More than 50,000 convenience stores, referred to as konbini, can be found across Japan. Most of these stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; they constantly produce new and innovative products and services. Most of the things you need for daily life can be purchased there.
They offer a wide range of services, such as ATM banking, photocopy / fax services, ticket reservations for sporting events and concerts, digital camera prints, bill payments including those for utilities, cell phones and some tax bills, and a limited range of delivery and postal services. However, please note that in general, discounted prices are not available at convenience stores.
Convenience stores are relatively numerous in Sendai. You can withdraw money using an overseas bank card at ATMs in the stores.
Modern Japanese supermarkets are organized in much in the same way as their Western counterparts. They offer foods, clothes, and daily necessities, usually at low prices. There are many large-scale chain stores, whose advertisement leaflets are periodically delivered with newspapers. Some large-scale electrical appliance stores offer products at quite reasonable prices.
Small vendors / Specialty shops
Almost all privately operated specialty shops, such as green grocers (vegetables, fruits) and fish / butcher shops, provide service in Japanese only. However, they are sometimes willing to negotiate over prices and carry regional foods.
Department Stores (also called “Hyakka-ten” in Japanese)
Department stores deal in higher-quality products than supermarkets do. Prices are therefore higher, but much care is given to the nice wrapping of purchases, and the polite treatment of customers. Department stores typically feature women’s clothing on many of their floors, with additional floors of men’s and children’s clothes, and home furnishings. Basement floors usually house a food department, while the top floors are restaurant floors featuring various types of restaurants.
100- / 300-yen Shop
In Japan, there are shops called 100-yen Shops and 300-yen Shops, which deal with a variety of items from clothing to stationery, housewares to food. With stock changing each season, you can acquire most of the things you need for your everyday life here. You can also find some products in other price ranges, as well as items modeled on Japanese traditional crafts. However, be careful that, as their price suggests, the quality and durability of these products are not always good.
Furniture and Electrical Appliance
You may need to get some furniture and electrical appliances to furnish your new place of residence.
Here are some options of home appliance and furniture shops that are easily accessible from Sendai.
Most shops offer delivery services with a fee.
*below are just some example of the many furniture and electrical appliance store options in Sendai
- IKEA Sendai (map)
- Nitori *only Japanese site available
- AEON Sendai (map)