- 1 Convenience Stores in Japan – Budget Friendly Food for Family Travel
- 2 Family Mart for Cheap & Cheerful Sushi, Onigiri, Hot food, Drinks, and Phone Cards
- 3 What You Can Buy at Family Mart Convenience Stores in Japan
- 4 Convenience Stores in Japan – Souvenir Suggestions
- 5 The Inside Scoop
- 6 Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
- 7 Instagram: Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome
- 8 Click here to follow us!
Convenience Stores in Japan – Budget Friendly Food for Family Travel
Family Mart for Cheap & Cheerful Sushi, Onigiri, Hot food, Drinks, and Phone Cards
Our pick of Convenience Stores in Japan must be Family Mart. There’s one on just about every corner in cities, and on every second one in rural areas. This shop is a lifesaver. Look out for this sign conbini (written in Japanese as コンビニ). Their (FREE) public restrooms are clean, the shop assistants are always helpful, and there’s nearly always an ATM machine that takes your travel money card.
The best thing of all is the FOOD. Seriously, you can travel the whole of Japan on a budget by eating here. The food is good and fresh (unlike western convenience stores) and there are plenty of options for adults and kids alike. Hot meals and snacks are SUPER DOOPER cheap! Buy snack foods here to save money during those budget killers – train trips, Shinkansen long-distance journies, and to/from the airport.
What You Can Buy at Family Mart Convenience Stores in Japan
Family Mart is one of the largest chains of convenience stores in Japan, and as such has become a hub for everything a local or traveller could need. Here’s a list of things you can buy there:
- Fast Food – at the counter, pick up a quick snack or late night feed. The ready-to-go hot stand on the counter sells yakitori (chicken on a skewer stick), chicken kaarage (crumbed deep fried chicken) and steamed pork buns.
- In the refrigerator, you’ll find ready-to-eat obentoo, curry bowls, sushi, soba noodles, and ramen dishes. Purchase at the counter. If it needs heating, they’ll pop it in the ovens behind the cash registers for you, and provide you with disposable chopsticks, plastic sporks (spoon/fork) and drinking straws
- Onigiri- our favourite snack, onigiri is a triangle of rice stuffed with some kind of flavouring, wrapped in seaweed nori paper. We like salmon, and tuna ones. Pick these up for about ¥110 each. (Two makes for a cheap lunch or snack.) Watch out for the Salted Plum, especially with the kids (umeboshi). Ugghh! It’s an aquired taste.
- Sweet treats – chocolate bars, all kinds of delicious pastries, yogashi (Western-style desserts) like custards, ice-cream pots, sundaes, trifles, and traditional Japanese sweets like Sweet Red Bean Mochi balls. (Our favourite!) Take this perfect opportunity to try a green tea-flavoured sweet snack.
- Manga comics, newspapers, and magazines (sometimes in English)
- Medicine, bandaids, blister patches, body care products, toothbrushes and cosmetics
- Drinks. Our favourite is Milk Tea, a cold and very sweet milky tea in a carton. There’s often ready-to-go hot drinks such as coffee and tea in cans (yes, cans!) in a cylinder shelf near the registers too. There’s also soda, water, sport drinks, juice, milk, vitamin drinks and alcoholic drinks including beer, happoshu, chuhai, sake, shochu and wine.
- Other goods available include batteries, blank CDs and tapes, and fabulous cheap umbrellas for just a few dollars
- Many Family Marts have in-store copy machines, movie/concert/overnight bus ticket kiosks, and instant picture printers too.
- Telephone Cards that let you ring home (international)
Convenience Stores in Japan – Souvenir Suggestions
If you suddenly remember you need a gift for your favourite long lost aunt, or to thank your neighbour who has been looking after your dog, pop in and pick up one of these.
- Pocky chocolate-covered pretzel sticks. A Japanese favourite.
- Green Tea Kit Kats
- Shampoo and Conditioner set (Japanese brands are mind-boggingly good.)
- Japanese cosmetics and fragrances
The Inside Scoop
- Most are 24 hours
Find a Family Mart near you
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
We LOVE that we can fill the kid’s bellies up with decent food and save money on expensive restaurant meals they don’t eat.
Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome