TOKYO (TR) – Japanese convenience store chain Lawson will begin taking over newspaper kiosks in Tokyo subway stations and offering a broader range of services, including some for tourists.
More than 500 items that have attracted the attention of visitors to Japan will include English-language labeling, according to online publication Norimono News.
The new outlets, which Lawson touts as convenience stores but for subways, will also offer rice balls and sweets that have until now only been available overground, and allow Japanese to pay their utility bills on the spot.
Lawson says that it is producing the new stores with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in mind. “There’s going to be more foreigners coming in, so we want to make sure they get the best service possible,” said an official involved in the new project. “We want to help raise the bar on infrastructure in Tokyo before the Olympics, so we will build these new ‘subway convenience stores.’”