their stock.

My first purchase was Lavender hand soap produced by a brand I had come across for the first time called Leaf & Botanicals for 700yen (about $6). It was a little pricey - but that's also part of the package of purchasing something at Natural Lawsons in Tokyo. I sneakily snagged some photos of the shelves with my phone.

Baked goods

Usual Starbucks stuff on the left, Soy milk and Natural Lawson exclusive smoothie fruit juices on the right.


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