Walk into any of the +5,000 Japanese 100-yen shops and you will walk out with your arms full (and your wallet, too)! Daily necessities, designer stationery, and delectable consumables can be purchased for only 100 yen, making them the perfect souvenirs for the budget-conscious tourist as well as a go-to store that is almost as convenient as a Japanese conbini (convenience store. Take a closer look at three popular 100-yen shops in Japan as we highlight a few of the limitless items that are sure to end up in your suitcase.
Daiso 100-Yen Shop
Daiso is the largest 100-yen shop in Japan, with 2,900 stores in Japan and 1,400 locations overseas (as of March 2015). It’s not an exaggeration to say that everything you need to survive is available here, including daily necessities, stationery, clothes, and food and drinks. If you’re looking for a wide variety of goods at one time, Daiso is the answer. While there are far too many products stocked on Daiso’s shelves to give a comprehensive description, here are a few to whet your appetite.
Japanese stationery is known for its high-quality even at the affordable price of 100 yen. Popular stationery from Daiso includes mechanical pencils with easy grip rubber, correction tape (white out) allowing you to write on it without waiting for it to dry, and colorful sticky notes.
The "turning stapler" is an exceptional item because it’s engineered to turn 90, 180, and 270 degrees. This allows you to staple from various angles, which can be very useful in different situations.
Designer Wares and Décor
Daiso is great if you’ve got a large list of last-minute gifts to buy before heading back to your home country. This is because many of the items available offer Japanese-theme designs and are made with quality materials often manufactured in Japan. Whether you’re looking to give your girlfriend a cute coin purse or a fashionable compact mirror, handing out designer chopsticks to all of your friends, or looking for some home décor to commemorate your trip to Japan, Daiso will become your best friend!
Japanese Cleaning Goods
Every country and culture offers unique cleaning products, but there is just something about Japan’s cleaning tech that outshines the competition. Some of the great tools you can find at Daiso include a brush you can attach to a PET bottle, window wipes, bottle sponges, and more.
Can Do 100-Yen Shop
With 930 shops in Japan (as of January 2016), Can Do handles an abundance of commodities and consumables and have made a name for themselves with their brand name products!
Can Do stores are known among locals for being incredibly easy to navigate, while tourists are often surprised that goods are only 100 yen; in particular, their "Do!STARS" products are highly praised. Can Do is also known for its stylish atmosphere, designed to make shopping an enjoyable experience, and every week new items are displayed to keep customers entertained. Here are just some of the thoughtful products you can expect to find when you step into a Can Do 100-yen shop.
Stylish and Practical Peelers
A popular item from the "Do! STARS" line is the ST peeler, which is a vegetable peeler featuring a sharp stainless steel blade. It’s made in Japan and easy to hold, with cute pop art colors. Combining quality, ergonomics and design, it's hard to believe you can buy one for only 100 yen.
Soft Microfiber Face Towels
One Japanese habit worth adopting is to take a hand towel with you wherever you go. The "Microfiber face towel" from Can Do is fluffy and gentle on the skin, and can hold a lot of water if needed. It’s high-quality for being only 100 yen. The towel size is about 30 × 70 centimeters and comes in several pastel-color designs.
Another Great Japanese Cleaning Product
The "Diamond puff" is an ideal cleaning tool for any home. It has an artificial diamond abrasive for scraping off the crazy grime and buildup on your bathroom mirror while only using water, meaning you don’t have to use additional soaps or harsh chemical sprays to keep your mirror clean. It also works great for the soap scum in the shower and bathtub as well as cleaning your bathroom toilet and washbasin.
Seria 100-Yen Shop
Seria has a strong reputation among Japan’s 100-yen shops because of their lineup of stylish and cute products. With the concept of "Color the days," they offer a variety of goods targeting more upscale tastes. The shops feature an abundance of handicraft goods, gift wrapping, kitchenware for baking sweets, and designer tableware.
Seria’s Seasonal Event Corner
Every Seria features a special display near the entrance for seasonal goods such as Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day, as well as traditional Japanese holidays. When you go to Seria, be sure to check this display first as you might find an interesting item that’s too good to pass up.
Stylish DIY Sundries
Seria's DIY sundries become popular topics on social networks like Instagram, probably because these items are super cute. Paint wooden frames or cases, or decorate them with lace frills to match the style of your room while staying under budget!
Much of the tableware available in Seria’s tableware display is so tastefully designed that it’s hard to imagine that each piece is only 100 yen. The dishes, cups, and utensils look so nice that they can be used for both daily use and home parties. So “style up” and have fun selecting pieces that match your preferences!
Make These 100-Yen Shops Part of Your Japan Bucket List
Japan’s 100-yen shops offer such a variety of practical and stylish goods that you could easily fill up a suitcase of 100-yen souvenirs. The three stores featured here offer similar products, but each has a distinct style so it’s worth checking all them if you’re looking for something in particular.