Japanese Convenience Stores
Check me in uniform!
Japanese convenience stores are actually convenient. In Canada or the USA, it seems convenience stores haven’t quite caught up to the awesomeness of Japanese convenience stores. In the USA and Canada it seems gas stations have taken more of a convenience store role – get gas a pepsi and some chips while your at it.
Here in Japan, convenience stores are called conbini or コンビニ。
Conbini is short for convenience – but pronounced in Japanese. sounds like comb(silent b) bee nee.
There are 3 major convenience stores here in Japan:
Lawson (ローソン) and
There are others such as CircleK, MiniStop, Sunkus, スリーエフ and your local mom-pop shops.
All convenience stores are 24 hours here – I have never seen one closed. I wonder if they even have locks on the doors?
Off the top of my head here is what you could buy at a Japanese convenience store:
– plane tickets (smartpit at lawson)
– concert tickets
– pay your gas/cellphone/electric/anything bill
– buy an ipod
– send a package to your friend 500km away
– all types of HEALTHY food (oden, noodles, bento, rice, salad, sushi, snacks, drinks – you can buy chicken and fries, croqette)
– alcohol (not all stores have this)
– much more!
How many convenience stores in Japan? well,
Here are some numbers:
There are 11,883 7-eleven’s in Japan!
There are 8,564 Lawson’s in Japan.
There are 7,080 FamilyMart’s in Japan!
That means there is 1 convenience store for every 4,613 people in Japan.
I really like FamilyMart or Lawson. 7-eleven seems too corporate for me. 2 years ago FamilyMart branched to the USA and opened in California selling rice balls (onigiri) and some Japanese bento. There are currently 13 FamilyMart’s in USA.
I love Japanese convenience stores!