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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogThings to Know Before Going to a Japanese Convenience Store

Things to Know Before Going to a Japanese Convenience Store

Sho YamamotoSho Yamamoto
Published Time
Posted on 
February 21, 2022

One day, you may find yourself needing something while out in Japan, and the convenience store is that only place that is open. If you are in a pinch, they are great places that often save the day in almost any situation! Here’s a list of things you should know before heading to a konbini!

Japanese Phrases

If you’re in a foreign country, learning a few common phrases is pretty important so you’re able to communicate, even if it may be at a store. Just like heading to a Starbucks, there’s a handful of easy to remember phrases that you’ll likely want to know!

  1. いらっしゃいませ!ー Irasshaimase! (Welcome!)

This is one of the most common things you’ll hear in Japan! Basically any store you go to, the staff will yell this out. Konbini staff may sound slightly less enthusiastic when they say it compared to Japanese restaurant staff, but they are all very helpful, and sometimes speak English!

  1. 年齢確認ボタンを押してください ー Nenrei kakunin botan wo oshite kudasai (Please press the age confirmation button)
Many people will head to the konbini to pick up drinks after work or when out with friends, so be ready to press the age verification button rather than showing ID!

You’ll hear this at the counter when you are about to purchase any alcohol or cigarettes. Once the age restricted item is scanned, an automated voice will ask you to confirm your age on a touchscreen! You won’t need to prove it with any ID, but make sure you are at least 20 years old (legal adult age in Japan)!

  1. 次の方どうぞ!ー Tsugi no kata douzo! (Next in line, please!)
With long lines at the konbini, expect a lot of direction given by staff to keep lines moving!

If you’re waiting in line to check out (which is bound to happen during peak hours), the konbini service staff will call this out once they’re finished with their last customer. Japan, as a culture, is pretty efficient with time, so if there’s a long line forming, staff will work double-time to keep the line moving, so try not to keep them waiting!

  1. 袋をご利用ですか?ー Fukuro wo goriyou desuka? (Would you like/do you need a bag?)

No matter if your purchase is big or small, Japanese konbini staff will likely ask you this question. If you’d like one, you can say お願いします ー Onegai shimasu (yes, please)! If you don’t need one, you can say 大丈夫です ー Daijoubu desu (no, thanks)! Remember, though, plastic bags will cost you a few extra yen at the counter if you want one!

Whether or not you’re learning the Japanese language, these useful Japanese words and phrases will be very helpful to know when you’re wanting to pick up some rice crackers or potato chips from convenience stores in Japan!

Not quite ready to try your newly learned Japanese yet, but want your fill of exclusive Japanese snacks? TokyoTreat has you covered with the latest seasonal and limited edition snacks, drinks and more from Japan! No Japanese required!

Konbini Exclusive Cosmetics

That’s right, Japanese convenience stores have more to offer than food and drinks! Because the konbini is truly a one-stop shop for all your daily needs, they will have a decent selection of cosmetics! 7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson have all come out with their own Japanese convenience store makeup lines that have built up quite a cult-like following!

7-Eleven Japan has an in-house brand called ParaDo, and you won’t see it sold outside of Japan! 7-Eleven also collaborates with FANCL for exclusive releases.

Family Mart partnered up with Japanese brand Kanebo to create Media, which is perfect for people on the go!

Lawson’s brand Integrate is born from their partnership with Japan’s oldest cosmetic brand, Shiseido, offering some items you can only get in-store!

Konbinis Are For More Than Just Food

With ATMs, multi-function printers, and kiosks that deposit event tickets, konbinis are really handy shops!

Yes, the primary reason you go to the konbini is buy Japanese candy, onigiri (rice balls), or Famichiki fried chicken, but you can do way more than just satisfy an appetite! You might be asking, “what else can you do?” Well, for starters, you can pay your bills, and even rent, at a Japanese convenience store!

You can hook up to their free Wi-Fi to download documents and print them with their multi-functional printing machines, or print off event tickets for different events! If you need to send any mail, they have a full postal service, too! And because they are open 24 hours a day, there’s endless useful things you can do at a Japanese convenience store!

Best Selection of Japanese Snacks & Drinks

If you’re anything like me, then you’d be saving the best for last, which is the amazing selection of food and drinks from a konbini! If you’re on the hunt for exclusive Japanese snacks, like limited edition or seasonal flavors from KitKat, Fanta, or other brands, then look no further than a Japanese convenience store!

Japanese KitKats are always coming out with new flavors, so keep an eye on them at the konbini!

They are constantly rotating the newest flavors of our favorite snacks, candies, and drinks. With spring fast approaching, we’ve recently seen seasonal fruit options from KitKat and Fanta, releasing melon and iyokan citrus flavors respectively. As Japan gets ready for sakura season, be sure to be on a lookout for the most popular seasonal snacks in Japan!

What are some things you love about Japanese convenience stores, and what are some other things you should know before heading to one? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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