With Japan’s state of emergency likely to be extended for another month, it will be a long time before daily life feels remotely normal again. Still, there are small indulgences, like getting sweets from the convenience store, to make things seem less bleak.

Lawson’s line of desserts are worth a (quick, mask-on) trip outside. Its Uchi Cafe brand ice bars have been one of the most welcome additions to the konbini ecosystem, and the new Ehime Prefecture Citrus Iyo & Amanatsu flavor is a highlight. This frozen treat (¥185 after tax) offers a tart mikan tang perfect for the warmer weather. Eat it on your balcony, or in your backyard, and imagine you’ve taken a trip to Shikoku.

Even better is Lawson’s new matcha-chocolate addition to its Gohoubi Sweets brand of freeze-dried strawberries. Each pack (¥298 after tax) features the fruit coated in a crunchy chocolate that perfectly blends the flavors of matcha and strawberry, neither overwhelming the other. Paired with a cup of tea or coffee, it’s a combo that offers a very brief break from reality.

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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