A Few Reasons to Love Konbini

Nov 9, 2019

A Few Reasons to Love Konbini

It is a summer day in Japan. You have been walking for an hour straight and still have a long way to go. Maybe you are tired and thirsty but fret not as konbinis are here to save your life.

A konbini: what is it?

In Japanese, convenience stores are called konbini (コンビニ) which are small shops that opens 24/7 and where you can find everything you need.

In the hustle and bustle life of Japan, konbinis are an indispensable part of urban living. It is very common to catch sight of Japanese people buying breakfast or lunch in one of these every morning.

There are more than 50,000 convenience stores throughout Japan. Lawson, Family Mart and Seven-Eleven are the three biggest konbini chains in Japan. In addition to those three there are also smaller chains like Ministop, Circle K Sunkus, and Daily Yamazaki.

Convenience stores in Japan are fairly different from those of other countries. They are located on every street corner, even in small cities and rural areas. You just need to step out of your house for a few steps and you will then see a konbini right away. Not only are they convenient (just like its name) they goods they sell are also relatively inexpensive.


Food at a Konbini

The main purpose of a konbini is selling products that meet customer needs for convenience and rapid consumption. Most konbini foods are pre-made and easy to eat, so that you can satisfy your famished bellies quickly.  There are various categories of food that you can look for at the konbini. The staple foods that you should try are:

  1. Bento: A single-portion on-the-go meal that is common in Japanese cuisine. Usually comprises of rice or noodles, fish or meat, and pickled or cooked vegetables within.
  2. Onigiri: Japanese rice balls made from white rice formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and often wrapped in seaweed (nori). There is a wide variety of flavour, suitable even for vegetarians.
  3. Oden: A Japanese traditional soup that is commonly served from September to mid-April. It is also a winter comfort food, consisting of several healthy ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fish cakes which are then stewed in a light, soy-flavored broth.
  4. Bruns and sandwiches: Japanese version of these are quite unique. Although most are filled with typical fillings, you tend to find unusual ones from time to time. There is plenty to select from, ranging from ham and cheese to sweet red bean paste and even yakisoba.
  5. Fast food, cup noodles, sweets, chocolates, chips, ice cream: selection varies from store to store and season to season.
  6. They also offer other choices of drinks ranging from soft drinks to healthy beverages.


Konbinis will satiate your late-night cravings or impromptu meals. With it’s existence in place, you don’t really need to worry so much about daily meals as the Konbini caters to all kinds of humans and diets, from a busy white collar worker to a  person on diet.