Since coming to Japan I have slowly realized that convenience stores are a life line. Among all the convenience stores in Japan two names can be found just about anywhere you go, Lawson’s and 7/11. it took me by surprise at first because you can’t go anywhere without seeing a 7/11 and they aren’t even popular in my hometown.
Without 7/11 here, my life and many of the lives of fellow foreigners would be a headache. At the store, you can buy anything you would find in American stores, except the abundance of stockings and underwear they offer. A dorm-mate of mine had to take advantage of such an offer once.
Beyond that, to the delight of many foreigners, 7/11 is one of the very few places you can use a foreign credit/debit card to withdrawal money. Of course, however, you do get yen when you withdrawal.
The store also offers photo/Microsoft Word printing services.
One of the best things, however, is the fact that you can pay your health insurance there with no fee. I have also purchased bus and train tickets, and you can purchase them to wherever you like. Mine was from Nagoya to Kyoto.
Another little piece of help if you plan on staying in Japan for awhile or making online purchases, you can have your Amazon purchases delivered to the store.
Now then, I haven’t spent as much time in Lawson as I have in 7/11. However, Lawson came in handy when I purchased my last bus ticket from Willer Express to take me from Nagoya to Tokyo. All I had to do was go to the Willer website, chose my route and when they ask for payment you can either pay with a Japanese bank card or have your information sent to any Lawson and go there within a few days to pay it there. They have a machine that lets them pull up your info and ticket with just your name and a confirmation number.
On a smaller note, they also sell corndogs but call them American dogs.
if anyone knows of anything else unusual that a convenience store in Japan offers, feel free to comment.