When does everything in Japan close down?

Travel Destinations

By Daniela Howard

Understanding Business Hours in Japan

When traveling to Japan, it is important to understand the typical business hours of various establishments. This will help you plan your daily activities and ensure that you are not caught off guard by early closing times. Generally, Japanese businesses adhere to strict schedules, and it is uncommon for them to stay open past their designated hours. However, there are exceptions, such as convenience stores and some restaurants that operate 24/7.

Normal Business Hours: What to Expect

The standard business hours for most Japanese establishments are from 10 am to 7 pm, and many businesses are closed on weekends and public holidays. Some stores may open earlier and stay open until 8 pm or 9 pm. It is important to note that Japanese businesses are punctual, so it is advisable to arrive early and avoid rushing towards closing time. Most businesses take a lunch break from around noon to 1 pm, so plan ahead if you need to visit a store during this time. Additionally, it is common for businesses to close for several days during the New Year’s holiday period, so plan accordingly if you are traveling during this time.

Convenience Stores: Open 24/7

One of the most convenient aspects of Japan is the prevalence of convenience stores, or "konbini," which are open 24/7. These stores offer a wide range of goods, including food, toiletries, and even hot meals. They are also a popular place to withdraw cash from ATMs, as most Japanese banks have limited operating hours. Some popular konbini chains in Japan include 7-Eleven, Lawson, and FamilyMart.

Restaurants: Closing Time Varies

The closing time for restaurants in Japan can vary greatly depending on the type of establishment. Many restaurants close relatively early, around 8 or 9 pm, but there are also those that stay open until late at night. Some restaurants may also have different operating hours on weekends and holidays, so it is best to check ahead of time. Additionally, it is common for Japanese restaurants to take a break between lunch and dinner service, so be sure to plan accordingly if you are looking to have a meal during this time.

Department Stores: 10 am – 9 pm

Department stores in Japan typically open at 10 am and close at 9 pm. However, some stores may have different operating hours on weekends and holidays. These stores offer a wide range of goods, from fashion and cosmetics to electronics and home appliances. Many department stores have restaurants and cafes on their upper floors, making them a popular destination for shopping and dining.

Supermarkets: 10 am – 10 pm

Supermarkets in Japan generally open at 10 am and close at 10 pm. They offer a wide range of fresh produce, packaged foods, and household items. Some supermarkets also have in-store bakeries and delis, making them a convenient place to grab a quick meal. It is important to note that supermarkets may have different operating hours on weekends and public holidays, so check ahead of time if you are planning a visit.

Banks: 9 am – 3 pm

Banking hours in Japan are typically from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks may have shorter hours on Saturdays, or may be closed entirely. It is important to note that many Japanese banks charge fees for using non-affiliated ATMs, so be sure to check your bank’s international withdrawal policies before traveling.

Post Offices: 9 am – 5 pm

Post offices in Japan generally operate from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Some post offices may have shorter hours on Saturdays, and may be closed entirely on Sundays and public holidays. Post offices offer a wide range of services, including domestic and international mail, banking, and bill payments.

Museums and Attractions: Different Operating Hours

Museums and other attractions in Japan may have different operating hours, depending on the season and day of the week. Some museums may be closed on Mondays, or may have shorter operating hours on weekends. It is best to check ahead of time for the specific operating hours of the attraction you wish to visit.

Holidays and Special Occasions: Different Schedules

Japanese businesses may have different operating hours during public holidays and special occasions. Many stores and restaurants may be closed entirely during the New Year’s holiday period, which typically lasts from December 29th to January 3rd. Additionally, some businesses may have shorter hours on national holidays or for events such as festivals.

Emergency Services: Available 24/7

Emergency services in Japan, such as hospitals and police stations, are available 24/7. In case of an emergency, dial 110 for the police or 119 for an ambulance or fire department.

Conclusion: Planning Your Day in Japan’s Business Hours

When traveling to Japan, it is important to plan your day around the operating hours of various establishments. Be sure to check ahead of time for any special schedules or holiday closures, and make use of convenient 24/7 options such as convenience stores and emergency services. With a little bit of forethought and preparation, you can make the most of your time in Japan and enjoy all that this amazing country has to offer.

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Daniela Howard

Daniela Howard, a dedicated Harpers Ferry resident, serves as the foremost expert on West Virginia. Over a decade in travel writing, her work for Family Destinations Guide offers in-depth knowledge of the state's hidden treasures, such as fine dining, accommodations, and captivating sights. Her engaging articles vividly depict family-friendly activities, making your West Virginia journey truly memorable.

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