Missed the last train in Tokyo? Hungry at 3 am? Need something urgent, but the stores are already closed?
You’re in luck! Japan has a number of 24-hour services and stores that can help you when you need something in the middle of the night.
Keep reading to learn the 4 major types of 24-hour stores in Japan: convenience stores, family restaurants, and internet cafés.
Life is easy with convenience stores at every corner. These small stores are jam-packed with everything from food, to daily necessities like pens, paper, and socks, to gadgets like phone chargers and headphones.
Whatever you need, the convenience store probably has it. They’ve got ATMs to cash out money in a hurry, books and magazines if you’re bored, copy machines and printers in case you need to make a document at 4 am. They also have coffee if you want to stay awake, and alcohol if you want a drink. They have hot fried foods and ready-to-eat soup and bentos too. Underwears are also for sale if that’s what you’re looking for. They even have the most common condiments and cooking supplies if you run out of something during a late-night cooking session.
Just by taking a short walk around the area, you should easily find a convenience store in the area. Popular franchises include Seven Eleven, Family Mart, Lawson, and MiniStop.
Family Restaurant is the name for a low-price casual restaurant that's perfect for people who want a cheap and tasty meal without much fuss.
Many of these restaurants are opened 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The main 3 restaurants you can find all across Japan are Denny’s, Gusto, and Jonathan’s.
All of them serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and a drink bar option with free coffee, tea, and soft drink refills.
These restaurants are perfect for spending a night out after the last train (if you can stay awake), or for grabbing something to eat in the middle of the night. But be careful not to fall asleep, because you will likely get in trouble or even kicked out from the restaurant.
Another restaurant that’s open 24 hours is McDonald’s. Many people go to McDonald’s after a late-night party to wait until the morning train, but this restaurant also has a very strict no-sleeping policy.
If you need a place to spend time or sleep after a night out, internet cafés or manga cafés are the place for you.
You may have seen an internet café in another part of the world. Japanese internet cafés provide 24-hour internet access, TV, drinks, snacks, couches, and even showers and overnight rooms for a fixed price.
Many internet cafés provide magazines and newspapers for reading, and some also have manga. Manga cafés are similar to internet cafés but specialize in manga.
Both cafés have various seating types. You may be able to choose from open-room seating, couple seating (a couch that fits 2 people), or a completely isolated room. Some rooms are big enough to lie down and sleep for the night.
Each room is available for a certain price, but if you’re planning to sleep, an isolated room is the best option.
Karaoke is the other option for you to spend the night if you still have energy to sing. The price of the karaoke store varies depending to the location. For example, you may find 7000 yen for only singing 2 hours in Ginza; or 3500 yen all you can sing till 5:30 am in Ikebukuro. There are also 2 different karaoke systems: Dam and Joy Sound. Dam system provides more J-pop songs whether Joy Sound provides more animate songs. If you feel like signing late night, karaoke will be the best option.
So, here you have it! The next time you’re out late in Japan and need something (or something to do), you’ll know where to go.