Reasons why Japanese convenience stores are popular among tourists.
Japanese food allures tourists to Japan, and some of the most commonly popular foods are ramen, tempura, and sushi. Although these types of food remain popular, Japanese convenience store foods are becoming increasingly popular. After the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Japanese convenience stores, commonly called “conbini,” have become renowned as convenient hubs for tourists and locals. In fact, Japanese convenience stores are popular due to the six characteristics below.
Convenience and Food Quality
Japanese convenience stores, known as “conbini,” are commonly open 24 hours a day and can be found everywhere. Most Japanese people think that this is ordinary, but actually, it is not. When I used to live in the U.S., something close to a Japanese convenience store was a store built into gasoline stations. Some stores were full-service, but others were not, and especially during the holidays, most stores are closed. Therefore, the fact that Japanese convenience stores are full-service year-round is a miracle. Thus, Japanese convenience stores are not only convenient, but they also provide high-quality food at a low price. Japanese convenience stores prioritize the quality and freshness of their food items. They use fresh ingredients and regularly restock their products, ensuring customers can make purchases with confidence. For example, when I was watching TV, I learned that Famichiki (ファミチキ) from Family Mart is popular among foreigners and viral on social media.
Product Variety and Unique Products
In addition, Japanese convenience stores offer a wide range of products, including beverages, snacks, bento boxes, sandwiches, prepared meals, groceries, newspapers, magazines, and various other items. They also have a rich selection of seasonal and regional exclusive products, providing new discoveries with each visit. For example, Family Mart also has a clothing line, and their “line socks” are very popular.
Advanced Services and Technology
Japanese convenience stores incorporate the latest technology, such as automated checkouts and smartphone apps, to offer convenient services. Most Japanese stores still do not implement cashless payments, so carrying cash is necessary, but there is no need for that when it comes to Japanese convenience stores. In addition, the clerks provide courteous and helpful customer service. Purchasing procedures are smooth, efficient, and extremely polite. I believe that Japanese convenience stores are one of the representations of Japanese culture.
In conclusion, Japanese convenience stores have earned their esteemed reputation for many reasons. Their 24/7 availability and ubiquitous presence make them an indispensable aspect of daily life for Japanese people and tourists as well. With an extensive product variety, food quality, and a seamless fusion of advanced services and technology, these conbinis have undoubtedly set a high standard for convenience stores worldwide. Additionally, their distinctive array of Japanese delicacies offers foreign visitors a precious experience and the opportunity to appreciate the country’s rich culinary heritage. Japanese convenience stores are a gateway between Japan and other countries.