Welcome to the Famima laundromat!

As of 31 May, 2022, there are 16,564 Family Mart stores around Japan. And out of all of these thousands of branches, only 33 of them offer something extra special for customers — a laundromat called Famima Laundry.

It’s not every day you get to see a Family Mart with a coin laundry inside, so as soon as we heard that one of these unique branches was located in Shimoigusa in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, we immediately grabbed our dirty clothes and headed over to check it out.

When we arrived, we found that this was more than just a nondescript add-on to the Family Mart next door — the Famima Laundry had its own sign and branding that made it identifiable as a legit Family Mart business.

Despite having its own separate entrance, the laundromat is conveniently connected to the convenience store, so you can pop back and forth while you wait for your laundry to finish.

The coin laundry area looks like a regular laundromat, with heavy-duty washing machines and dryers inside. In addition to medium and large-sized washers and dryers, there’s also a sneaker washer and dryer, and a super large machine for washing and drying futons.

It was a rainy day public holiday when we visited, so 80 percent of the machines were in use, showing there was clearly a need for a place like this in the neighbourhood. The rates were reasonable too, with dryer use starting at 100 yen (US$0.74), a load of washing starting at 200 yen, and a complete wash-and dry ranging from 700 to 1,200 yen.

▼ App members (price list on the right-hand side, below) can enjoy a 200-yen discount on regular prices.

It all looked pretty straightforward, so we got our clothes out for our first-ever Family Mart laundry experience.

It can be time-consuming to air-dry heavy cotton clothing on rainy days, so we decided to opt for a full wash and dry in a big machine for 1,200 yen.

▼ Simply select your desired course, select the drying temperature (low, medium high), and pop in your money.

People who use the “Smart Laundry” app can enjoy not only discounts, but the option to make cashless payments as well. Seeing as we weren’t living close enough to use the Famima Laundry on a regular basis, we decided to simply pay full price, in cash, for our load of washing.

▼ No detergents or fabric softeners required — just throw your clothes in and start washing!

The load would take 50 minutes to complete, and this is where the true value of the Famima Laundry comes into play. Usually we’d be twiddling our thumbs or scrolling idly on our phones at this point, but now we had a whole convenience store to browse at our leisure.

▼ Laundromat customers can also sit in this break space inside the konbini.

Being able to enjoy a drink and a Famichiki in the break space was a very nice change, seeing as we’re usually in and out of stores like this on our konbini runs. And because we were waiting for our laundry to finish, we didn’t have to feel guilty about loitering inside the store either.

▼ The 50 minutes flew by, and when we opened the door to our machine…

▼ …our clothes were wonderfully warn and perfectly dry.

Even the normally difficult-to-dry parts, like the back of the hoodie and the pockets of the shorts, were lovely and dry, and the scent of the fabric softener was light and refreshing.

▼ Our clothes looked and felt even better than they usually do after a wash at home!

Like the convenience store, the laundromat is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there’s even a call centre available at all times, to help customers with any queries or problems with using the machines.

The bright, welcoming lights of the 24-hour Family Mart convenience store make the Famima laundry a warm and inviting space to do your washing, even late at night. It’s a service we’d love to see expand to more Family Mart branches in future, along with the Family Mart whiskey bar.

Related: Famima Laundry Location List
Images © SoraNews24

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