When I was a kid growing up here in Ohio I remember my father many times talking about going to the Lawson Store one the way home from work or to pick up the Sunday paper. The stores all but disappeared after as series of corporate buyouts and mergers in the 70s and 80s.
In Japan Lawson is the number 2 convenience store chain behind only 7/11. I was pleasantly surprised to find one right across the street from our hotel. I made it a point to go over there every night to get snacks or pop. Fond memories of childhood combined with the customer centric Japanese service was wonderful.
Shibuya246 has a good write up with nice pics of his local Lawson store. (Which inspired this post)
Wiki has a good writeup (albeit brief) of the history of Lawson. (The above images are from there)
I was disappointed that the closest convenience store to our hotel in Kyoto was a Circle K.