Updated: April 17, 2018
0 Bookmark

A Guide To Japanese Konbinis (Convenience Stores)

Convenience stores in Japan are virtually everywhere. They are called by the people in Japan "konbini", which is a Japanese abbreviation for "convenience". They sell a good variety of basic necessities and snacks and are generally open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They truly are convenient! Here's a quick konbini guide.

Feel free to follow favy!

Konbini - What To Use Them For

Cheap Bento Boxes

Retina pixta 32500641 s
Konbinis are the place to go for a variety of reasons. The most obvious one is to get a pre-made meal or a snack. You'll find a good variety of bento boxes in the refrigerated section of the stores. You can ask for your meal to be warmed-up in-store too.

Sweets

Another reason is to get yourself some sweets! The battle for konbini sweets is pretty fierce, so each store is always coming up with new and original, often limited edition, sweets that are generally pretty good and affordable. The konbini is the prime place to stop for some ice candy or ice cream treats during Tokyo's scorching summer.

Savoury Snacks And Beer!

Retina main pic
Buying beer or other alcoholic beverages is obviously one of the major purposes of any konbini. When buying alcohol, Japanese people often buy these kinds of savory snacks as well (pictured above), which are sold for 100 to 200 yen. They include dried fish jerkies, crackers, and nuts. They also have cheap wines (under 500 yen) and "one cup sake" drinks (under 200 yen).

Umbrellas

Retina pixta 18149992 s
If you've been in Japan, you've probably noticed these kinds of plastic umbrellas. Konbinis are one of the best places to buy them. As soon as it starts to rain you can be sure that they'll have them on display near the door. They only sell for about 300 to 500 yen.

Killing Time Reading Magazines and Mangas

Retina pixta 29470532 s
If you're waiting for something or someone, feel free to walk into a konbini and start browsing through a fashion magazine or manga magazine. It's perfectly socially acceptable to kill time in a konbini without having any intention of buying anything. Same goes for using their washrooms!

Konbini Payment Method And Withdrawal

Retina pixta 32502211 s
Rest assured, all kombini in Japan accept major credit cards. Furthermore, if you have a Suica card (public transit card), you can pay with those as well at the major kombini branches (7-eleven, Family Mart, Lawson, Mini Stop and many more).

If you have a foreign card and want to withdraw money from a Kombini ATM, then 7-Eleven is your best bet. 7-Eleven is the most "foreigner friendly" financial institution. As a side note, if you can't withdraw at 7-Eleven, you might want to try the Japan Post Bank (Yucho Ginko). They are also found virtually everywhere.
If you live in Japan, then most of your bills can be paid at the konbini. In this case, however, cash is the only accepted method of payment.

Scanner/Printers

Retina pixta 25370157 s
Pretty much every konbini has a scanning and printing machine. You can also upload pics from your smartphone or USB key and print them there at a cheap cost.

Popular Konbinis

There aren't any huge differences between them, konbini sell pretty much the same kind of stuff, but here are a few things that are worth mentioning about them.

7-Eleven

7-Eleven is huge international convenience store chain, but it has its biggest business share in Japan where it has over 2,500 stores in Tokyo alone. They have a pretty good selection of cheap snacks of their own brand.
If you are environmentally conscious you might be interested to know that 7-Eleven has been putting a considerable effort in installing solar panels at their stores.

Family Mart

Family Mart is the next big one. They tend to have a wider variety of sweets and they are known for their self-serve oden stew counter.

Lawson

What's interesting about Lawson konbinis is that they are divided into genres, aiming to satisfy different clienteles.

They have the Lawson Store 100, where most merchandise is sold for 100 yen.
They also have the Natural Lawson store which has a greater of selection of organic and healthy products.

Lastly...

Few countries are as konbini-addicted as Japan. They are part of the daily life of people here and walking into one is an interesting experience in itself.
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

Trending Posts

1

Must See! Tuna Demolition Show At Maguro Shoten, Shinjuku!

Shinjuku
2

NoMad Grill Lounge - Nagatacho, Tokyo : Heavenly Juicy Wagyu Steaks!

3

Kitakata Ramen Bannai - The Ultimate Ramen For All Meat Lovers!

4

You Have To Try Biryani At Spice Box, An Indian Resto in Tokyo!

5

BACCA GRILL&FARMERS - Shinjuku, Tokyo : Bite Off The Gigantic Piece Of Meat!!

More Trending Posts

Recommended For You!

1

TOKYO Whisky Library - Omotesando, Tokyo : Discover 1,200 Kinds Of Whiskeys!

haru
2

Niku Baru pippi, Tokyo - Amazing Beef Dishes

haru
3

Love Sea Urchin? Go To "Hokkai Sushi Uni Maru" In Shinjuku, Tokyo!

favy
4

Looking For A Place To Eat And Drink At Shinjuku, Tokyo? "C by favy" Is The Place To Go!

favy
5

Little Kyoto In The Middle Of Shinjuku?! Try Out Their "Spilling Sushi"

favy

Featured Posts

Things to do in Japan in all regions!

Exploring Yokocho Alleys: a Guide to the Back Streets!

Spring Season Guide For Japanese Food!

More Features

Events

Kamogawa Odori: A Rare Chance To See Real Geishas Performing A Traditional Play

May 01, Tue 〜 May 24, Thu

Strawberry Frappuccino To Kick Off the Summer At Starbucks Japan

Apr 12, Thu 〜 May 29, Tue

Matcha Bonanza At Mister Donut From April, 2018!

Apr 06, Fri 〜 May 31, Thu

Trending Tags