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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogSpecialty Food Items from Japanese Konbinis

Specialty Food Items from Japanese Konbinis

By Sho Yamamoto
February 18, 2022

Yes, Japanese convenience stores are known for having literally everything you need to survive, but did you know that they also have options to help you thrive?

Konbinis go above and beyond when it comes to giving you an above average experience because they aren’t places just for emergencies, but they can also be for specialty items! Let’s take a look at some of these specialty konbini foods!

Local Souvenirs

If you’re traveling, in Japanese culture it’s important to bring back some omiyage (souvenir or gift) to friends and family, and especially to co-workers! These gifts are usually in the form of Japanese treats and other foods, as most places in Japan are known for certain flavors or items. While there are plenty of shops that come in nicely packaged gifts, most of these shops are located around tourist attractions.

To allow people who are traveling for work to pick up a nice omiyage without having to go out of their way can find a section of local gifts that konbinis offer at major train stations, highway rest stops, and even at the airports!

If you’re ever rushing to find a quick meal, but also need something to bring to the office the next day, make sure to look in a convenience store and you’ll be surprised with how many local goodies they have!

Seasonal & Limited Edition Snacks

 Daily Yamazaki had these delicious looking Christmas cakes!

In the West, when you hear about limited edition items, you might imagine them being offered in specialty stores or boutique shops. But here, if there’s seasonal Japanese snacks, you can count on the konbini to be the first place you think about and go to to find them! 

We all know about how many limited edition or seasonal KitKats they release each year, and instead of looking all over Tokyo to find them, you can just head to the closest convenience store! This isn’t just limited to Japanese KitKats, but any other popular Japanese snacks, baked goods, and Japanese candy. 

Because Japanese convenience stores have become so popular and have high reliability, it makes sense for vendors to release any seasonal or limited-time items through konbinis. When in doubt, you can count on your local konbini to get some of the latest offerings from your favorite snack and drink companies!

Looking for more seasonal and Japanese exclusive snacks and drinks? Every month, TokyoTreat’s subscription box always packs snacks, candy, and more that are only available in Japan for a limited time! Sign up now!

Hot/Fried Food

This combo is as good as any fast food chain! Perfect for train rides home!

To be completely honest, the only hot food I’ve had from a convenience store outside of Japan is a 7 Eleven taquito. To me, the standard of convenience store food overseas doesn’t give me a lot of confidence which is why I tend to stick to the chips and candy. But here in Japan, as you could expect, the quality is top notch! 

Konbinis spoil you with amazing Japanese food like oden (a type of Japanese hot-pot), tempura, karaage, and other freshly fried foods.

Family Mart is famous for its Famichiki, their signature fried chicken that’s known across the country and by many visitors to Japan! You can pair it with the Famichiki Bun, which comes with a mayonnaise based sauce that’s similar to tartar sauce, to create the Famichiki Burger! It’s so iconic, it deserves its own write up!

Sandwiches

We wouldn’t blame you for picking up two or ten of these sandwiches!

If you’re feeling tired of the ever-so-popular onigiri or bento box for a quick bite on the go, Japanese convenience stores will have a section just as big for sandwiches! These won’t be like the sub sandwiches that overseas convenience stores might have, but trust that Japan does sandwiches like nowhere else.

Japan’s 7-Eleven sandwiches are well known to have a variety of different styles. You can find classics like egg-salad, ham and cheese, and teriyaki chicken, to the lesser seen options like shrimp katsu, mixed omelet, and fruit sandwiches filled with strawberries or peaches! 

They all come perfectly wrapped and cost no more than ¥350, so they make a perfect snack or side option for lunch! 

Ice Cream

Ministop might just be the top spot for konbini ice cream!

It would be tough to talk about things Japanese convenience stores do well without talking about the crazy good selection of ice cream they have! They usually always have a inexpensive options starting at ¥100 for single popsicle style ice creams all the way up to ¥400 or more for better known brands like Häagen-Dazs.

Although ice cream may not sound like a specialty item, it’s worth noting that konbinis are usually the best place to pick up the frozen dessert for how many different flavors you can get. While Family Mart and 7-Eleven Japan may be the most popular convenience stores here, don’t forget about Ministop! Word has it that they are the best for ice cream options!

If you have ever been to a Japanese convenience store, you’ll know how good they are for their food options. They are not only reliable, but their quality is something convenience stores overseas should take a lesson from! Let us know if we missed any other specialty items you can find at a konbini, and tell us your favorite finds!

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Sho Yamamoto

Lover of music, Marvel, gaming, and all things Cool! I'm here to dissect, digest, and disseminate culture, so come and enjoy the ride!

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