Get to Know Japan’s Main 3 Convenience Stores for 24-Hour, High-Quality Needs

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  • People who have been to Japan and have attested to the country’s impressive convenience store lineup aren’t exaggerating.

    Japanese convenience stores, or “konbini” in Japanese, have tons of surprises that will make your first, second, and perhaps even third visit a “wow moment” experience. The presence of these shops is no longer limited to urban areas but even to small towns in the countryside. If you are planning to stay in one of the major cities, then it will most definitely be an advantage for you to know the three major go-to convenience stores that are open 24-7 and provide a great food selection ranging from main meals to desserts. Whether it’s a late-night snack, a quick bite or a trip to buy some basic toiletries, these konbini giants have you covered.

    1. 7-Eleven

    Considered to be Japan’s first convenience store and the most common one already makes 7-Eleven a must-stop. 7-Elevens are found all around the main cities of Japan with each branch offering just as many products as the rest.

    Seasonal and featured goods are often available to celebrate a change in season or a specific event and if you happen to be in Japan on one of those special days, then expect 7-Eleven to surprise you with something.

    If you’re looking for authentic Japanese cup noodles, fresh bento boxes, or even a wide selection of top-grade wine, this store can definitely provide. Its Seven Bank ATM also comes in very handy as it allows overseas bank withdrawals. Considering how a lot of shops in Japan are still operating on a “cash-only” system of payment, being able to grab some cash even when in a hurry is very convenient.

    7-Eleven website

    2. Lawson

    They say that if it’s all about sweets, desserts, and fried chicken, Lawson is your best place. True enough, this konbini branch prides itself on a number of delectable desserts like the Premium Roll Cake for 143 yen that can easily pass as a product of a top cake confectionary because of its high-quality taste.

    Another must-try food is the karaage-kun, or deep-fried chicken nuggets, which has enticed customers to keep coming back for more with its savory combination of crispiness, juiciness, and tenderness. Karaage-kun comes in several different flavors, ensuring you’ll be back to sample something new now and then.

    While local izakayas, or Japanese traditional pubs, remain a top pick for grabbing the best fried chicken treats, those at Lawson are said to be a capable match. Other must-try food includes honetsuki (fried chicken) and honenashi (boneless fried chicken).

    Lawson website

    3. Family Mart

    If bread and pastries are your thing, you shouldn’t miss out on what Family Mart is offering. It has a notable Oreno (俺の) series, which is composed of a whole array of large desserts to choose from. Their premium line that is highly identifiable with its black label is also popular for its katsu sando, or deep-fried pork sandwich, that sells out quickly due to its popularity and high-quality taste.

    Family Mart website

    There are other smaller convenience stores scattered around Japan such as Circle K and the Daily Yamazaki, but these three can most likely provide for your needs while on the go and are the most common to look out for. Their goods have more affordable prices compared to most food sold in first-class dining establishments in Japan, so they’re an excellent choice if you’re traveling on a budget.

    You’ll never go hungry at Japan’s konbinis, which continually improve their pursuit of providing maximum convenience to buyers. So if you find yourself running short of travel supplies or feel the strong cravings for some legitimate Japanese delicacies, feel free to stop by one of these stores and enjoy best value shopping!

    Featured image: jp.fotolia.com/