In this section we are listing some convenient shops and restaurants that you can go to while staying in Japan. The shops could be useful when you forget to bring something from home and the restaurants are nice for a quick bite during your visit. The stores and restaurants introduced in this section are all big chain stores so you can easily find them in Japan.
Convenience stores are open 24 hours and 365 days of the year so it is a very easy option when you need something. Not only food but also basic living goods could also be found at Japanese convenience stores. Convenience stores in Japan are full of varieties of products. It is quite different from the ones you will see in the western countries. It is said that Japanese convenience stores have the widest varieties of goods in the world. The variety goes from chips to make up remover to note books to stamps. The range of goods could be beyond your imagination. It is quite interesting to look around in Japanese convenience stores.
The stores have such wide variety of goods where you can sometimes use them as small supermarkets. It is a very good choice while you are traveling and is also a cheaper option for meals if you want to save some money.
There are also ATMs in most of the convenience stores where you can withdraw money. For withdrawing with a foreign credit card we recommend 7-Eleven or Lawson. Among the two, 7-Eleven’s ATM accepts most type of cards from most countries.
Ticket machines that sell tickets for museums, amusement parks, events, and sport matches, are also located in the convenience stores; depending on the facility, some of them would recommend you to purchase tickets ahead of time at those machines so you will be guaranteed to enter. We will include this information while introducing different attractions.
These stores are similar to dollar stores / poundland; where you can find very cheap products. These variety stores can be categorized into 100 yen shops and 300 yen shops. If you suddenly realize you forgot to bring something from home you can always try one of them for you to spend little money for things that you may not bring home with you. Of course you can find some souvenirs and useful things to bring home as well! The variety stores in Japan could surprise you with the quality of products they sell.
At drug stores you can find varieties of medicines, cosmetics, cleaning goods, and some household goods. Many people come to Japan and enjoy shopping at drug stores because the cosmetics and medicines in Japan are quite popular. When a certain product becomes popular on the internet, there are times where it could all be sold out!
When you travel, I am sure you would like to try the local foods, but sometimes when you want to eat something fast, good, and reasonable, there are a few fast food chains that you can choose from. The Fast food chains include ones that are familiar to everyone in the world to ones that are mostly only located in Japan or Asian countries. There are three main types of restaurants where you can find cheap food and can have them in a relatively short time. The three types include fast food restaurants, family restaurants, and ramen stores. The ones listed in this section are the commons ones that you could see all over Japan.
Mos Burger is originally from Japan; it is famous for its rice burger. The food sold here is fresh and is also healthier comparing to some other fast food chains; however, the size of the burgers is quite small and the pricing are more expensive. The taste is good so it is worth a try but we wouldn’t recommend it if you are trying to get a big meal with a cheap price.
Other than burger / donut fast food chains, there are other types of fast restaurants in Japan. These are similar to a diner and could be a good choice when you are trying to lower your budget.
Yoshinoya, Matsuya, and Sukiya are three big fast food restaurant chains that mainly serve beef rice bowls. It also has options of pork, curry, and other menu depending on the store. The price range starts from 290 yen to 380 yen for the regular size main dish.
You can choose from hot and cold soups / sauces to go with your udon.
Other than the fast food restaurants above, there are also more reasonable sushi places for you to enjoy sushi and you can also have the meal in a short period of time.
There are four sushi places in Japan that are famous for its reasonable price. A lot of the sushi starts from 100 yen per plate (two pieces of sushi per plate). The names are “Hamazushi,” “Kappazushi,” “Sushiro,” and “Kurazushi.”
These sushi places are not like the traditional places where you sit at the counter and the chef makes the sushi right in front of you; instead, you will see a belt full of plates of sushi going around the store. It may be quite interesting to see.
Those sushi places are called Kaitenzushi(回転寿司), which means the sushi are going around. They usually open from 11 to 23.
Besides Sushi, Ramen is also another choice for fast dinning. Ramen is a little more expensive than the fast food restaurants and diners listed above but it is usually below 1,000 yen per bowl of ramen.
Recently Tonkotsu ramen have become popular throughout the world; and the first Michelin star ramen store was selected in the Michelin guide Tokyo 2016!
The famous ramen store is called TSUTA (蔦); it is famous for its Shoyu (soy sauce flavor) ramen, using truffles as one of the ingredients.
Since it is a very popular ramen place, it has its own unique system for getting a seat in the store. It does not allow reservations, but you will have to physically go and get a numbered ticket for you to get in.
The numbered tickets are distributed starting at 7:00 in the morning and it usually ends around 9:00am when all the tickets are taken. On the weekends the tickets will be distributed starting at 6:30. The ticket will indicate the time period that is available for you to come back and enjoy the ramen.
There are six time slots for the numbered tickets:
- 11:00 – 12:00
- 12:00 – 13:00
- 13:00 – 14:00
- 14:00 – 15:00
- 15:00 – 16:00
- 16:00 – 17:00
After receiving the tickets, you will return at the dedicated time for your ramen.
If you are going with a group of friends, only one person need to be there in the morning to receive the tickets, but he or she will have to pay 1000 yen as a deposit for each ticket. When you return to eat the ramen at the designated time slot, you will get the 1000 yen back by returning the ticket. The restaurant does not accept cancellation but one person can have more than one ticket for themselves for ordering more.
It is not easy to try to Micheline stared ramen…but if you want to try it you will have to work hard for it.
They also have Shio soba (salt based soup) and other seasonal menus as well. They also serve some rice dishes as well as side menus. If you do have a chance and time, try the Michelin nominated ramen once while you are in Tokyo.
One of its famous menus is Akamaru 800 yen