Up Norf in Japan

Roving around in Yonezawa, northern Japan the other evening desperately looking for something to keep my mind occupied.

You'll have to take my word for it, its not as easy as it sounds up there.

In fact, after a pleasant stroll around town, I realized that my best bet for entertainment was to pretend to walk into the ladies restroom at the train station by mistake.  But once I had done that 5 or 6 times I was back to square one.

As usual, it wasn't long before I found myself at convenience store looking for booze. The city's only convenience store as it would happen. A Newdays outlet. 

Like most frequent conbini visitors, over time, I have built up quite an aversion to Newdays.

Operated as a subsidiary of East Japan Railways, they are normally located inside station terminals, protected from competition from other chains. Commuters are hence a captive audience with no option but to shop or wait. Understandably, most sensible people don't build up any loyalty to the brand the way they do to Family Mart or Lawson 

Despite this, admirably, Newdays normally run a very tight ship.

But not up north in Yonezawa they don't.

Pyongyang flavored sandwiches and onigiri for all.

No food, but thankfully a lovely drawing of Goofy. Even if he was a bit hard of hearing on the left side.

Mercifully, they also had an extensive range of Hello Kitty souvenirs. Maybe the best I have seen north of the capital.

The convenience store also had a 5 meter statue of a samurai warrior at the entrance.

Extensive Hello Kitty baubles selection. 25 foot samurai doll. No food.
Keep up the god work Newdays.