Published On: Mon, Nov 17th, 2014

The Function of Japanese Convenience Stores

IMG_5936

photo: walkandeat.blogspot.com

Japan also has their own convenience stores, known as the konbini. Just like in other places all around the world, there is a very strong competition between different brands and names of such stores. There are around 40,000 konbini around Japan, and different brands like Family Mart, Seven Eleven, or Lawson is trying to get the best spot in the market. if you are traveling to Japan and you are in need of some essential stuffs, the konbini can provide what you need in the most affordable ways.

 

About Konbini

As the name suggests, Japan convenience stores are truly convenient and even comfy. Most of them are operating 24/7, making it ideal for residents or travelers who are in need of purchasing stuffs for their requirements.

konbini

photo: blog.zingarate.com

The Available Items

Although most of the items offered are meal, you can also still find other stuffs. Most of the snacks, meals, and sweets are the popular rice balls (or mostly known as onigiri), chips, bread, sandwich, instant ramen, lunch boxes (or known as obento), candy, and microwave meals. You can also enjoy hot foods like oden, nikuman, and even fried chicken as well as cold foods like onigiri. In case you want to heat up the cold meals, the store staffs are all ready to help you with it. if you want to find cold beverages, you can find them there like tea, soda, water, juice, sport drinks, vitamin drinks, and milk. Sometimes the availability and selection of the items depend greatly on the season. It is quite normal and standard for some convenience stores to sell alcoholic drinks like shochu, happoshu, beer, wine, nihonshu, and chuhai. Of course, such convenience stores don’t limit themselves to provide meals and drinks only, as you can find regular items like comics, magazines, tapes or blank CDs, batteries, body care products, newspapers, and also cosmetics. Many of them also offer other service like providing toilet.

 

onigiri

onigiri

photo: japandish.com

The Offered Services

As the modern store, there are also other services being offered in such stores. The most common services are:

  • As usual, there are lots of services that you can access from the ATMs. However, aside Seven Eleven, most ATMs in Japan don’t recognize foreign debit or credit cards.
  • Fax or copy service. in case you need such service, you can find one easily at the nearest convenient store close to the residences or public terminals.
  • Ticket reservation. You can basically buy whatever types of tickets here. Whether you need train or bus tickets, or you need concerts, events, or theme park concerts, they are usually available in the store.
  • Bill payment. Different services like insurance, cell phone or utility bills can be paid within the store
  • Digital camera printing. Simply insert the memory card into the terminal, and you can have the prints right away.
  • Delivery service. you can pick up or drop off parcels or luggage. Sometimes you can also access the postal services like stamps or post cards.

Mind you, however, that the services in convenience stores are usually available in Japanese instructions.

 

About the Author

- the man who love japan , culture, people ^_^

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