Useful Japanese Phrases Used at Japanese Convenience Stores

You are sure to become well acquainted with Japan's super convenient and well-stocked convenience stores on your travels. If you are able to communicate with the staff, the whole shopping experience will undoubtedly go even more smoothly. This next article in our series of useful Japanese phrases focuses on those that will come in handy at the Japanese convenience store!


Travel Tips

When You Want to Ask Something

(1) Imagine that you want to ask if they have a certain product that you are looking for. This is a sample of such a conversation. Simply put whatever you are looking for in place of the two circles (〇〇), such as coffee (コーヒー, pronounced "koohii"), magazines (雑誌, pronounced "zasshi"), or cigarettes (たばこ, pronounced "tabako").

[en] Do you have 〇〇?
[jp] 〇〇はありますか? (○○ wa arimasu ka?)

Sample responses:
[en] Yes, we do.
[jp] はい、あります。 (Hai, arimasu.)
[en] No, we don\'t.
[jp] いいえ、ありません。 (Iie, arimasen.)

(2) If you cant find what you are looking for, then here is a useful phrase to use. The staff member should bring you to the appropriate shelf. This is also a phrase that you can use if you are looking to visit the bathroom. All you have to do is put the word for toilet (トイレ, pronounced "toire") in place of the circles.

[en] Where is the 〇〇?
[jp] 〇〇はどこですか? (○○ wa doko desu ka?)

Handy Phrases

(1) This phrase lets you shop for goods placed by the counter just by pointing your finger at them.

[en] One of these, please.
[jp] これをください。 (Kore wo kudasai.)

(2) In general, credit cards are accepted at all Japanese convenience stores. However, in some more rural stores and depending on the type of card you have, it may not be accepted. Use this phrase to confirm whether you can pay by card.

[en] Can I pay by credit card?
[jp] クレジットカードは使えますか? (Kurejitto kaado wa tsukaemasu ka?)

Phrases Used When You Are Paying

(1) Here is the kind of exchange you can expect with the staff when paying for your food items, such as a bento box, rice balls, or side dishes.

[en] Do you want us to heat it up?
[jp] あたためますか? (Atatame masu ka?)

Sample responses:
[en] Yes, please.
[jp] はい、お願いします。 (Hai, onegai shimasu.)
[en] No, it\'s fine as is.
[jp] いいえ、そのままでいいです。 (Iie, sono mama de ii desu.)

* If the staff member does not ask you the question above, you can ask them to heat up your food using the following phrase:

[en] Please heat it up.
[jp] あたためてください。 (Atatamete kudasai.)

(2) When you have bought a food item such as a bento box or dessert, or if you have bought a drink, you can expect the following exchange:

[en] Would you like a pair of chopsticks (or a fork, spoon, or straw)?
[jp] お箸(フォーク、スプーン、ストロー)をおつけしますか?
(Ohashi (fooku, supuun, sutoroo) wo otsuke shimasu ka?)

Sample responses:
[en] Yes, please.
[jp] はい、お願いします。 (Hai, onegai shimasu.)
[en] No thanks, I don\'t need it/them.
[jp] いいえ、いらないです。 (Iie, iranai desu.)

(3) In Japan, only those over the age of 20 are permitted to drink or smoke. For this reason, when you purchase alcohol or cigarettes, you will need to confirm your age via a touch panel which is attached to the cash register. This is an extremely simple process. All you have to do is touch a button on the screen (the information is often displayed in numerous different languages). At this time, the staff member may say the following:

[en] Please touch the screen.
[jp] 画面をタッチしてください。 (Gamen wo tacchi shite kudasai.)

(4) When you have purchased something, you may be asked if you would like it to be put into a plastic bag. Here is an example of such an exchange:

[en] Would you like us to put it in a bag?
[jp] 袋はご入用ですか? (Fukuro wa go iriyou desu ka?)

Sample responses:
[en] Yes, please.
[jp] はい、お願いします。 (Hai, onegai shimasu.)
[en] No, I don\'t need it.
[jp] いいえ、いらないです。 (Iie, iranai desu.)

▼Another variation of the same scenario, but with a plastic bag:

[When you have purchased something hot and cold at the same time]
[en] Would you like me to separate the products into different bags?
[jp] 袋はお分けしますか? (Fukuro wa owake shimasu ka?)

Sample responses:
[en] Yes, please.
[jp] はい、お願いします。 (Hai, onegai shimasu.)
[en] No, thank you. They are fine in the same bag.
[jp] いいえ、一緒でいいです。 (Iie, issho de ii desu.)

[When you have bought one small item like a drink or gum]
[en] Is it okay as it is?
[jp] このままでいいですか? (Kono mama de ii desu ka?)

Sample responses:
[en] Yes, it\'s fine as it is.
[jp]はい、このままでいいです。 (Hai, kono mama de ii desu.)
[en] No, please put it in a bag.
[jp]いいえ、袋をください。 (Iie, fukuro wo kudasai.)


When you enter and leave a Japanese convenience store, the staff members will greet you in the following ways. These are set phrases and there is no need to respond to them.

[en] (When you enter) Welcome!
[jp] いらっしゃいませ。 (Irasshaimase.)

[en] (When you are leaving)Thank you!
[jp] ありがとうございました。 (Arigatou gozaimashita!)

Make sure to remember these handy Japanese phrases so that you can get the most out of shopping in Japan!

*This article was published on WOW! JAPAN. Click here to see a list of WOW! JAPAN articles.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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