Japanese konbini (convenience stores) have been a central part of life for 36-year-old Michael Markey (based in Toyama Prefecture) and 34-year-old Matthew Savas (based in Boston, though he previously lived in Ishikawa Prefecture and Yokohama). The two Americans examine all things quick-service on their podcast, “Conbini Boys.”

1. How did you first end up in Japan?

Savas: I originally went as part of a study abroad program in college, and after I graduated I went back through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.