Japanese 100 Yen shops are the perfect places to shop for just about anything – from stationery to kitchen goods, and from cosmetics to souvenirs. And if you’re thinking all those items must be cheap-looking, dime-a-dozen goods like those found in Western dollar stores, that is definitely not the case for Japanese 100 Yen stores.
They carry surprisingly good quality items for a very low price, and we’re going to introduce you to the top 8 things you shouldn’t pass up when you go to a Daiso, Seria, or Can Do in Japan. Without further ado, let’s take a look at them:
cover photo credit:jencu
1. Cosmetics and Makeup
Ladies will definitely appreciate this one. While Japanese cosmetics are generally more on the expensive side, 100 Yen shops like Daiso usually have their in-house lines of cosmetics that sell for less than $2 per item. These include all sorts of creams and lotions, lip products, eyeshadow palettes, makeup brushes, false eyelashes, and more.
They also carry different nail polishes and stickers, which would usually cost three times the price in a regular drugstore. Skincare is another big one – you can find all sorts of face masks (the funny animal face ones as well), under eye pads, serums, and virtually anything you can think of in Japanese 100 Yen Shops.
Traditional Japanese plates and ceramic bowls, teacups, chopsticks, and cute bento boxes are staples of Japanese 100 Yen shops. You can even find plastic miso soup bowls and sushi boxes that imitate high-end lacquerware, which can add a sophisticated touch to your kitchen back home. And they all sell for around $1!
3. Bento Paraphernalia
Bento is the Japanese word for boxed lunch. The custom of packing your lunch for school or work is very popular in Japan, and so it the trend of making the food inside the bento visually appealing. That’s why all the Japanese 100 Yen stores carry a wide variety of bento boxes, cutlery sets, various food cutters in different shapes, tiny soy sauce bottles, rice ball molds, and more. These items cost a fortune if ordered online and shipped internationally, but can be purchased for just $1 in any 100 Yen store.
4. Character Goods
Japan is obsessed with cute characters, along the lines of Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, and Pokemon. However, character items are often pretty pricey, especially if bought in the flagship stores. However, 100 Yen shop brands usually collaborate with all sorts of characters, including Sanrio ones ( Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars), as well as popular anime franchises – One Piece, Love Live, Sailor Moon, and more. You can usually find all sorts of cheap character goods in 100 Yen stores, including wall stickers, stationery, kitchen goods, and wearables.
Japanese 100 Yen shops are real Meccas for stationery enthusiasts. They carry a ton of different stationery products, from notebooks and yearly planners to stickers, masking tape, pens and pencils, erasers, sharpeners, and more. The stickers and masking tape are particularly worth it – especially since many stores sport traditional Japanese motifs on them. They also make great souvenirs for all the Japanese culture enthusiasts in your life!
Japanese 100 Yen stores are great for stocking up on popular snacks and beverages. Although there usually isn’t a huge variety of them, you can still find some of the more popular snacks like Pocky, Jagarico potato chips, and Hi-Chew in there. Ramune soda is also a common sight in 100 Yen stores. Again, you can stock up on cheap snacks and drinks in a Japanese 100 Yen store – be it for the late night munchies in your hotel room, or as souvenirs for your friends back home.
Although 100 Yen shops don’t usually carry clothes, you can still find cute wearables that work great as souvenirs, or essentials that could save your life if you packed the wrong stuff. Warm socks, tights, sunglasses, sun hats, and even jewelry can be found in 100 Yen shops.
8. Travel essentials
You’ll see many Japan-related websites telling you to not pack heavy when going to Japan, as you can find things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, cotton pads and swabs, shaving cream, and any other thing you might need in 100 Yen Stores. They’re dirt-cheap, and most come in small packages that you can use in full during your trip – what’s not to love about that?
As you can see, Japanese 100 Yes Stores carry all sorts of items, from food and tableware to wearables and stationery. They also carry traditional Japanese goods that make great souvenirs for your friends and family – including washi paper goods, textiles, and ceramics. Lastly, 100 Yen stores are the ultimate destination for travel essentials that you forgot to bring with you or left home on purpose. The best part? All of these items cost under a dollar!
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