Convenience stores & Supermarkets in Japan with useful phrases

You can see convenience stores everywhere in Japan, especially downtown. But for buying cheaper drinks and food, maybe supermarkets are where you want to go. Both of them create a convenient life for local citizens and even tourists. Here let us have a short introduction to convenience stores and supermarkets in Japan. There are also some useful phrases for you.

Warm reminder: Starting from 1st July 2020, there is a mandatory charge for plastic shopping bags in Japan. Remember to bring your own bag even when going to convenience stores or supermarkets!

Common phrases in convenience stores and supermarkets

Here are some useful phrases that you may hear, or you may use in a convenience store or supermarket. 

Japanese Pronunciation Meaning
レジ袋は有料ですが、いかがなさいますか? Rejibukuro wa yūryou desuga, ikaga desuka? We charge for plastic bags now, do you need any?
はい、(お願いします。) Hai, (onegaishimasu.) Yes, (please.)
いいえ、大丈夫です。 Iie, daijoubu desu. No, it’s okay.
このままでいいですか Konomama de iidesuka? It is okay as it is? (without a plastic bag)
あたためますか Attamemasuka? Would you like me to heat it?
お箸 / フォーク / スプーン /ストロー をおつけしますか Ohashi / foku / supun / sutoro wo otsukeshimasuka? Do you need a pair of chopsticks / a fork / a spoon / a straw?
画面をタッチしてください。/ 年齢確認ボタンを押してください。 Gamen wo tacchi shite kudasai. / Nenrei kakunin botan wo oshite kudasai. Please tap the screen [botton] to confirm that you’re over 20.
カードでお願いします。 Kado de onegaishimasu. I would like to pay by credit card, please.
ポイントカードはよろしいですか Pointo kado ha yoroshii desuka? Do you have a point card?

Convenience stores in Japan

Convenience stores in Japan are convenient for one’s life. Apart from selling food or drinks, you can also buy daily necessities or stationary there. Printing/Copying services are also provided in most of the convenience stores. In some of the stores, there are toilets inside for customers to use. You can easily fulfill your needs here.

The top 3 convenience stores that you can see in Japan are LAWSON, 7-ELEVEN, and FamilyMart. For LAWSON and 7-ELEVEN, you can find them in every prefecture in Japan.

LAWSON has 3 types of stores: the normal one, “LAWSON STORE 100” that sell most of the products at 100 yen (tax excluded), and “NATURAL LAWSON” which focuses on healthy products. Here is a collaboration between LAWSON STORE 100 and movie Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!.

In convenience stores, you can seldom buy cosmetics there. You can even purchase that of the famous brand “KOSE” or “FANCL” in 7-ELEVEN! This special package of Sekkisui, a brand of KOSE, can be found in every 7-ELEVEN as well.

And here is good news for MUJI product lovers: In FamilyMart, there are also stationary from MUJI. If you do not have time to go to MUJI, don’t worry, FamilyMart can maybe help you. Besides, special drinks like frappe are also available in FamilyMart!

Supermarkets in Japan

When comparing with convenience stores, supermarkets usually sell the products at a cheaper price. However, the number of supermarkets is less than that of convenience stores. Besides, the opening hours are usually shorter. 

Apart from big companies like Seiyu and AEON, there are many small supermarkets that target local citizens as well.