Unique Japanese Convenience Store Foods

Unique Japanese Convenience Store Foods

 

Japanese convenience stores, or konbini for short, are unlike convenience stores in other countries. You can find one on almost every street corner in Japan, usually open 24/7, serving a wide variety of excellent quality, delicious food. Besides the classic onigiri (rice balls), bentos, and sandwiches, here are some of our favorite konbini finds.

 

Unique Japanese Convenience Store Foods

Karaage (Fried Chicken) Variations

Fried chicken (karaage) is sold in most convenience stores but unique variations can be found. Family Mart has their iconic Fami-Chiki (boneless fried chicken) while Lawson’s karaage-kun chicken nuggets are fun to eat and sold in a cute, easy-to-carry container.

A fun way to eat convenience store fried chicken is by getting the mini pancakes with maple syrup and margarine filling in the bread section, and sandwiching the chicken in between. It's a quick and easy take on chicken and waffles.

 

Unique Japanese Convenience Store Foods

Smoothies and Shakes

Each convenience store chain in Japan sells a prepared version of a smoothie or shake. How the drink is made depends on the konbini. At Family Mart, the cup is squeezed to break apart the frozen contents before the machine adds the liquid. The machine, however, does not blend the drink together like it does at 7-11. Lawson’s frozen drinks are ready to serve by either sticking them in a microwave for about a minute or by using your body heat to melt the drink.

 

Unique Japanese Convenience Store Foods

Seasonal Treats

Seasonal items are also quite common and popular in Japanese konbi. For example, desserts and drinks with mango are usually only sold during the summer months in Japan, and chestnut-flavored treats are sold during the fall. Whenever Starbucks Japan releases a new seasonal drink, there is often a konbini version as well.

Promotional Specials

Popular franchises like Nintendo, Disney, Pokemon, Detective Conan, and more, often have unique collaborations to promote a new game or movie, such as Pokeball onigiri or character-shaped desserts.

With all the options at convenience stores, the choices are endless.

 

About the author:

 Samantha Kwok

Samantha Kwok

Samantha is currently a 5th-year JET in Okinawa, originally from Hawaii. She has been somewhat connected to Japanese culture her whole life despite being Chinese American. She's had the privilege of traveling to Japan and experiencing Japanese culture at a young age. She loves food and is always looking to try new places. When she is not working or out eating, she is an avid baker at home and has been known to feed her colleagues an excessive amount of baked goods. 

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