You don’t find Family Marts like this every day. 

Japanese convenience stores are known for being convenient places where you can get all sorts of things like rice balls, steamed buns, and even instant pork.

One thing you won’t expect to find inside a convenience store is a whole other shop, let alone a branch of a big-name chain, but that’s what one Family Mart has inside it, and it’s located in Tokyo’s Ogikubo.

▼ This particular branch goes by a rather peculiar name — Subway Ogikubo Family Mart store

Was it a Subway? Or a Family Mart? Our reporter Mr Sato was curious to find out, so he headed out to Ogikubo, and when he arrived, he saw that the signage in front of the store had been split in half, with equal billing given to each company.

▼ So it looks to be both a Subway and a Family Mart?

Things became slightly clearer after he entered the store, as he could see that it essentially looked like a regular Family Mart, only with a Subway inside it.

Mr Sato has seen a lot of things in the many years he’s lived in Tokyo, but this was something he’d never seen before. There, across from the Family Mart checkout counter, was a full-on Subway, complete with staff in uniforms and a menu full of subs. 

Mr Sato suddenly had a flashback to that time back in 2018, when he’d stumbled across a Yoshinoya inside a Family Mart.

▼ That Yoshinoya branch has since closed.

It seems that out of the country’s top three convenience store chains — Lawson, Family Mart and 7-Eleven — Family Mart isn’t afraid to collaborate with other big names, welcoming them into select branches with open arms.

Yoshinoya is a homegrown brand, though, so that previous team-up wasn’t as surprising to Mr Sato as this one, involving an international player. He’d never dreamed that he would one day be able to pair his Famichiki fried chicken with a sub in the one place, but that opportunity now lay before him, and there was an eat-in area where he could enjoy the experience.

So, Mr Sato went off to the Family Mart counter to order a Famichiki for 220 yen (US$1.50) and an iced mocha for 160 yen. Then, he walked over to the Subway counter and ordered himself a regular Ham & Mascarpone Sub for 590 yen. 

▼ Not a bad deal for a total of 970 yen.

Mr Sato was pretty sure this was the only combined store of its kind in Japan at the moment, so he relished every alternating bite of Subway sub and Family Mart Famichiki.

It was a power pairing, and because the eat-in space is equipped with microwaves, there’s no end to the unusual meal combinations you can try here. Mr Sato found himself already planning his next visit, where he vowed to try a salad sub and a Family Mart bento, for a slightly healthier and more filling meal combo.

It’s definitely one of the most unusual Family Mart setups you’ll find in Japan, but it’s not the only branch where you can multi-task. Over in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward you can do your laundry at a laundromat inside a Family Mart, and in Shibuya, you can eat your Famichiki inside the chain’s whisky bar. Who knows what they’ll come up with next!

Store Location

Family Mart Ogikubo Oume Kaido store (Subway Ogikubo Family Mart store) / ファミリーマート荻窪青梅街道店(サブウェイ荻窪ファミリーマート店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Suginami-ku, Amanuma 3-3-2, Mansion Ogikubo 1F
東京都杉並区天沼3-3-2 マンション荻窪1F
Open: Family Mart 24 hours, Subway 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]