Konbinis are a way of life in Japan. They are everywhere and have essentially everything you could ever need or want while exploring, but which one is the best? Is it 7-11, Lawson’s, or Family Mart? Let the debate begin!
For those who don’t know, a konbini is like a bodega or corner store (for those in the United States), but way better. Each one has your typical prepackaged foods, drinks, and other essential items you may need, but the konbinis in Japan are at a different level. Many make and fry their own foods in store, many will help you heat your meal or provide hot water for it, and some even have elaborate sitting areas where you can eat a quick lunch but with a seat and roof over your head. They also carry everything else, from school supplies to a copy machine in the back, they have it all.
I mean, if you live in the United States, a 7-11 is nothing more than a gas station and a really bad cup of coffee on the go, but in Japan, they are small grocery stores; they are simply incredible. Let’s get back to the question from the start of the post, which one is the best?
The answer is, there is no answer. Each one carries the same same essentials items, give or take. From cold to hot drinks, quick snacks, or other personal items, the konbinis have all of them covered. The difference is some of the specific brands and items they specifically carry. For example, 7-11 has its own products including drinks, lunches, and other items, that you will not find in the other konbinis. It’s what makes them unique as each one is just a little bit different than the others.
The biggest difference between all of them is the number of stores. 7-11 and Family Marts are easy to find. It seems no matter where you go, no matter what random street, one of these two will be there. Lawson’s on the other hand are not that common and are a lot harder to find even in large cities like Tokyo.
No matter which one you go to, you will get everything you need. From some extra cash from an ATM or a quick treat, konbinis are simply a must go-to while in Japan.