How And Where to Buy Cigarettes in Japan

Smoking is a common and popular habit in Japan and cigarettes are rather easy to purchase. The legal smoking age is 20 although many start smoking in their younger years.

A few ways to purchase cigarettes in Japan are as such-

Vending Machine

Vending machines now require a TASPO card which you have to be a resident in Japan to aquire. This card is to certify that you are of age to purchase and smoke cigarettes. All cigarette vending machines are now equipped with the TASPO card function.


An example of the taspo card.

The next way is to purchase from a convenience store like lawson, family mart or 7/11.

Most convenience stores sell cigarettes that they label by the number. It may be a little difficult for non-Japanese speaking people to buy cigarettes over the counter, however the cigarettes are usually displayed in a wide array where the customer is able to just point.

The last way is to buy through a cigarette vendor. They carry a large variety of cigarettes, even some uncommon/rare brands that most people do not smoke.

They are usually ran by traditional Japanese people that don’t understand much English. However these stores usually give out goodies like specific lighters, keychains and such when purchasing their cigarettes. Think of it as a GWP (Gift with Purchase).

Izakayas in Japan

If you love to drink, or just want to experience the all-round izakaya ambience in Japan, you might want to be informed of the different types (and prices) of Izakayas in Japan.

An Izakaya 居酒屋 is basically a drinking establishment that offers an array of food. Both food and drink-wise, there are western and traditional Japanese choices. However, the main focus in an Izakaya are the drinks. The common choices of food are Yakitori, kushiyaki and karaage. For drinks, the popular choices would be the draft beer and shochu.

Popular Izakayas:
-Watami 和民 (Find Watami in Singapore)
-Tori Kizoku 鳥貴族 (Everything for 280 Yen)
-Wara Wara 笑笑 
-Tengu 天狗
-Shiroki-Ya 白木屋
-Tsubohachi つぼ八