Saturday, May 16, 2009


Popura, or Popular convenient store is located not far from a large rice paddy field in Saijo suburb. It is one of more than tens convenient stores in Saijo. I took this photo last week when visiting friends who live in the apartment behind this store. Convenient store or "konbini" in Japanese pronunciation is my theme today.
In the image on the left, the three Japanese main scripts are used: Katakana, Hiragana and Kanji. The first one (red box) on the top is written in Katakana, a set of symbols (syllabary) used for foreign borrowed words. It consists of three letters: Po-Pu-Ra, the name of the store, since as you can guess its original word is "Popular". The second neon box (below left) is Ta-ba-ko, written in Hiragana symbols which are used for Japanese original words. There is an exception here, we know that "Tabako" isn't Japanese word, but it's now very common word and one of the most goods sold in either Konbinis and vending machines. The neon box in the right is carrying Kanji, ideographs from Chinese characters. That Kanji character symbolizes  Sake. 
Hope my English doesn't make you lost in translation :). For a better understanding about Japanese writing system, you can read this.

Now, walk again in less than ten minutes, you'll find another Konbini.
Well, not this one :). is right next to the station. 

Hiro San: Onaka ga peko-peko (I'm starving)
Yuri San: Daijobu, Konbini wa chikai desu (No worry, there's a konbini near by)


Julie said...

we all seem to depend on our local convenience stores. they looks so clean and crisp. Thanks for your comments on my site. I am glad you are enjoying the sunset and nightscape photos. I have a saguaro at night painted with light on long exposure up today and will have moon photos up for the next three days.

Vogon Poet said...

Onaka ga peko-peko this may be useful! I love these posts of daily life. Something I'd like, and may be interesting for all, are some examples of how and when the different sets of japanese characters mix. I have a vague idea, but just don't get the whole thing right. Can you do this in future?

Christopher Raun Leth said...

The lesson learned from these photos is that we don't need pyramids or Eiffel Towers to get terrific photos. Well done, Henny.

JM said...

Japanese writing makes every sign look beautiful!

By the way, the 'Baywatch' title is a joke! I hate the TV show! Lol!

Tall Gary said...

Would this help, Vogon Poet? I’m afraid there is no Italian link on the left, just French.

This is amazing to me, Henny. I have never ever heard of these convenience stores. In Tokyo we had Seven-Eleven; Family Mart; Lawson; Mini Stop; and a couple others.

You know what’s funny? When I was in Japan last November I made a joke comparing my height to a kind of scale that was on the front door of a convenience store. My friend later said that the scale was on the door because when there are robberies the police always ask the clerks in the store how tall the robber was.

So maybe Japan is no longer as safe as it once was. Too bad. How are things in the Hiroshima area?

nanak said...

saya juga belajar renang di kali. he
tapi sy dulu di larang main di kali.
ga di bolehin ma ortu :)
btw, km asli indonesia mana si?
trus, skg di jepang kerja ato ikut keluarga, ato gmna?

Vogon Poet said...

@ Tall Gary - Thanks, I've read that and just would like to see how it works in the real word. I liked your story about the scale!

nanak said...

ada yang lupa
uda gabung TE
tapi blum aktif :)

henny said...

Thank you, everybody. Hope this can benefit us all.

@ Vogon, I'm still figuring out how to use Japanese characters using my regular "Romaji" keyboard. I'm trying to do it in this theme photos and later in the future.

@Gary, thank you for the link. Hiroshima and Saijo are doing fine, rain and temperature dropped occasionally, but that won't prevent me to go out do some snapshots :). How are you?
About safety, I think you are right, no longer as safe as it was once. Hey, I never noticed there was a scale in Konbini before :).

henny said...

I have edited this post :).

Kaori said...

I've never heard of Heart In! It's fun seeing all these new convenience stores, thanks for the photos Henny!