Turns out rodents love hanging out at konbini as much as people do.

We’ve all heard about New York’s infamous subway rat dragging a slice of pizza at a Manhattan train station, but now it’s time to take a look at Tokyo’s lesser-known convenience store rats.

These elusive rats aren’t usually seen indoors, and given the general cleanliness of the country’s convenience stores, it can be almost impossible to believe they really exist anywhere, except maybe in scary stories told in hushed whispers around campfires out in the woods.

Yet here we are today with video evidence of their existence, thanks to a couple of Japanese Twitter users who shared their sightings online for the world to see. It’s not a pleasant sight, by all means, and it’s something you won’t be able to unsee, especially on your next trip to the konbini, so look away now if you ever want to eat convenience-store baked goods in Shibuya ever again.

The above clip shows a family of rats scurrying around the bread section of a convenience store in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward. The sound of tiny rat feet on the plastic packaging can be clearly heard, as the Family Mart jingle plays in the background.

Three days after the initial video was shared, another Twitter user commented on the thread with this stomach-churning video, showing half a dozen rats climbing–and falling–around the Family Mart refrigerator section.

While it’s not entirely clear whether this was the same convenience store or not, both videos were filmed at a Family Mart convenience store in Shibuya, with the second video confirmed to be the Jinnan 1-chome location.

Customer reviews of this particular store on Google include this comment from last week:

There are rats running around, and sometimes you can see items that they’ve bitten into. The place occasionally has a bad stench as well. Don’t ever go here.”

And this comment, dating back to four months ago:

“Don’t buy anything here because it’s full of rats. If you go at night, you’ll see them, running all around the store and the floor is cleaned with a mop that smells like the gutter. It’s disgusting.”

▼ A screenshot of the comments in Japanese.

While the videos and images are disturbing in themselves, rats are known to carry disease, making them a major health issue and public safety concern. If a customer or employee were to be bitten or scratched by a rat, they may be at risk of succumbing to rat-bite fever, while diseases like salmonellosis and leptospirosis can be contracted from food or liquid contaminated with rodent faeces or urine.

As news of the rat infestation spread online, with commenters now asking whether this was a Family Mart or a Rat Mart, the store in question closed temporarily.

While the reason for the temporary closure wasn’t mentioned on the sign outside the store, the Twitter user who took these photos said it looked like the exterminators had arrived. After sneaking a look in between a crack in the door and capturing this photo, another Twitter user replied to say the men appeared to be in the exact spot where the funky smell was located inside the store.

While Family Mart is yet to make an official comment regarding the issue, Twitter users maintain that the store remains temporarily shut down as of this writing. Here’s hoping the store is able to get rid of the rodents as soon as possible, without having to rely on the country’s konbini-loving felines to clear the area for good.

Source: Hachima Kikou 
Featured image: Twitter/@Ginkai19990324
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