Convenience of convenience stores

convenience store Situations

Super Convenient Japanese Convenience Stores

Convenience stores are, as the name implies, convenient. Japanese convenience stores are packed with convenience in the truest sense of the word. It is probably safe to say that almost every Japanese person stops by one on a daily basis.

They carry a wide variety of items, from daily meals to snacks, desserts, and alcohol. They also have underwear, socks, small medicines, manga, and magazines. For those living in Japan, it is also a payment window for various utility bills and taxes. You can also use the multifunction copier and machine to receive government documents and purchase tickets to events. It is also possible to have packages delivered, and there is a bank ATM.

There is a convenience store a minute’s walk from my house, which is really convenient when I forget to buy eggs or milk. (Supermarkets are a 10 minute walk away.)

Who are the three major convenience store chains?

Convenience stores are located all over Japan because they are indispensable to people’s lives. The three major convenience store chains in Japan are 7-Eleven, Lawson, and Family Mart.

3 major convenience store chain
sign of Seven-Eleven, Lawson, FamilyMart

These chains do not differ much in terms of service and product selection. However, Japanese people have their own preferred convenience stores, and they all have their own particular places to go to buy certain products.

Here are some of the subtle differences between them.


Seven-Eleven has an established reputation for the taste of its boxed lunches and prepared foods. It offers lunchboxes made in collaboration with famous restaurants for a limited time only.


Lawson is said to be the best convenience store chain in terms of desserts and taste. It has many health-conscious products and is favored by health-conscious people.


FamilyMart’s original fried chicken called “Famichiki” is very popular. In central Tokyo office buildings and other locations, a stylish “Famima!” in office buildings in urban areas.

The level of food available at convenience stores continues to rise as competition among the three companies intensifies. So, no matter where you buy your food, you can be sure that it will always be delicious, which is a Japanese quality.

Buy this at a convenience store!


Convenience stores are the fastest place to find new confectionery products. If you want to try a new flavor of a classic snack, go to the snack corner of a convenience store! Private brand snacks may look plainly packaged, but they are not fake snacks that look similar to the original. They are made by a good manufacturer, but they are a little cheaper or in larger quantities, so they are a good value for money.

Chilled Desserts

All convenience store chains offer a wide range of desserts, from Western sweets such as puddings and cakes to Japanese sweets such as dumplings and daifuku. All of them can be purchased for less than 500 yen. The prices are low, but the taste is as good as those at specialty stores. Try them for dessert when you are a little hungry.


Onigiri is the soul food of Japan. Onigiri are rice balls made of rice that is hardened into a palm-sized ball, and eaten with ingredients inside or mixed in with the rice. Convenience stores offer a wide variety of onigiri, and they are easy to find. Most are sold wrapped in nori (dried seaweed). Onigiri packages developed to keep the nori crispy are said to be difficult for those who open them for the first time. By all means, give it a try!

rice ball
onigiri (rice ball)

If you find one, go in! Three slightly rare convenience stores


This convenience store is owned by supermarket giant Aeon. It has an excellent reputation for its soft-serve ice cream, and even has a store that specializes in soft-serve ice cream only. In addition to their soft-serve ice cream, their seasonal parfaits are also very attractive.


Seicomart is only found in Hokkaido and some areas in the Kanto region. It also has stores in very small towns in Hokkaido, and is considered a friend of the people of Hokkaido. The boxed lunches prepared in the store are delicious. Other unique sweets and beverages from Hokkaido also make great souvenirs.

New Days

Operated by JR East, a railroad company. Only available at stations in the East Japan area. Many stores have only self-checkout systems with no clerks. Unique rice balls are popular. Since they are located in stations, some stores sell many souvenirs.

Enjoy the Japanese convenience store life!