OUISA – While in Japan, especially for those who are not ready to communicate in Japanese yet – sometimes you may find it difficult or even mysterious, to find a specific thing in Japan, or, more frequently, you miss the feeling of the sweet discovery of some store where they have so many things you need – some of them you never know of even their existance, but once you saw it you knew you needed it – then will be the time you have a look at this list of “where to buy what” here.
- Convenience Stores
- open 24/7
- slightly more expensive than supermarkets
- offer a range of services (see below)
Convenience stores (kombini) are small stores that sell a range of everyday items such as food, toiletries, drinks, newspapers, magazines, etc…. Most of them offer money order and wire transfer services. Most of convenience stores in Japan are open 24/7.
Most common convenience stores are 7/11, Lawson (there is also a Lawson 100, where all the goods are 105 yen), Family Mart, Daily Yamazaki, Circle K
- Meals: Lunch Boxes (Obento), Fried Chicken, nikuman (a small pie with meat), oden (a dish made of boiled eggs with miso, etc.), Ongiri (rice with some fish shaped oval or triangular), sandwiches …
- Beverages: Water, tea, milk, coffee, soft drinks, liquors,
- Bread, sweets, snacks, Instant food, frozen food, canned food, Ice-cream
- Magazines, Newspapers
- Other stuff: Computer and phones accessories, batteries, cosmetics, household goods
- heat up lunch boxes that you buy from the same shop
- Free public restrooms
- ATM: No matter what bank you are using, you can withdraw your money from an ATM in the convenience store. It will charge you, though, 210 yen in commission. Also, you sometimes may not be able to withdraw money very late at night.
- Copier/Fax: A copy machine and fax is available at most, but not all of convenience stores. If not the ATM, it is usually the copy machine which serves as the store’s multi-purpose terminal.
- Ticket Reservations: Tickets for sport events, concerts, theme parks, highway buses and other travel services can be purchased at the multi-purpose terminal.
- Digital Camera Prints: You can get prints of digital pictures by inserting your camera’s memory card into the multi-purpose terminal. Depending on the store, the prints will be ready instantly or can be picked up later.
- Bill Payment: Water, gas, electricity, cell phone, insurance bills, Ae
- Delivery Services: At many stores, it is possible to drop off or pick up deliveries (takuhaibin), such as parcels or luggage.
- Postal services: sale of post cards and stamps
- Recycle Shops
There are multiple recycle shops in Japan. Each store has a different focus for its inventory but mostly about furniture, books, clothing, houseware, sporting equipment …
Most common recycle shops are 2nd Street, Dorimu (ドリーム), etc.
If you are looking for a second-hand bicycle, though, you can ask for it in regular bike shops, not necessarily a recycle shop. In that case you should ask for chu:ko jitensha (中古自転車). If you go to Orinami bicycle shop (closest to Mino campus, located near Garden Mall by Saito-nishi monorail station), you may get one in about a week. Some bike shops also sell second-hand bikes along with new ones and you g\can buy them at once. However, since different shops do so at different times, you may need to look for them.
- Flea markets
If you are looking for second hand goods, apart from recycle shops you can look for flea markets (you can get information about them from `Kansai Flea Market` page on facebook, etc.)
Flea markets are most often organized at Bampaku Park, Tennoji. Osaka University Coop organizes flea market where furniture is sold. It usually takes place at the end of March. You can get information if you subscribe to Iris letter or if you come to Iris.
- 100 Yen shops
Most common 100 Yen shops are Daiso, Can Do and Seria
- Ticket Discount Shops
Shops where you can sell your tickets or buy discounted ones
- Furniture and home centers
Cainz, Konan, Komeri, Nafco, Nitori
Konan, Nitori are convenient places
- Drug Stores
- Book Shops
Osaka University Bookstores
Here you can buy discounted books. Novels, etc. usually go half price, whereas the so-called general interest books can sometimes be found in 105 yen corner. The bookoff closest to Suita campus is the one not far from Yamada Station (address Osaka-fu, Suita-shi, Yamada-kita 14-1, it is right next to MacDonalds).
- Video/Game Shops
- Electronics Shops
- Food Shops
Fast food: Mc Donald’s, KFC, MOS Burger, Subway, Lotteria, Ohsho, Mister Donuts, Ichibanya, Hotto Motto
7d/24h Restaurants: Sukiya, Yoshinoya, Matsuya,Nakau, Saizeriya, Kaiten sushi, Sushi-ro