I Love Konbini: Awesome Konbini (Convenience Store) In Japan!
I love konbini (convenience store) in Japan and I often use it in different situations, for lunch, after work, family trips, and so on.
What’s so awesome about it?
Well, it’s amazingly convenient, food is delicious, and so much more!
This time, I’ll be introducing some of them.
1. It’s Everywhere!
As of August 2004, there are already 50,173 stores all over Japan according to Japan Franchise Association. That means, you can find a konbini just within 5 to 10-minute walking distance in cities of Japan.
2. It’s Always Open!
Mostly all konbinis are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, just go to the konbini and you can buy basically any items that you need even in the early morning or late at night.
3. Great Restrooms!
Restrooms are clean and free to use (in most stores)! Because there are many konbinis everywhere in Japan, it saved me many times in case of emergencies. (LOL)
4. Variety of Foods
There is a wide variety of foods available in konbini. So, you can choose whatever you feel like eating on that day. (Be careful of overeating though!)
These are some of the foods you can find:
– Onigiri (rice balls) and bento (packed meals)
– Fresh salads
– Sandwiches and breads
(Personally, I think milk and curry bread are the best combination ever!)
– Cup ramen (or cup noodles)
(You can even ask the staff to pour hot water to your cup ramen!)
– Hot snacks
At the counter area, there’s always a hot display cabinet placed in front that contains selection of hot snacks. Each konbini has its own line-up and it changes every season.
Summer: deep-fried chicken, hot dogs, french fries
Winter: oden (a Japanese style pot-au-feu), nikuman (steamed pork buns)
– Snacks and Sweets
Recently, sweets sold in konbinis are becoming exceptionally more delicious.
You can find wagashi (Japanese sweets), pudding, yogurt, ice cream and many more!
Also, for foods that are best eaten warm, the staff will be so willing to heat it up for you.
You can ask them by saying, “Atatamete kudasai.” But most of the time, they will ask you first “Atatamemasuka?”, which means “(Would you like me to) heat up (the food)?”.
Especially, you’ll be surprised how many kinds of canned or bottled coffee drinks are available. Well, it only shows how necessary coffee is for a Japanese businessman. In addition to that, soda and refreshing drinks, beer, and liquor are also being sold.
What’s actually interesting is the display shelves for drinks.
When you take out one bottle, other bottles behind it will automatically come forward.
This system allows filling in and organizing the shelf by itself without bothering the customers.
Isn’t that great? It’s not only customer friendly, but worker friendly as well.
There’s a large collection of magazines and you can even browse through it without being warned.
(Even adult magazines are available, too.)
7. Other services are great, too!
Because konbini is always available everywhere, at any time, there are a lot of convenient services to avail from.
That is why, no worries at all even for a workaholic Japanese.
Other services that konbinis offer are:
– Free Wi-Fi
To avail this service, you need to register first.
So, when you come to Japan, take advantage of this free service.
After registering, you’ll receive original contents and coupons.
– Bill Payments
You can even pay your bills (electricity, gas, water, even telephone bill) at konbini.
In Japan, many people cannot go to banks during working hours. So this service is indeed very useful.
Well, the same reason as I stated above.
I find it ironic that Japanese people works to earn money but mostly have no time to withdraw it. (LOL)
– Copier, Fax, Photo Printer
Konbinis nowadays have multi-function machines installed.
It boasts various functions not only for copying but also for scanning materials and printing photos.
You can even print out documents and images from internet which you can register online beforehand.
For home-based businessmen, maybe they don’t need to buy their own photocopy or fax machines anymore and just avail these services at the konbini.
– Ticket Purchase
At konbini, you can also buy tickets for concert, movie, trip, lottery, and even express bus ticket. (As I’m writing this, I feel like we can really buy just anything in konbini!)
– E-money and Prepaid Cards
You can buy various e-money and prepaid cards of iTunes Store, Apple Store, and Amazon. That is why, for people who are into online and smartphone games, konbini is an absolute necessity.
– Courier Service
You can also pick up packages you purchased from online stores and they even accept packages you want to send, any time.
It is very convenient especially for people who are busy with work or other errands.
What do you think about Japanese convenience stores? Aren’t they just great?
Although it is being said that convenience store started in United States, thanks to the intensive research and know-how in Japan, konbini became what it is right now.
Well, when it comes to improvising (“kaizen” in Japanese), aren’t Japanese just good at that?
Latest posts by murakami (see all)
- Doctor Yellow – A Special Shinkansen (Bullet Train): What’s so great about it? - September 16, 2014
- Summer Ritual at Shinto Shrine: “Chinowa-kuguri” - August 18, 2014
- I Love Konbini: Amazing Technology of Onigiri (Rice Ball) - August 4, 2014
If you’ve been staying in Japan for some time now, then you’ve probably come across some government forms or some sort of application form that need filling up. You’ll notice that in some forms wherein you need to fill up a date, the format is quite different. That’s because some require you to use the […]
Have you seen the movie titled 47 Ronin? Would you believe me if I tell you that they were real? Who are they and why are they so famous among Japanese people? What is a Ronin? A ronin refers to a lordless or masterless samurai. A samurai becomes a ronin when they loss in battle […]
Kendo, or the “way of the sword,” is similar to forms of fencing seen in other lands. Two contestants wearing armor to protect the face, chest, and arms confront each other with bamboo swords called shinai. Today, it is widely practiced within Japan and many other nations across the world. The following two tabs change […]
Summer in Japan is finally here! Finally, the season for Matsuri(festivals). Japan as busy as a country it may seem has a year-long list of festivals it celebrate all over the country. For most tourists, this is the best time to experience first-hand Japanese traditions and culture. In most of these festivals, you will find […]
Muramasa (1) Masamune and Muramasa “Masamune” and “Muramasa” are probably the two well-known Japanese sword brands to common Japanese people. You may have seen those names in Japanese manga, video games, novels, etc. For example, “Masamune” is used by Sephiroth in a Playstation game, Final Fantasy 7. Also, there is a game entitled as “Oboro-muramasa” […]
Bizen Osafune Japanese sword museum (1) About 30 minute walk from the Kagato station. It’s an institution with a sword museum, a shop, a forge and a sword craft centre. It cost me 500 yen (in November 2014) to enter the museum, but others were free. There were no swordsmiths nor craftsmen except one when […]
I thought we already reached our destination after losing liters of sweat pushing our bicycles and ourselves following the steep road going up to the mountain. I was wrong. We just reached the wide parking area and there we were still half way from the top. But even so, the scenery from there was already very […]
If you go to the Fukiya village by public transport, you need to go to Takahashi, which is also a lovely place to visit. There are old samurai residences, a temple with Japanese garden, and above all, a castle on the mountain. The name of the city is “Takahashi”, but the train station is “Bicchuu […]
Popular manga titles Naruto, YuYu Hakusho, and Inuyasha has one thing in common – they have characters depicting a fox or in Japanese, kitsune (キツネ). The fox (esp. the species Vulpes vulpes) is a common topic in Japanese myths and legends. They are intelligent beings and possess magical abilities. The most common of these abilities […]
After enjoying our morning hunt for momiji leaves (we enjoyed it so much that we did not realize that we have walked for more than two hours), we decided to take a short break before we continue our hunting trip. I know Kyoto is one of the best places to enjoy Japanese cuisine but we […]