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What are some of weirdest sandwiches, pastries or other food and drink items you have seen in Japanese convenience stores or supermarkets?


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Sandwiches where the bread isn't wet and soggy like they are in American convenience stores. Weird!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Octopus-flavored ice cream. Imagine eating frozen creamy seafood soup.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yakisoba filled bread rolls.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Red bean and whipped cream sandwich.

And basically any sandwich where the filling is right at the front and the rest of the sandwich is empty.

I have hardly ever come across a sandwich in Japan that I liked. Why are people here so allergic to brown or granary bread? Why does every single damn savoury sandwich have to include either ham or eggs? The lack of imagination is astounding.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Oden with fertilised egg.

One of those moments when I am particularly happy to be vegan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

食パン which is extremely sweet for the average European. Many Japanese people don't even realise this because a huge proportion of any food or drink here is sweetened with something.

Then the vast majority of pastries are moist and full of air like a sponge (ふわ). So instead of baked goods, one buys air with the baked flour content as a bonus.

And what I saw for the first time in my life, 30 years ago, and am still fascinated by today - fruit sandwiches. It's as weird and unpalatable as rice pudding with fruit.

And then, as already mentioned - a sandwich, where the front ( displayed) part is full of filling, but the back part is mostly just smeared with something and empty. But you can't see the back part because it's cleverly hidden.


Why are people here so allergic to brown or granary bread?

I've been asking this question for almost 30 years and the most common answer is that 食パン is delicious because of the taste of wheat and it doesn't have a hard crust. And that 'German bread' (that's the nickname for the bread of the countries of central to mid-western Europe) is too bitter, sour and not suitable for anything other than sausages. For example, when I once brought buckwheat bread, nobody liked it and everybody thought it was strange. Although buckwheat noodles are common here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The sandwiches at Japanese convenience stores suck so bad. Always refined, white bread, with the meagre contents all pushed to the front so you think you are getting a decent portion, but in actual fact most of it is air. I miss thick, actually full sandwiches from back home on healthy brown or whole wheat bread.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Pastries that aren't pastry.....just bread folded to look like a pastry.....pastry has BUTTER!! Lots of butter!!

Sandwiches that have fruit as a filling.....wtf?!

Sandwiches that have all their fillings front loaded into a tiny area, a half bite and the filling is gone and you are left with dry cruddy bread.......layer then fillings across all the bread!!

any of the bread & "pastry" items that lie unrefrigerated on the convini and supermarket shelves despite having highly perishable ingredients such as cheese, meat and mayo.

Any hot sando shop that gives you 3 slivers of shredded cheese.....it's meant to melt and cover the WHOLE sandwich!!

Thick slices of barely boiled potato......why?!

Ok so this is more a rant on the poor sandwich game of Japan as opposed to weird fillings, so I will end on a positive.......curry pan. These deep fried, curry filled doughnuts are the absolute best snack in a Japanese bread shop

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The fruit sandwiches are by far the weirdest. I find sandwiches a boring option on a normal day, but starberries and cream with bread is akin to brutalizing a good product.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Pizza with a rice base and sea weed

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mayonnaise and corn on pizza.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

食パン which is extremely sweet for the average European. Many Japanese people don't even realise this because a huge proportion of any food or drink here is sweetened with something.

This is not an exclusively Japanese problem, so you can delete the word "here". Given the chance, many processed food manufacturers will add sugar (and salt), bread manufacturers included.


0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mayonnaise and corn on pizza.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kohakuebisu is correct in that processed food globally has high levels of salt, sugar and sweetener to artificially enhance flavour and mouth feel. The actual nutritional component is often low - disassemble a veggie burger and you would have a tiny pile of vegetable bits, much smaller than a serving of vegetables. A bigger problem is that processed food desensitises your taste buds, so real food - potatoes, legumes and vegetables - becomes tasteless. Adding salt to 'fix' this is bad for your health. Go 'cold turkey' from processed food for 2-4 weeks and your taste buds will recover. You will be able to taste real food without adding any salt (you shouldn't add any to meals during cooking or at the table). Occasional processed food (esp. tins of soup) will then taste too salty. Your taste buds have now recovered and you can enjoy healthy food again.

However, on a like-for-like basis, I do think Japanese food is more heavily processed and sweeter than Western equivalents. There is a chemistry lab element to some ingredients lists, esp. sweets, which may contain additives banned by the EU. Drinks too - Ramune is insanely sweet.

This may be cultural (an acceptance of processing and novelty rather than a desire for 'free from' foods) or linked to the Japanese diet, which has very different taste and mouth-feel characteristics to most Western diets.

It is worth pointing out that most traditional diets and the 'named meals' that have become part of them, are likely to be less healthy than a diet formed from component ingredients, home prepared, cooked simply and assembled on a plate without the use of salt, sweeteners, fats, sauces and additives like MSG. If you would like to be healthier, audit your diet and try the alternative path for a bit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can buy a stick of individually wrapped square candies at a highway service station in the north of Shikoku, just west of Takamatsu.

They will help you satisfy your craving for Udon, for as you chew on them, just such a delightful flavor will fill your mouth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And basically any sandwich where the filling is right at the front and the rest of the sandwich is empty.

'Onigiriwich'. Big blob of something in the middle, the rest a barren wasteland.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A big problem is that there is very little choice in Japan. It's either the marshmallow bread or the highway. Otherwise, you have to spend a fortune at those rare bakeries which produce good quality, healthier bread. In places like US, UK, you want crap bread, you can get crap bread. You want good bread, you can get good bread. Everything at low prices.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The absurd combination nonsense.

Why do they always need to put in 5 different ingredients in the sandwich or bread?

We don't need mayo, corn and mentaiko on the pizza bread. Just some meat sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Keep it simple!

We don't need chicken, cream, meat sauce and potato salad in the sandwich. Just put some katsu and lettuce or something.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The challenging flavors of Popsicle, Gari-Gari-kun, is one of the weirdest. Of course the series come with regular flavors such as soda, on the other hand, the main supply company of Gari-Gari-kun often releases unique flavors like ketchup-based taste. Surprisingly however, most of the new products have become a big hit. The titles of the packages are so straightforward that I cannot help but feel weird to them. I recommend one of them once in a life time, though I've never tried...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just bake your own bread.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Where is the crust? My favorite part is always missing!

2 ( +4 / -2 )


This is not an exclusively Japanese problem, so you can delete the

word "here". Given the chance, many processed food manufacturers will

add sugar (and salt), bread manufacturers included.

Apart from a few countries in South America and the northern part of Africa, I have travelled to most of the world and spent a lot of time there for work. What I meant about over-sweetened bread is that Japanese bread is terribly sweet to taste. The fact that sugar has to be or is commonly added to the dough is another matter and it was not about that. When I make homemade bread, I also add sugar and salt, but it's still bread and not candy. Nowhere in the world have I eaten such sweet 食パン as here. I find it like licking a sugar cube (literally). However, many Japanese no longer find it so because they are used to the sweetness. My wife's sister has been living in the US since her student years, and she always finds Japanese 食パン sweet too when she comes back here for a visit. Not to my wife or the rest of the family. In the late 80s, when I settled here, the bread was very sweet compared to European bread. During the 90s I thought it decreased a bit, but since about the mid 2000s it has been increasing more and more. Which would be consistent with what they present in the nutritional chart of the bread package.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese sandwiches do have a lot of mayo which I have to remove before eating, but I think on the whole the ready-made sandwiches here are not so bad. If I get a ready-made sandwich in the States at a gas station convenience store for example, you basically have massively salty and preserved cold cuts and you can feel a spike in blood pressure. They do however recently have turkey options and salads as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anything with Mayo in them. Take your pick. Tuna, egg, roast beef...Usually, I try to avoid Japanese sandwiches altogether because I never eat white bread and they usually don't use wheat bread, I like made to order and they don't have a big selection of sandwich ingredients. So I just make them myself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Being able to buy a whole "loaf" of just crusts for ¥30 when the terrible soft real bread, all 6 slices, were ¥180.

Happy days!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sandwiches here are so terribly awful, save for the odd bakery sandwich they make by hand (and even then most are awful). Fruit sandwiches are abhorrent, as are the yakisoba filled sponges (bread) someone mentioned above, the ribbon of ham with half a head of lettuce, crusts cut off like for a child, etc.

And while we're on it... I like tuna sandwiches. Always have. Hate egg salad (can eat it, but dislike it). So, why do they always sell them together, and there are never just tuna sandwiches. There used to be, long ago. Actually, I know it's about money. Worked in restaurants in the past and "egg salad sandwich lunch special" was always a go-to when you had no time and wanted to make a quick buck. Cheap, and easy to mass produce. Tuna, on the other hand, takes more time and is more expensive.

Drinks, any of the annual Pepsi experiments they try out, like cucumber or azuki Pepsi.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Make them yourself.

Source the bread from a local bakery.

Buy fresh ingredients.

My favorite, bacon and fried egg, I have been able to source the bacon. only on fry up Friday.

Or I will develop more chins than my doc can point her pencil at.


2 ( +2 / -0 )

itsonlyrocknroll: "Make them yourself."

Did exactly that the other day. Man, it took some time. Made rye bread, bought some corned beef at CostCo, sauerkraut at the local supermarket, no swiss (the one shortcut I took) so I used the local sliced stuff, thousand island dressing, Hokkaido butter, and boom... classic Reuban sandwich.

I wish they had REAL bakeries here and not places with different types of flour product wrapped around a hot dog wiener and/or covered with mayonnaise, corn, or red bean paste and whipped cream. Some nice German bread, REAL whole wheat, rye bread, sour dough, and more... They do have good baguettes sometimes, though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Garlic cola In Aomori

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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