While Japan can be considered an expensive place to visit, there are many ways to cut costs and save Yen while traveling. One of the big things you save for is shopping while in Japan, and the souvenirs you want to bring back. Today Japlanning is letting you in on a great secret to shop big and spend small on great souvenirs in Japan. It's time to look at the 100 Yen Stores.
Japan is one of the shopping meccas in the world, but sometimes you don't want to spend too much, especially on all those trinkets and typical gifts you bring home from another country for your work colleges, friends and family. Japan has thousands of 100 Yen stores where you can buy a huge range of items, and especially things that are perfect to take home for gifts; all just 100 Yen per item! The stores range in size from small corner shops to large multi-story department stores.
These stores have been around for ages and all work off a similar model. All items in the store are 100 Yen each plus 5 Yen consumption tax. Grab a basket at the door and start shopping! But how can they have such affordable items? These stores are usually part of a larger chain and they buy all the items in bulk and pass the savings onto you.
Although the stores are geared towards the locals, selling a wide range of items from groceries, clothing, stationary, and kitchen ware, you will be hard pressed to not find something you are looking for.
You may forget a few items when packing and get to Japan and in a panic cause you can't charge your iPhone or portable gaming device. Just visit a Yen store, they have usb cables for most phones and game consoles.
You can also pick up toiletries, hair ties and even nail files if you’re in a pinch, so don't worry too much just find the nearest 100 Yen!
As a tourist you will find there are some great souvenirs to take home for a fraction of the price you will see in other places, especially tourist attractions around Japan.
At most stores you will find a great range of Japanese fans, both paper and fabric. Tip: purchase the fabric ones; they are a better quality, and the same price! There’s also Japanese lanterns, wooden toys, sake or tea sets, and amazing Japanese ceramic bowls. Be sure to grab some chop sticks, with a huge range from traditional to Disney or Star Wars inspired.
Who doesn’t love trying Japanese candies and treats? The 100 Yen shops are perfect for that with a huge range of candies and chocolates. Our favorite is the delicious and fizzy Asahi Mitsuya Cider candies that taste just like the Japanese sodas! Or the world famous Choc-Pretzel treat Pocky, much cheaper here than if you purchased them at the local Konbini (convenience store). If you’re feeling puckish, most stores sell Japanese soda, tea, and even ice cream, so you can pick up a snack for your shopping jaunt.
Everywhere! Don't fret too much, however, if you’re looking for a few of the larger Daiso's that are more like department stores check out these locations:
Daiso Harajuku - Located in the famous Takeshita Street, is just around the corner from Harajuku station.
Daiso Giga Machida - Japans largest 100 Yen store at 5 stories is located in front of Machida Station, just 30 minutes from Shinjuku.
Daiso Osaka - Located in the Keihan City Mall, take the train to Tenmabashi Station.
Daiso Fukuoka - Located at the Fukuoka Kotsu Center, take the train to Hakata Station.
Daiso Sapporo Chuo - Located at Odori Station.
Daiso Kobe - Located at the Sannomiya Centergai, take the train to Sannomiya Station.
100 Yen stores have been so popular in Japan for their affordability and great range of products that many of the larger chains, like Daiso have spread their stores across Asia, and are even in Australia now.
Sadly the cost isn't 100 Yen in Australia, where we pay $2.80 (310Yen) per item for a smaller range of products. In a pinch, it's a great place for a Japan fix back home! So when you’re a little Japan "home" sick, a quick trip to Daiso will cure what aisles you.
Have you shopped at Hundred Yen stores while in Japan?
What did you love about them? What was the best product you purchased?
Tell us in the comments below!