What is the Conbini?

Also known as the Conbini(コンビニ), the convenience store in Japan is a magical place open 24 hours a day, home to a vast collection of useful goods, it is the go to hub to stock up on all those necessary items you need. From udon to sake, stationary to magazines, you can even print off your documents and pay your bills their too. The best thing about the conbini is that you are always only a few meters away from one, seriously, they are ridiculously convenient.

However in the conbini there are some certain phrases and lingo that you will hear every time without fail. In today’s online Japanese lesson we are going to equip you with all of the knowledge to understand exactly what you need to know when it comes to everything conbini!

Japanese Conbini :The Big Entrance

Now I can guarantee that within seconds of entering the conbini you will hear the phrase “いらっしゃいませ” this essentially means “welcome to the store.”  Now it’s important to remember that you do not have to reply back to this phrases as it’s really just a formality drilled into the employees to make you feel welcome and also is a great reflection of the famous Japanese hospitality. Before leaving the store you will have heard this phrase countless times.


Asking for things

Looking around the store you may not be able to find what you are looking for, so a great phrase to remember while perusing the conbini is,” ____はどこですか? “ Putting the item you are looking for in front of this phrase will ensure that you will be able to ask the staff to help you find whatever you desire. The conbini staff are all really helpful so will be more than happy to help you.

Alternatively if you are not sure if they sell a certain item you can ask, “_____ はここでうっていますか” This means “do you sell this here” This is a great question to ask before asking where it is.

At a Japanese Conbini(convenience store),You need answer a lot of Questions.

English (Meaning)Romaji日本語(Japanese)
Do you want this heated?Kochira Atatamemasuka?こちらあたためますか?
Yes, please.Hai, Onegaishimasu.はい、おねがいします。
No, thanks.Daijyoubudesu.だいじょうぶです。
Do you want chopsticks?Ohashiwa Goiriyoudesuka?おはしはごいりようですか?
Yes, 2 chopsticks, please.Hai, Hutatsuonegaishimasu.はい、ふたつおねがいします。
Do you want your items in separate bags?Betsuno hukuroni Oireshimasyouka?べつのふくろにおいれしましょうか?
Yes, thanks.Hai, Arigatougozaimasu.はい、ありがとうございます。
Do you have a point card?Pointokaadowa Omochidesuka?ポイントカードはおもちですか?
Are you paying with 10,000 yen?Ichimanenkarade Yoroshiidesuka?いちまんえんからでよろしいですか?

Are these questions complicated for you.But you can answer “Yes”, or ”No” in Japanese.

“Iie” is so strong or rude. So Japanese can use “Daijyoubu desu”.

Japanese Conbini : The Counter

When you come to the counter with your basket of amazing products you are almost on the home straight. But there are a few phrases that will be great for you to know at the conbini checkout stage. If you have some food that needs warming up you will here the phrase, “あたためましょうか?” This means “do you want it warmed up?” If you do, you can reply, “はい、おねがいします” or if you don’t, use Daijyoubudesu “だいじょうぶです”

Another very common phrase that you will be asked is “ポイントカードはおもちですか?” This means do you have a points card. If you don’t have a points card you can reply with “もっていません“ I don’t have one.

If you have perhaps just want to grab a quick drink and don’t need a bag, the Japanese staff at the conbini will always try and put the item in a bag anyway. In this situation you can say “ふくろはいらないです”, “I don’t need a bag”

If you have bought some ramen or a meal that you would like to enjoy with some chopsticks you can ask for them at the conbini free of charge. To acquire this team you can say”はしをください” This would guarantee you getting your hands on some free conbini chopsticks, lucky you.

Some other useful conbini vocab includes,

  • いくら?  (How much?)
  • おかね (money)
  • げんきん  (cash)
  • クレジットカード (credit card)
  • たかい (expensive)
  • コーヒー (coffee)
  • ぎゅうにゅう(milk)
  • ビール (beer)
  • ワイン (wine)
  • にく (meat)
  • さかな (fish)
  • たまご (eggs)
  • やさい (vegetables)
  • くだもの (fruit)
  • たばこ(Cigarettes)


Finishing up

When you are finished it’s always good to be polite and end your exchange with a thank you. You can choose from ありがとう、ありがとうございます or even どうもありがとうございます Each thank you getting more polite here depending on how generous you are feeling.

So I hope you enjoyed today’s online Japanese lesson all about how to survive in the conbini. Remember to always be polite, respectful and ask for help if you need to.

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