Many countries around the world share certain aspects of life with one another, and convenience stores are one of them. Check out articles as we rank the best convenience stores in Japan.
Japan is a country that is centered around trying to make life as convenient as possible. The exception being paperwork and government regulations, but that is the same in most countries. Japan tries to give people many outlets to enjoy their spare time, private hotels and rooms to use as they like for long or short periods, and all of the creature comforts of modern civilization. This is especially true when it comes to convenience stores in Japan. This is an aspect of everyday life on which the country has put a large amount of importance. The convenience store embodies the meaning of “convenience” and you will always have some option of a store near you. With so many stores being open and available, you may wonder which ones are the best places to visit. Some convenience stores may offer a better variety of certain foods or basic amenities than others. This article will look at the convenience store options you have to choose from.
The ranking of these stores will be based on the writer’s preference, but these 3 stores are going to be the most available chains you will see in Japan.
We’ll start with the number store in Japan, 7-Eleven. 7-Eleven first opened in Japan in 1974 in Tokyo. Since that time the number of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan has bloomed to over 20,000 locations across the country. That means that Japan has the most 7-Eleven stores in the world. They are still opening locations in other parts of the country and they will continue to spread their brand of convenience services to as many areas as they can.
The store is set-up in the usual Japanese style of convenience stores. They have a large selection of brand name snacks and candy, as well as their brand of foods. They offer their own brand of potato chips, sweets, bread, take-home meals, coffee, and drinks. The 7-Eleven brands tend to have a little better taste to their take-home meals, and many people will take a cup of coffee on the go. You can find different kinds of simple foods to shop and even bring some frozen foods back to your house. Their selection is usually stocked up and easy to navigate.
Their selection of small products and services are good, with some being preferred over other stores. They have a few things made by their parent company, like LED lights and shirts, that many people prefer to use. The services they provide are standard things like bill pay and simple banking services. They had tried to create a payment system that was not implemented well and saw some costumers losing their money to hackers.
They have the most locations in the country and they have some food items that can rival restaurant-quality foods. It is always a good experience when using their stores for getting something cold to drink, or paying bills through the store.
Lawson sits at the number two spot in terms of overall quality. The first store was opened in 1975 in Osaka. It was originally a U.S. based storefront from Ohio, but eventually became an independently owned entity in Japan. Lawson has become a large brand that has become a small rival to the chains by having over 11,000 stores open in the country. The store has aimed to become the major convenience stop for the people of Japan. They have opened services that are meant to help the elderly and to make other areas of life easier to take care of in one spot. One great service they offer is to hold on to your packages from online retailers like Amazon. You can pay for your package once it is delivered and they will hold it for up to five days. The stores operate 24 hours a day so you can get your package at the time most convenient for you. They have offered banking options and have even opened locations in Hawaii.
Lawson has most food items you will find in the other stores without having something that separates them. The quality of Lawson’s take-home meals is good and can fit any dietary needs. Their selection of foods is great, and they have a few things they make on their own. Their bread selection is better than most others and they offer different variations the usual foods.
They don’t make many of their drinks, but what they offer is good for anyone looking for a cold drink to cool off.
They are now a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, and they have some quality products to purchase. It is nice to see their aisle of products increase and serve quality items to their customers.
The store in third is Family Mart which is second in the number of locations in Japan. It opened its first store in 1973 in Saitama and it has grown to over 24,000 locations. They have opened some locations in other Asian countries and continue to look for more locations to branch into. They have the usual array of products that the other stores offer and they offer good customer service. Family Mart also bought the rival Circle K Sunkus convenience store chain in Japan. Some stores still have the second store’s logos and decorations on them, but they fall under the same company banner.
The focus of the Family Mart stores has been offering great tasting food that people can take on the go. They have the usual selection of fast fried foods customers can get for a fast snack and Family Mart makes sure that they taste the best. Family Mart places high priority on their fresh-made foods and it shows in the quality of the food they make. The snacks and drinks section are the same standard drinks you can find in other stores.
Their product section is the same standard fare with no special products that put them over other stores.
Their take away food selection is not as good as their fried and small snack foods selection, but you can still get a full meal at a reasonable price. They offer a small selection of items you choose from form quick and easy shopping.
In this writer’s opinion, these are the top three convenience stores you can choose from when in Japan. There are some other smaller chain like Mini Stop and Daily Yamazaki that offer the same services you will find the big three stores listed above. They are all great stores that offer a nice break from the hot sun or the cold winter. They will always meet your needs, and they are on almost every corner in every city in Japan.