Where do you usually buy souvenirs when you travel to Japan? Apart from purchasing items in Japanese cosmeceutical stores, you can also browse 100 yen stores. Never heard of a 100 yen store? You can call it a “mini department store”, as you can get almost everything you may need or want in daily life. They are similar to dollar stores in other countries, only Japan’s 100 yen stores usually stock higher-quality products. Not only can you buy really useful stuff, but you can also find traditional Japanese signature items.
One thing that’s expected of you when you travel to Japan is for you to bring souvenirs back home for friends and family. If you want to bring home more than the typical Japanese souvenirs like protection amulets from temples and shrines or Tokyo Banana from the airport, you might want to check out a 100 yen store: mini department stores where you can get almost everything. 100 yen stores are similar to dollar stores in other countries, only Japan’s 100 yen stores usually stock higher-quality products that include new and creative Japanese-made inventions not commonly found in other countries’ dollar stores. If you’re looking for fun and practical souvenirs, check out these famous 100 yen stores in Japan:
You may have seen a DAISO before in other countries as they’ve expanded overseas to places such as Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. However, make no mistake, it’s a Japanese brand, and Japanese branches have far more products than others’. It launched the widest variety of make-up products among all 100 yen stores. You can find DAISO anywhere in Tokyo but I recommend the three-story Harajuku store!
It is a 100 yen store that mainly launched life necessities, groceries, and stationery, and they sometimes crossover with famous brands to launch limited edition products. One of the best things about Can☆Do is that you can get a refund within a year if you return a product. Although you may not be able to find many make-up products in Can☆Do and the scale of each brand may be smaller compared to DAISO, it is easily found everywhere as it has more than 100 branches only in Tokyo!
Can☆Do has launched mostly life necessities, groceries, and stationery, and they also collaborate with famous brands to launch limited edition products. If you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchases, have no fear; Can☆Do will give you a full refund if you return the products within a year.
Can☆Do may not stock as many make-up products as DAISO, or as many products in general, but they’re more accessible as they have more than 100 branches in just Tokyo!
Seria is one of the largest chains of 100 yen stores in Japan, stocking products such as tableware, decorations, storage items—all in minimalist style. The most significant selling point of Seria’s products are that all their products are made-in-Japan, which is famous for its long-lasting qualities.
3Coins is named as such as you can pay with each item with just three 100 yen coins. It’s technically not a 100 yen store as products are slightly more expensive, but you get what you pay for, and the products here of a higher quality. Check out the branch in Shinjuku’s LUMINE EST, it’s got three floors
I want to introduce some products I’ve found in 100 yen stores that I find extremely useful:
Preparing for a vacation can be a pain. You need space for clothes, toiletries and what not, and your suit cases are only so big. What happens if you’re going on a ski trip and you need to bring bulky jackets, or what if you end up buying too many souvenirs and find yourself with bags at breaking point and you still have things to squeeze in? How do you bring everything back with you? That’s where you need space bags! 100 yen stores stock space bags of all sizes so you can condense many of your items to save space.
It’s been said that organising everything can help you focus and clear your mind, enabling you to think better and more precisely. But, it can be a struggle trying to store hoards of items in limited space. In a 100 yen store, you can find all sorts of shelves or boxes to help with this Herculean task. It’ll help you clear things away in bulk and keep you coordinated. My personal favourite are the boxes that help you store all your shoes!
If you’re new to cosmetics or are on a budget, I strongly recommend you check out the 100 yen cosmetic range. If you’re concerned about the quality of make-up products that can be as affordable as 100 yen, don’t fret; all the products are of really good quality and have a massive range of products such as different colors of eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks and much much more. The packaging is usually cute and clean so they’ll also make adorable souvenirs for your friends!
Department stores in Japan always come with a supermarket (usually in the basement) and “mini department store” 100 yen stores are no exception. You can buy snacks, instant cooked rice, drinks, and more. One of the ‘must-mentions’ is furikake: seasonings, seaweed and bonito flake mixed with rice or carbohydrates. It’s ubiquitous amongst Japanese people and you can find various flavours in 100 yen stores.
Stationery and DIY items
Stationery is undoubtedly necessary in our lives, whether you’re a scrapbooker, student or an office worker. You can get many different coloured paper, pens and little craft items that are ‘Made in Japan MT’, all at 100 yen each. It is also common for the Japanese to DIY their stuff; hence you can always find some adorable and pretty accessory components, knitting wool, or DIY craft packages in the stores.
Japanese people have the longest working hours in the world and, as a result, they have less time to cook at home. 100 yen stores provide smart cooking utensils that help cut cooking time. Such utensils include fruit/vegetable-dicers, or molds and cutters for dumplings and sushi makers. If you don’t have a lot of free time to cook or you just want a quicker cooking experience, explore 100 yen stores for innovative, creative kitchenware.
These items are just a small part of what 100 yen stores have to offer. Check in to a 100 yen store, explore the aisles and take a gander at all the exciting products they have. 100 yen stores are everywhere in Tokyo, so you’ll find one easily.