7 Reasons to Visit the 100 Yen Shop When in Japan

Once you have read this article, you're sure to enjoy the 100 yen shops more deeply than before, whether you are new to or already fans of them!

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Needless to say, for people who love traveling, especially in eastern Asia, 100 yen shops such as Daiso are probably already on their list of places to visit. Many have become obsessed with the impressive array of cute, colorful, and affordable items at these 100 yen shops.

When you are in Japan, you absolutely must visit the 100 yen shop before anything else. There are 7 reasons for this. (They will be posted in order, so please bear with it.)

Once you have read this article, you're sure to enjoy the 100 yen shops more deeply than before, whether you are new to or already fans of them!

*This article is written with the cooperation of the Japanese 100 yen shop, Flet's.


1. The Products Are Surprisingly High-Quality at the 100 Yen Shop


The popular washi tapes are available in a wide range of designs and sizes.


Do you feel that 100 yen items will become useless after a short while because they are so cheap?

Think again. The 100 yen products from Japan are also made with Japan-quality.

There are similar shops all over the world that carry a variety of inexpensive items, such as the dollar stores in the United States. Some may find it meaningless to go to a discount shop when traveling all the way to Japan.

However, the heavy competition among all the 100 yen shops in Japan means that these stores offer more than just affordability. Oftentimes, the items sold in these stores are not just inexpensive, but also high-quality, and they offer the same products that are sold for more more at other non-100 yen stores.

A particular nail sticker set which was sold for 100 yen at Flet's was actually sold for over 500 yen on Amazon! Who would have thought that, in an age when online shopping is at its prime, it would be cheaper to purchase something at the local 100 yen shop than to shop online!

But this is reality. At the 100 yen shop, there are products that are worth much more, as well as those that are being sold at prices several times more in other stores after some repackaging. It's not uncommon to see Made-in-Japan products in addition to items that were designed in Japan.

It has also become common practice to purchase certain items at 100 yen shops. For example, nail care products such as nail polish and nail stickers have a term of their own - hyakkin nail (100 yen nail) - and have maintained steady popularity.

Think outside of the branding and packaging and trust your insight and intuition to find some great deals at the 100 yen shop!



2. Additional Travel Essentials - From Toothbrushes to Underwear - Are Available at the 100 Yen Shop

A wide variety of toothbrushes are available for children and adults.


There are a variety of goods available in Japanese 100 yen shops, such as toothbrushes, cosmetics, flip-flops, men's underwear, hats, neckties, and more.

Let's say that there is a convenience store and a 100 yen shop in front of your hotel. If you notice that you forgot to pack your toothbrush, it is recommended that you first go to the 100 yen shop.

Frugal Japanese homemakers will first go to the 100 yen shop when they need something. Going to the supermarket or convenience store is a secondary choice.

However, even if you ended up binging on other fun stuff that you discovered when you could have saved that money, it's best to let that incident pass. Japanese people are also guilty of overbuying at 100 yen shops.



3. Get a First-Hand Feel of Japan at the 100 Yen Shop

Japanese ceremonial goods for funerals and visiting graves.


Many of the 100 yen shops are locally-based, so the products being carried in the stores differ slightly depending on the location, regardless of whether it is a chain or not. For example, there will be a wider selection of baby-related products, toys, and cute stickers in a store located in a community with a large population of small children. On the other hand, if the store is in a business district and caters to office workers, they will carry plenty of office supplies, socks, neckties, and cosmetics.

The products in 100 yen shops are indicative of the real everyday lives of people living in Japan. On one shelf, you may find essential goods that are not commonly introduced in guidebooks, while on another shelf, you may discover some street trends you have not heard about on TV.

Getting a first-hand feel of Japan at the 100 yen shop beforehand will allow you to have a richer and deeper connection when sightseeing and visiting inns, souvenir shops, museums, and art galleries.




4. Get Great Savings on Japanese Souvenirs at the 100 Yen Shop

They have a great array of tenugui (Japanese towel) and sensu (hand fan) designs, from traditional to modern patterns.


There are many beautiful traditional items and handicrafts from Japan. However, they are usually extremely expensive if you try purchasing them at tourist souvenir shops.

Sure, they are fairly priced considering the level of craftsmanship and the amount of time dedicated to making the pieces, but you can't help but hesitate when you're only looking for a little something to get a feel of Japan as a souvenir. After all, you won't know if your friend will like that fancy Japanese souvenir that you readily spent your money on, let alone understand its true value - it would be senseless to expect that much.

So if you're looking for a little something to purchase as a souvenir, the 100 yen shop is definitely the place to go. You'll not only find traditional goods like tenugui (Japanese towel), sensu (hand fan), chopsticks, and washi letter pads, but also Japanese lifestyle goods like cute mugs and fun stickers that will let you get a feel of Japanese culture.


Chopstick sets are great for distributing them amongst friends.


Stickers of sumo wrestlers, ninja, and samurai are so Japan!


5. Everyone's Favorite Characters Are Featured in the Products at the 100 Yen Shop

Some stores have a dedicated Sanrio section.


Japanese character goods are very popular overseas, and some people come all the way to Japan just to buy them. Some renowned characters are Hello Kitty, Doraemon, and more recently, Kumamon and Gudetama. 

Did you know that you can buy products featuring these characters at 100 yen shops?

Even in Japan, it might not be common knowledge that character goods are available at 100 yen shops.

100 yen shop items have a high turnover rate, so it may not be for those who want to collect a full range of goods of a particular character, but there are occasionally some great finds. If you like Japanese characters, do check out these shops!



6. Calculating Your Purchase Price is Simple at the 100 Yen Shop

So fun to choose! The cosmetic aisle is stocked with all the basics.


It goes without saying that almost all of the products at 100 yen shops are 100 yen, so it is easy to calculate your purchase price. Simply multiply the number of items with 100 and add tax.

It's great that the calculation is easy, because it means that you can stop yourself from going over your budget!

Another advantage is that when you can't decide between A or B, since they're both 100 yen, it's easier to compare and come to a decision.

Note that recently, 100 yen shops carry items that are not 100 yen, so remember to check the price tags for specific prices prior to your purchase!


7. So Fun to Observe! Absolute Hands-On Amusement at the 100 Yen Shop


If you haven't noticed already, 100 yen shops in Japan are not just shopping venues.

With in-store displays changing in accordance with the season, pure Japanese culture is capsulated into stores that are full of interesting products that you can't help but pick up - from familiar Japanese goods to oddly cute items that you can't figure out how to use. It is absolutely a hands-on amusement spot. Plus, it's free entrance!

There is no reason not to go if it's free to enter and gives you a taste of what life is really like in Japan. Even if you don't need to buy anything, you should definitely experience the 100 yen shop!

Though you may end up loosening your purse strings at the cuteness and low prices of the products...


Article written in cooperation with: Flet's, Hyakuen Ryojikan *Japanese website only


Flet's and 百圓領事館 (Hyakuen Ryojikan)'s Top 100 Yen Shops

Flet's Nijo Store (Kyoto)

Near Nijo Castle. Caters to many foreign visitors and carries a wide range of souvenirs.

Flet's Apollo Store (Osaka)

3-minute walk from Tennoji Station. Direct train from Kansai Airport. Close to Abeno Harukas.

Hyakuen Ryojikan Toyocho Store(Tokyo)

Located in East 21, a complex that includes a hotel and supermarket. 2 Chinese-speaking staff are available as of June, 2017.


Title Image: Stock for you / Shutterstock.com

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

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