No other 7-Eleven in Japan can compete with this branch’s claim to fame.

Japanese convenience stores are world-famous for taking the concept of convenience to convenient extremes, but one particular branch has recently received acclaim for a different reason.

Our reporter Seiji Nakazawa recently discovered the branch after it made a buzz with foreigners on image-sharing platform Imgur. From the outside, this 7-Eleven looked like any other branch, but the story behind it was so special that Seiji wanted to visit in person, hopping on the train to Toyosu, where it was located.

Toyosu is a portion of reclaimed land on the Tokyo Bay coast that’s recently become more well-known as the new location for the city’s famous Tsukiji fish market. The area is also home to a large number of apartment tower blocks that glint in the sunshine on sunny days. It’s close to Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba as well, giving those apartment dwellers some fantastic views of the city.

▼ As Seiji exited from Exit 3 of Toyosu Station, he immediately saw the Toyosu branch of 7-Eleven on the other side of the street.

There are two 7-Elevens in the vicinity, with the Toyosu Ekimae store right in front of the station (“ekimae” literally means “in front of the station”), but the one that’s particularly noteworthy is the  7-Eleven Toyosu store.

Crossing the road and walking through the sliding doors, Seiji found this 7-Eleven to be particularly spacious for a branch in an urban area, with a large selection of products like vegetables and fruits, and even items from chainstores Daiso and Loft available.

Browsing the shelves, Seiji found a number of high-priced items around the 3,000-yen (US$20.11) mark, such as Suntory Old and Johnny Walker Black Label whiskies. Other than that, though, there was nothing out of the ordinary worth mentioning, so what makes this store so special?

▼ It’s…Japan’s very first 7-Eleven!

Seiji had no idea that this is where 7-Eleven first opened its doors in Japan, and even standing here in front of it, with all its modern-day advertising, he found it hard to believe.

After researching the chain’s history online, Seiji found that this branch was well-documented on 7-Eleven’s official site, with an old photo showing it on the very same corner, albeit with a retro storefront from the day, alongside a caption that reads: “The first 7-Eleven store (the Toyosu store in Koto-ku, Tokyo), the first genuine franchise convenience store in Japan, opened in Toyosu, Koto-ku, Tokyo.” So not only is this the very first 7-Eleven in Japan, it’s also the first fully franchised convenience store in the country as well.

Even some of the country’s longstanding chains have lost their very first stores, so Seiji was impressed to find that 7-Eleven’s first branch was still in business. Having opened in 1974, this branch will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, so keep your eyes peeled for some special celebrations. Judging by Family Mart’s recent 40th birthday deals, the celebrations could be really big…literally!

Store Location

7-Eleven Toyosu / セブン-イレブン 豊洲店
Address: Tokyo-to, Koto-ku, Toyosu 4-6-1
Open 24 hours

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]