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Post Office Conbini

Lawson Convenience store inside the Shibuya Post Office lobby
Lawson Convenience store inside the Shibuya Post Office lobby

A few years ago, with the postal service in Japan being scrutinized by politicians for privatization and everyone looking for ways to restructure the business operations, many local post offices were closed and the service of buying stamps and posting letters, paying for bills was outsourced to convenience stores.

This made some sense as you were now able to buy stamps and post letters after normal post office operating hours, whilst other post office services, particularly those related to the banking financial operations were separated.

The Japanese mark for Post Office (written in front of the numbers for your zip code when writing your address)
The Japanese mark for Post Office (written in front of the numbers for your zip code when writing your address)

Postal services in convenience stores are now quite a common sight, but one thing I did find unusual today was the reverse of this trend, a convenience store inside the main post office at Shibuya.

This Lawson has opened in the lobby space of the Shibuya main Post Office. The space is a bit smaller than the average convenience store but it was very busy. Having customers dropping in to buy drinks and snacks creates a buzz in the area and the Post Office building felt like it had been revived a bit.

The entrance way to the Shibuya Post Office
The entrance way to the Shibuya Post Office

Do you have convenience stores in the Post Offices where you live?

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11 comments

Haf July 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm

The main post office in Higashimatsuyama is in it's own building, without a conbini. There is supposed to be another post office at the other side of the train station, but I never went there.

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Shibuya246 July 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm

No conbini in your Post Office? never mind

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Shibuya246 July 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm

wow, I could have seen you there 🙂

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whipcracker July 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Hmm….mail your letters,packages,need stamps,hungry,thirsty,have it all in one convienent stop. What a brilliant and novel idea. Japan seems to be to be taking the ball and running with it for their citizens convience. This is something they need here in America the total all in one stop. Is this one close to your house?
Btw…how did you do out on the golfcourse today? Our local tv affiialiats are not showing any of the British Open. Will have to check ESPN online for any updates.

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Shibuya246 July 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm

my golf was not bad. British Open, Tiger +1, Ishikawa -2. Good 1st day

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Radeonic July 16, 2009 at 8:19 pm

In Vancouver, Canada, most post offices also sells lottery tickets, but no conbini, cuz that would be too cool

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Kara July 16, 2009 at 10:37 pm

I was amazed in Asakusa when I was told that the post office there was open 24 hours a day. There were no lines and the staff was ridiculously patient and polite. Very different from what I'm used to in Southeastern Georgia. Would be nice if ours had a convenience store inside. A cold beer might make the postal experience a tad more tolerable!

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Shibuya246 July 17, 2009 at 1:15 am

Picking up a cold beer from your local post office just has a strange feeling about it, doesn't it?

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Shibuya246 July 17, 2009 at 1:13 am

Conbini by name, conbini by nature. The convenience stores being open 24/7 and being able to handle basic postal services and bill paying services sure makes life easier. 🙂

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Shibuya246 July 17, 2009 at 1:14 am

I haven't seen lottery tickets in conbini's, but will keep an eye out for that. Thanks

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whipcracker July 17, 2009 at 2:23 am

It does have a strange feeling to it . It wouldn't be possible around here, seeing we have open container laws and no drinking of alcholic beverages on the premises, bummer.:@

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