100 Yen Shop – A Guide to Discount Shopping in Japan
A 100 yen shop can be your best friend. A 100 yen shop can entertain you for hours. A 100 yen shop can get you out of a tight spot. Find out how using our guide.
The “100-yen shop” is a Japanese institution, covering all your daily needs. In the west, equivalent stores are often denigrated for their low-quality goods and suspect service. The saying “you get what you pay for” rings true. Leave your retail prejudices at the airport when you come to Japan however; 100 yen shops are loaded with high-quality goods at rock-bottom prices.
What is a 100 Yen Shop?
This part is not complicated: 100 yen shops sell a wide array of goods for 100 yen (plus tax).
Originally introduced to Japan by Hirotake Yano, the Founder of Daiso Industries, in the 1990s as an antidote to the biting economic climate, the concept soon took root. Said concept: cheap, functional, utilitarian goods that won’t break the bank resonated with the public, making it a staple of the Japanese high street. Today, as well as everyday necessities, stores also stock various novelty goods and souvenirs, not to mention food and drink.
10 Reasons to Love 100 Yen Shops
1. They are cheap!
Plus tax, each item is 108 yen. What more could you ask? Do be careful though, load your basket too high and you could still face a hefty total!
2. They have everything!
When we say everything, we mean everything!
Don’t bother packing your bags too full before you arrive, 100 yen shops have you covered for travel essentials.
Need a cost-effective emergency kit? 100 yen shop is there for you!
Need to decorate on the cheap? 100 yen shops have everything you need to feel at home!
DIY project? 100 yen shop!
3. They are everywhere!
City or countryside, central or suburban, you’re sure to have a branch within walking distance. More details on store locations below.
Your holiday money’s gone, but you can’t return without souvenirs? 100 yen shop to the rescue! Browse the isles and you’re bound to find something for everyone (and no need to tell them the price!).
5. Snacks and drinks!
Hungry? Thirsty? No problem. 100 yen shops stock a range of snacks and drinks at prices far below those of the convenience stores. Some are even open 24/7!
Japanese products generally are renowned for their high-quality and 100 yen shop products are no exception.
7. Unusual/cute/original products!
100 yen shops go further than just the basics. Much of the stock is highly original and even “kawaii”. Coin organizers, specialist filing systems, colourful cutlery and so much more!
8. Rain? No problem!
The sky darkens, you feel them first tentative drops on your face, the realisation hits – it’s raining. Don’t panic, the 100 yen shop is your friend with their range of umbrellas and rain ponchos.
Bored? Time to kill? Many 100 yen shops are huge, meaning browsing can last for hours. What’s more, they make for great people watching spots.
10. Streamline your wallet!
Change soon builds up in Japan. Coins weigh you down and who wants to fly home with a bag full of useless currency? Buy some last minute souvenirs, make your loved ones happy, solve your problem. Easy.
The Biggest 100 Yen Shop Chains
Hirotake Yano originally opened Daiso as a street vendor in 1972 with a range of products known as yano shoten. Daiso is now Japan’s most common chain and a synonym for the concept more generally. One of the largest 100 yen shops in central Tokyo is Daiso Harajuku on Takeshita Dori. Large stores in other cities include Daiso Sapporo Chuo, Daiso Nagoya Sakae Skyle, Daiso Osaka Keihan City Mall, Daiso Kobe Sannomiya Centergai and Daiso Fukuoka Kotsu.
Can Do is the second most popular 100 yen shop in Japan after Daiso, offering generally similar stock in shops that tend to be slightly smaller in size. The good quality earphones come especially recommended!
The classy 100 yen shop option. Seria specialises in craft goods, DIY goods and interior design materials, much like a kindly old aunt.
Lawson Store 100
Lawson Store 100 (not be confused with the regular Lawson convenience stores) is your best bet for budget food shopping. Juices, coffee, and even fruits and vegetables can be found here for prices far below regular grocery stores.
Flets is a pretty standard 100 yen store which distinguishes itself though its generous gift of free Wi-Fi. Can’t find a connection? Head over to your nearest Flets.
Find Your Nearest 100 Yen Shop