Convenience Stores in Japan

Hello every one!
Today I am going to share some interesting facts about convenience store in Japan . It is called “CONBINI” in Japanese. You can find conbini everywhere, especially near the metro and train stations and housing complexes.
Most convenience stores are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
You can not only buy the goods you need , but also use various services offered in the conbini.

The goods offered are mainly foods , such as sandwiches, bread, sweets, chocolate, fruit, snacks, hot and cold beverages, lunch boxes, tea and coffee, alcoholic beverages, milk, juice.
Besides, food and beverages they also offer umbrellas, newspapers and magazines, body care products, blank CDs and tapes and a lot of other goods.

And what about the SERVICES offered in the conbini? You can find lot of services in convenience stores such as ATM, fax & printer, copy machine, ticket reservation, gas/water/electricity bill payment, luggage delivery service, postal service etc.
How many kinds of conbini in Japan? During my time in Japan , I came to know 9 kinds of conbini, among which 3 of them are part of very big groups and are very popular among residents of Japan.

1 – Family Mart

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2 – Seven Eleven  ( 7/11 )

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3 – Lawson

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4 – Daily Yamazaki


5 –  Sun-Kus
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6 – New Days (often inside the big stations)

7 –  3 F
8 – Mini Stop

9 – Am Pm

Moving on, I would like to talk about the most popular conbini having a lot of chain stores everywhere in Japan, especially in Tokyo. The list is ordered according to my preference depending on my perception of their quality of food and service.

1 – Family Mart: I think it has the most stores number in Japan, and is located in the most strategic places such as the entrance of metro and train stations. Family Mart also has franchise stores in other countries such as Philippines, Thailand, South Korea, United States, Indonesia, China and Vietnam. For me, I like it not only because of its delicious foods, but because it is easily accessible wherever I go. I commute usually with metro, so I can find it in front of my daily commuting stations.

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2 – 7 Eleven ( 7 / 11 ) : It is located in more than 27 countries in the 4 continents . Originally it is an american company since 1927 ( parent company ) , but now has its Independent company in each country (Franchising). In contrast, my  most Japanese friends prefer to use Seven Eleven not Family Mart!! they don’t consider its location but 90% of my Japanese friends said they like and trust Seven Eleven more than other conbini. The goods and service are similar, however everyone has their own favorite conbini.
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3 – Lawson : It is  the second largest convenience store chain in the country after 7 Eleven . It has its overseas branches in China, Thailand, Hawaii, Indonesia.  Although this conbini is popular among my Japanese friends, I still prefer
to use Family Mart as my first choice and 7-Eleven after that.
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In summary, each store has its own special products and its advantages . But most people prefer the store which is near from their house, work or the station they use every day.

For optional tour reservation and inquiry, please contact tic-tokyo@his-world.com or visit one of our Tourist information center in Tokyo.

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8 thoughts on “Convenience Stores in Japan

  1. Thank you for this informative article about Kombini stores in Japan (I didn’t know there were so many brands!).
    As a rule of thumb, I think these are probably each store’s strong points:
    Onigiri, pasta : Family Mart
    Hot snack, Sandwich, Breads : Lawson
    Sushi, Bento, Soup, Sweets, Desserts : 7/11
    but of course, this is a very personal appreciation and I am sure each one will have their own personal “ranking”. I am told this comes up at dates to determine if you’re compatible🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. totally agree with you . each brand has its own strong points , but the busy Japanese has no time to use their favorite combini but use the nearest one of their office or station . that’s why Family Mart has increased its shops near the main stations in last 2 years

      Liked by 1 person

    1. totally agree with you . it looks like a shopping area where you can buy some souvenirs to your friends in your Land and also for yourself ..


  2. Family mart for the fried chicken!!! The culprit for my ever expanding waistline in Japan!

    great article! is there any particular reason why your friend prefer one over the others?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there are 3 reasons …the first is that they used to use one store since they were child and like its products
      the second reason is that most of people prefer to use the store which is near from the station they use daily or near their home
      third reason , each store has its specialty and special goods ..so if you like coffee you will like 7/11 …you like Meals you will like Lawson ..etc


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