Halloween is on the horizon and Japanese convenience stores are embracing the spookiest day of the year. But which chain is doing it best in 2018?

FamilyMart boasts the least-inspired themed goods. The snacks don’t taste bad, but they sure look bland. The bulk of what’s on offer are regular cakes and sweets with pumpkin flavoring. The one exception is an omelette rice and chicken onigiri (rice ball) with a jack-o’-lantern face on the outside … of the packaging. Next!

Lawson follows a similar formula, but it’s all a little bit better. The pumpkin and cream doughnut delivers a nice sweetness, and there are some generic fall-inspired potato tarts. More Instagram-friendly are its Rilakkuma-shaped sweets, which find the fictional bear character on top of a pumpkin. The sweets look good, but taste like any other mochi-based creation.

The best treats come from 7-Eleven. The store has a pumpkin Mont Blanc, as well as an extremely sweet tiramisu pancake and a crunchy chocolate pastry. To top off the range of treats, 7-Eleven have the best-looking Halloween cakes, resembling mummies, cats and even Frankenstein’s monster.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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