Konbini Guide: 10 Must-Try Japanese Convenience Store Foods
Many foreign tourists are fascinated by Japanese convenience stores for their unique selection of food. In this guide, we selected the 10 best Japanese convenience store snacks that you should try.
Japanese convenience stores, or konbini as locals call them, are on a different level. These stores sell just about anything to the delight of their customers. Heck, they even sell concert tickets and can send your luggage to the airport.
For foodies, konbini is a heaven that needs to be explored. What kind of food is available in Japanese convenience stores? These konbini sell bento lunches, desserts, pastries, fried chicken, fruit and veggies snacks, and whatnot.
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Which is the most popular convenience store in Japan?
With more than 21,000 stores across Japan, 7-Eleven is the biggest convenience store chain in terms of size. 7-Eleven has pretty much everything you expect from convenience stores, from baked goodies to cigars to coffee to alcoholic drinks to toiletries.
Other widely popular konbini in Japan include Family Mart, Lawson, Ministop, Daily Yamazaki, NewDays, and more. All in all, the number of convenience stores in Japan is more than 50,000 stores nationwide.
10 Snacks to Pick Up at Convenience Stores in Japan
There are so many foods you can find at Japanese convenience stores. If you are wondering which snacks to pick up, here are some of our best recommendations:
Most konbini sell authentic onigiri or rice balls. They are wrapped in nori sheets and filled with either sake (salmon), tuna salad, ume (pickled plum), or kelp. They also come in other flavors like yakiniku (grilled beef), karaage (fried chicken), and shrimp tempura.
Mochi is a steamed rice cake made from mochigome, a short-gain japonica rice, mixed with water, sugar, and cornstarch.
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3. Yakisoba Pan
Yakisoba pan resembles a hot dog, except the center slit is filled with fried wheat noodles.
A global phenomenon, you probably know Pocky, the world’s first chocolate-covered biscuit sticks. November 11 is Pocky Day in Japan.
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Like most convenience stores in other countries, Japanese convenience stores sell karaage or Japan-style fried chicken, which is marinated in soy sauce and then fried.
This pancake the size of your palm is filled with sweet red beans. Other flavors you could find are cheese, pumpkin cream, whipped cream, chestnuts, and mochi.
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This light and crunchy cylindrical puffed corn snack is a class Japanese convenience store food. Umaibo comes in so many flavors such as cheese, caramel, chocolate, spicy cod roe, and corn soup.
8. Kinoko no Yama
Kinoko no yama means mushroom mountains. These chocolate mushrooms are the most popular chocolate snacks in Japan.
Melonpan or melon bread is a sweet bun coated with a thin sheet of crisp cookie dough.
Oden is a hotpot dish perfect for winter in Japan. Various ingredients are simmered in a soy-flavored light broth.
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