Japanese Convenience Stores (Conbini): More than Just Another Store

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  • Every few blocks, you’ll definitely find a convenience store in Japan. These are known as “conbini” in Japanese. This is the reason why Japan is called the “Land of Convenience.”

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    These are not only places for you to buy your daily necessities but also a place for you to pay your utility bills. What makes them more amazing than other convenience stores worldwide? Let’s check out the reasons below.

    Quality of Food

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    Most convenience stores around the world stock their food as it is a primary human necessity. However, the quality of food in Japanese conbini is better and available almost all hours throughout the day. These quick, ready-made foods even made its way to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List! You can buy rice balls with all kinds of delectable fillings for as low as 100 yen. Most of the affordable ready-made foods use locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. During summer, you’ll be treated with different ice cream desserts in the freezer section. In winter, you can purchase a bowl of oden or a steamed pork bun to warm up your body.

    Free Use of Restrooms

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    Conbini restrooms are not only clean but free for everyone’s use. This is the best place to go to if you’re hunting for a free public restroom. Don’t worry if you are not actually buying anything in the store as long as you say “sumimasen toire o tsukaimasu” or “Excuse me, I would like to use the toilet,” you’ll often be greeted with a smile or nod.

    Availability of other Services

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    This is how the Japanese convenience stores take the word “convenience” seriously. Every store is full of products and services such as in-store copy machines, ATMs, movie or bus ticket kiosks and instant picture printers. Apart from this, stores are also great places for deliveries such as mail and luggage. This is the best alternative for the long line often seen in post offices.

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