Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
The 3 Major Convenience Store Chains In Japan - A Comparison
We will compare the three most popular convenience stores in Japan, Seven-Eleven, Lawson, and FamilyMart by their products and specialties. No more need to ponder which convenience store to go to!
Written by Inubushi Yoshiyuki
Japan's convenience stores (called konbini in Japan) offer not only groceries, but also daily necessities and even magazines. They are truly convenient, and you can find almost anything you could want, all in one place.
Currently, there are over 50,000 convenience stores in Japan. They are literally everywhere, so they're perfect for shopping during your trip. But some travelers seem to wonder which convenience store to go to, just because there are so many to choose from.
Today, we'll be introducing and comparing the three major convenience store chains in Japan based on their characteristics and popular items.
1. Seven-Eleven - High Quality Private Labels
First up is Seven-Eleven. Seven-Eleven is known to be Japan's first convenience store, and as of March 2016, it boasts the highest number of stores in Japan. Its private label, Seven Premium, is known for its rich variety of products and high quality that is even comparable to specialty stores.
This White Fromage (153 yen without tax) is especially popular. It's a baked cheesecake with a characteristic smooth texture and rich cream cheese flavor. To name a few more of their specialty products, the Hand-Rolled Tuna Mayonnaise roll (102 yen without tax) and Salad Chicken (195 yen without tax) are also quite popular.
You can distinguish Seven Premium products from others by the bright Seven-Eleven logo that is put on them.
If you're into hot foods, Seven-Eleven is famous for its Fried Chicken (175 yen without tax). Its meaty but crispy taste will leave you craving for more, and being boneless is also a plus.
In addition, you can withdraw money from bank accounts outside of Japan at the Seven Bank (セブン銀行) ATM. These can also be found in Seven-Elevens, so you can make use of them when you're in need of some cash in a hurry.