For Japanese locals, convenience stores aren’t only for paying bills or buying necessities. Convenience stores are also the place to go if you’re looking at getting the best tasting sandwiches.
While it may not sound appealing to go to convenience stores to buy sandwiches on purpose, it’s something you will definitely do once you discover the wide selection of flavorsome sandwiches that every convenience store in Japan offers. In fact, these sandwiches are so good that they’re tourist attractions on their own.
In case you’re wondering, there’s a reason these sandwiches stand out. Convenience stores in other countries use standard white bread, but in Japan, there’s a special way of cooking the dough. They use bread improvers that make the bread fluffier and sweeter.
Whatever your take is on convenience store food, those you can find in Japan will certainly amaze you.
10 Konbini Sandwiches You Need To Try In Japan
It’s no joke that Japanese convenience stores have an overwhelming set of sandwich choices. Luckily, we’ve gathered the 10 best but often overlooked sandwiches you need to try. Check our list below!
- Yakisoba Pan from Daily Yamazaki
- Pancake Sandwich from Family Mart
- Shaki Shaki from 7-Eleven
- Dorayaki from Family Mart
- Shrimp and Broccoli Sandwich from Family Mart
- Peanut Lunch Pack from Daily Yamazaki
- Tonkatsu Sandwich from 7-Eleven
- Ebikatsusando from 7-Eleven
- Whipped Cream Sandwich from 7-Eleven
- Tamagosando from Lawson
1. Yakisoba Pan (Daily Yamazaki)
Yakisoba Pan or Yakisoba bread is truly unique and popular! It’s technically a regular hotdog bun with stir-fried noodles, meat, vegetables, and egg. It sounds like a strange combination, but it’s surprisingly tasty!
2. Pancake Sandwich (Family Mart)
Sometimes, the best sandwiches are the simplest ones.
Although not as popular as other Family Mart sandwiches, the pancake sandwich is one of the must-try sandwiches in the store. It’s a sandwich made from two fluffy pancakes with maple syrup and margarine inside. It’s a simple combination that anyone can easily fall in love with.
The pancake sandwich has other variations, but this flavor is a great starting point. These are also extremely easy to find because any Family Mart branch will likely have them.
What makes this particular pancake sandwich the best is that it tastes like it’s overflowing with syrup and margarine when there’s really just a small amount inside!
3. Shaki-Shaki (7-Eleven)
You will be blown away once you bite into 7-Eleven’s Shaki-Shaki sandwich.
The Shaki-Shaki sandwich is basically a lettuce sandwich with thin slices of ham and cheese. The charm of this sandwich is really in the crispy lettuce. It’s flavorful and not bland as you might think.
Pro tip: If you really want to get the prime version of this sandwich, get it early in the morning. That way, the sandwich is still fresh, and the lettuce is the right kind of crispy.
4. Dorayaki (Family Mart)
Here’s one of the several variations of the pancake sandwich: dorayaki. Instead of maple syrup and margarine filling, dorayaki is filled with red bean paste.
Although dorayaki can easily be found in other big convenience stores in Japan, Family Mart’s dorayaki should be your go-to because of the generous amount of filling. The filling is somewhat overflowing and the overall thickness of the sandwich is hard to miss.
Moreover, after opening the package, one sniff and you can easily tell the rich scent of adzuki bean, making it all the more appetizing and enjoyable to munch on!
5. Shrimp and Broccoli Sandwich (Family Mart)
The Shrimp and Broccoli sandwich is one of the most unique sandwiches you can find. It makes use of whole wheat bread and as you can guess, is filled with shrimp, broccoli, carrots and egg salad. The combination is uncommon among convenience store sandwiches, so this one is a breath of fresh air for many.
What makes this sandwich work is how well the texture of the broccoli and shrimp come together. The fact that this also isn’t a usual sandwich flavor makes it a must-try!
You May Also Like: Japanese Konbini Stores Full Guide
6. Peanut Lunch Pack (Daily Yamazaki)
If you don’t like the crust part of the bread, then this is for you! Lunch Pack is specifically made for people who don’t like the crust on their sandwiches.
Lunch Pack is a popular line of packaged crustless sandwiches in Japan made by Yamazaki Baking, a company under the Yamazaki Group. Lunch Pack comes with a wide range of fillings, from sweet to savory, but the Peanut Lunch Pack is their “classic” flavor.
You’ll be able to easily spot this variety with the peanut mark branded on the sandwich. While it does look cute, it also serves a practical purpose: for those with peanut allergies to easily identify and avoid them!
If you’re trying out a Lunch Pack for the first time, the Peanut Lunch Pack is the way to go!
7. Tonkatsu Sandwich (7-Eleven)
The Tonkatsu sandwich from 7-Eleven is a classic convenience store sandwich. It’s one of the sandwiches you must get your hands on when you go to Japan because it’s a great way to try Japan’s most iconic meat dish.
One of the reasons why this is loved by many is the fact that the thickness and tenderness of the pork cutlet are surprising for a convenience store sandwich. It also doesn’t hurt that the bread practically melts in your mouth, and it’s oozing with tonkatsu sauce.
To make this sandwich even better than it already is, make sure to heat it up before consuming.
8. Ebikatsusando (7-Eleven)
Ebikatsusando, or shrimp cutlet sandwich, is an underrated sandwich. For a convenience store sandwich, this shrimp cutlet sandwich manages to stay crispy and juicy. It doesn’t cut back on portions, so it’s a filling sandwich you can have in a hurry.
Many usually skip this sandwich in convenience stores, but it’s one of the sandwiches that will impress you the most on this list. What makes this sandwich even better is the generous amount of sauce that complements the flavor of the shrimp well.
9. Whipped Cream Sandwich (7-Eleven)
Surprising is one word that can describe this whipped cream sandwich from 7-Eleven. It’s not a common sight in 7-Eleven because it’s a regional item that is only available in the Kinki region. Not all 7-Eleven stores have them, so you will be lucky to find one. But you can also find it in some Family Mart stores.
This sandwich is exactly what it sounds like: whipped cream sandwiched between two slices of bread. It’s simple, but the result is a sweet and moist sandwich that’s hard to resist.
The great thing about this whipped cream sandwich is the fact that each one is made with locally sourced milk from the region where it’s being sold. This means it will taste and even look different depending on where you buy it!
10. Tamagosando (Lawson)
This list won’t be complete without the renowned tamagosando or egg sandwich. It doesn’t matter which convenience store you buy it from because they all exceed expectations. However, the tamagosando from Lawson has a remarkable taste. The main charm of Lawson’s tamagosando is its bread which is thick, but also soft. It also has a slight sweetness that adds to the flavor of the egg.
The sandwich has a strong and rich egg flavor that really brings the whole sandwich together.
+ 1 Bonus – Fruit Sandwich
Have you ever tried a fruit sandwich from Japan? They are seriously scrumptious! I mean, just imagine soft and fluffy slices of bread, filled with sweet and juicy fruits like strawberries, kiwis, and peaches. And on top of all that deliciousness, there’s a generous dollop of creamy whipped cream. It’s like a party in your mouth!
These sandwiches are perfect for a sunny day, or when you need a quick snack that will give you a boost of energy. Trust me, you won’t regret trying one of these Japanese fruit sandwiches. Go on, take a bite and treat yourself to a fruity adventure!
If you’re looking for convenience store sandwiches that are far from the usual but will still impress you with their taste and portions, you’ll find one in this list that will satisfy you.
Although some may not be easy to find because of the limited branches they can be found in, they are worth the extra effort.
The next time you’re near or have to go to a convenience store, don’t skip on the chance to try the ones on this list. Get your taste buds ready for a surprising adventure with these sandwiches.