If you visit Japan, you will see many convenience stores. They offer many products and useful services. You can buy things you forgot to pack and find good food in those stores. Also, you can use restrooms and Wi-Fi in some of them. Convenience stores will be a great ally in your travels.
What Kind of Convenience Stores Are There?
There are several companies operating convenience stores in Japan. Among them, the three most common ones we see are 7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson. Most of them are open 24 hours a day. When you visit Japan, you might want to check where these three stores are located.
In addition, there are local convenience stores throughout Japan. If you go, you can buy special food only available in that area.
7-Eleven Store Locator:
Family Mart Store Locator:
Lawson Store Locator:
https://www.e-map.ne.jp/p/lawson/ (Japanese website)
https://ml.its-mo.com/p/en/lbankatm/ (English *Please note that this is Lawson’s ATM locator.)
There Are Lots of Helpful Products
If you need something while traveling in Japan, you may be able to find them at a convenience store. 7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson sell toothbrushes, razors, cosmetics, towels, and other useful items. 7-Eleven also sells T-shirts, underwear, and socks. Depending on the store, that offers conversion plugs and portable chargers. If you need them urgently, those stores are very helpful.
We Can Use The Restrooms, Wi-Fi, And Other Services
Convenience stores also offer services other than shopping. Some of them have restrooms available for guests. When you want to use free Wi-Fi, go to Lawson. Convenience stores also have printers and ATMs. You can use them by changing the language to English.
Also, you can buy tickets to popular facilities at those stores. Some tickets are only available at convenience stores and you can even buy them at a discounted price! For example, tickets to Tokyo Disneyland, Ghibli Museum, and Tokyo Skytree are available. You can buy them in dedicated machines.
Many convenience stores have copy machines. You can print pdfs and photos from your phone and USB. There is also a service to purchase and print illustrations of anime characters, sheet music, etc…
Duty-free shopping is available at some major convenience stores with duty-free signs. It is a good system for travelers: you can purchase items without consumption tax if you bring them back to your country. So you should buy some souvenirs there if you find one! (Duty-free stores: 7-Eleven, Lawson, Familymart)
Exchange and Withdraw Cash in Japan :
How to buy tickets in Japan
7-Eleven : https://www.sej.co.jp/services/multicopy/tickets.html (Japanese website)
Family Mart : https://www.family.co.jp/content/dam/family/services/famiport/2020guidebook_web_PDF_2203.pdf (Japanese website)
Lawson : https://l-tike.com/guide/loppi_english.html
Lots of Good Food!
The most attractive thing about convenience stores is the delicious food and their abundance of the lineup. What I would like you to try are rice balls. They come in a variety of flavors, with salmon and tuna with mayonnaise being the most popular. I also recommend enjoying snacks and noodles that can only be found in Japan. Those stores have microwaves and electric kettles, so you can enjoy hot delicious meals in your hotel room, in the park, etc. The time and wattage for microwaving are written on the product package.
You will receive wet wipes, chopsticks, spoons, etc., that match the food you buy, so there is no need to buy cutlery. If you do not use chopsticks, you can ask for a fork instead. (As of October 2022, cutlery will be provided free of charge but may be charged in the future.)
Convenience stores have coffee machines and you can enjoy authentic coffee. The hot snacks, especially chicken snacks, are also delicious! Since some stores have eat-in areas with electrical outlets, you can enjoy those foods and coffee and charge your phone at the same time!
7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson have English websites.
7-Eleven : https://www.sej.co.jp/in/en.html
Family Mart : https://www.family.co.jp/english.html
Lawson : https://www.lawson.co.jp/service/others/in/lang/en.html
I hope this information helps your trip.