5 Wallet-Friendly Daiso Alternatives for Discount Shopping in Japan

Japan's traditional craftsmanship and novel innovations makes it a shopping paradise for travelers. Thank goodness high-quality products don't need to come at exorbitant prices! Discount chain stores like Daiso fulfill our shopping impulses without breaking the bank. As Daiso expands around the world, however, you might be wondering what other options are out there. Luckily, there are plenty of other discount Japanese stores that stand up to the hundred yen store giant! Read on for our picks for the best budget chains in Japan.

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Great Shopping At Cheap Prices

Japan is renowned the world over for its glittering, high-rise shopping malls, home to luxury brands and exclusive collectibles. But if high end shopping isn't your thing, not to worry! Japanese people characteristically love value-for-money deals, so you can rest assured that beneath the dazzling facade of high-end consumerism, Japan offers a multitude of discount chain stores with some great picks to suit your budget - even if that budget is just 100 yen an item!

In fact, you often don't realize what your needs are until you browse through the shelves at such stores and find yourself needing to buy everything! But because these stores are such a steal, you can shop to your heart's content and savor a guilt-free, stress-free experience. 

Prominent Discount Chain Stores

1. Daiso

When it comes to discount chain stores, most people will think of Daiso, a stalwart brand making its presence felt in more than 20 countries worldwide. Such is Daiso's dominance that it is almost synonymous with discount chain stores. And no wonder! Once you step inside a Daiso store, you'll be dazzled by an amazing array of merchandise (about 70,000 items, in fact!). You may find yourself tempted to part ways with your money to buy some things you don't even realize you needed.

With this comprehensive offering of items, Daiso is a fabulous spot for the whole family. Your children will love picking up stationery, books, toys, stickers and knick-knacks at the children's section while family-oriented types will relish the opportunity to stock up on their kitchenware and household products. Given the local commitment to well-groomed appearances, be prepared to be bowled away by Daiso's makeup and skincare section, too. DIY hobbyists will love the chance to buy useful equipment like wire mesh, cable ties, and even drill bits. And best of all? Everything costs a mere 100 yen!

2. Can☆Do

Another popular discount chain store that has won customers over in Japan is Can☆Do. Like Daiso, it aims to fulfill all the nitty-gritty of your everyday lifestyle needs with its impressive selection of kitchen, bathroom, and household products. Other than sprucing up your home, it also adopts a holistic approach to maintaining your well-being: coupled with its health and beauty products, its extensive clothing and bag section will ramp up your fashion sense and boost your confidence. 

Can☆Do distinguishes itself from its competitors by paying attention to the form and color of its products. Hence, you can see find products that grab your attention easily with their bright, vibrant colors and sleek designs. New items are constantly in the pipeline, giving Can☆Do stores with a funky and forward-looking atmosphere. This is definitely the store to visit if you want to stay abreast of the trends!

Can☆Do products are available at three prices: 100 yen, 315 yen and 525 yen.

3. Seria

Yet another excellent destination for bargain hunters is Seria, which is decorated in varied hues of green to create a warm and calm atmosphere. Carving its niche as a one-stop store for DIY enthusiasts, it provides a mind-boggling range of handicrafts, sundries and gift-wrapping accessories like washi tape.

Eating well is a primary focus of Seria stores, too. Passionate bakers will be happy to know that Seria offers not just ingredients like dried fruits, flour, and nuts but a wide assortment of kitchenware. The irresistibly stylish tableware offered here will make their food appear all the more appetizing, too. Find the perfect dish, jar, or pair of chopsticks to pair your dishes with! Taking Insta-worthy photos has never been so fun.

4. 3coins

While not a 100-yen store like the stores above, 3coins should be on your list of stores to check out during your trip in Japan. With just three 100-yen coins, you can get your hands on products that are thoughtfully made and are typically of higher quality than those found at 100-yen stores.

Anime fans will feel right at home in this treasure trove of affordable products. For example, 3coins has an intriguing tie-up with One Piece, one of the most acclaimed Japanese anime series, with a range of items featuring beloved One Piece characters. Think storage boxes, stationery items, pouches, and tote bags, all of which will put a smile on your face every time you use them! Pokémon and Doraemon devotees will love snapping up all the exclusive merchandise featuring these characters that are launched every year!

If you're not an anime fan, worry not! 3coins has got you covered, too. Dedicated to supporting you in your quest to create an immaculately-organized home, 3coins sells beautiful interior design items such as storage boxes, jars, and cans. The indoor slippers, bath towels, and plush toys sold here will add a charming look to your home, too.

5. Natural Kitchen

Part of the fun in shopping while traveling is buying locally-made products and bringing a piece of the country home with you. Natural Kitchen is one of the stores that enable you to support Japanese manufacturers and ensure that their time-honored craftsmanship techniques live on.

As its name suggests, Natural Kitchen specializes in kitchenware and other culinary tools, including stylish metallic cutlery, tea strainers, and trays which are part of the Tsubame series. This stunning kitchenware comes from Tsubame City and Sanjo City in Niigata, which are famous for crafting exquisite metallic products. 

Natural Kitchen also empowers you to stay abreast of the latest trends in Japan. As it has its own in-house product planning department, it's able to conceive and realize new product ideas quickly. As many as 90 new items are launched in its stores every month. What's more, most of their items are sold at 100 yen, which means that updating the look of your kitchen doesn't have to burn a hole in your pockets!


6. Don Quijote

For a novel shopping trip that will jolt your senses and yield you dollops of joy, look no further than Don Qujiote. While it's products aren't limited to the jaw-dropping 100 yen or 300 yen of the stores above, it offers great value-for-money and memories to last a while. Unlike the neat arrangement of most discount chain stores, Don Quijote sends your adrenaline pumping with its narrow aisles, crowded shelves and unusual sections. As you jostle for space with fellow shoppers, you will feel like you are on a scavenger hunt for awesome products.

Not only that, Don Qujiote has a humongous range of sections, including groceries, beverages, fashion items, cosmetics, household and electronic products, medicines, sporting gear, cosplay costumes, and even luxury goods! You can truly buy everything under the sun here, from a cheap party hat to an exorbitant Rolex watch.

And to make the deal even sweeter, tax-free services are available at selected stores, which helps you to stretch your dollar further. Product descriptions are also available in English, Chinese, Korean and Thai so you will have a clear idea of the benefits you will be reaping!

Enjoy Discount Shopping in Japan

Now, after reading this article, are you raring to go and shop at one of these discount chain stores? It's seldom the case that cheap and good go together, but these stores' commitment to quality make shopping in Japan guilt-free and fun. You're sure to have a grand time indulging in retail therapy in Japan!


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Title Image: Tooykrub / Shutterstock.com

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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About the author

Kai Le
Kai Le took part in the Japan Exchange Teaching programme as an Assistant Language Teacher and had the best two years of his life. Even though he has since returned to Singapore, he remains passionate about all things Japanese, not least because he married a capable Japanese lady and has two wonderful bicultural children. Besides writing and Japan, he is passionate about reading, Netflix, and cryptocurrency.
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