The 100 Yen Shop in Japan
The 100 yen shop is very popular in Japan. So you can find it easily in any Japanese city. It is very convenient because you can find pretty much anything you are looking for. It may even be more convenient than the convenience store! Most of the items are sold for only 100 yen plus consumption tax (10%). Nowadays, many foreigners love to visit the 100 yen shops and buy souvenirs.
This kind of shop started more than 50 years ago. And now some shop chains have even exported their business to foreign countries. They may call it a one-dollar shop or a one-euro shop depending on the country.
100 Yen Shop Chains in Japan
These are the big three chains of 100 yen shops in Japan:
Daiso is the biggest 100 yen shop chain in Japan. They have about 3,300 shops in Japan and 2,000 shops in 26 foreign countries. It was established in 1971 in Hiroshima. They first sold products by mobile catering in the parking lot of the supermarket. Ever since the president heard one of his customers say “Cheap buyers will lose money”, they have dedicated themselves to a high quality.
Sometimes, they even purchase stock items that cost more than 100 yen. Their reputation has gone up a lot since then. The company grew during the economic downturn of the “lost decades” after the bubble economy terminated. Recently, they started selling some products for 200 to 500 yen to widen their product variety.
Daiso Harajuku is especially recommended for foreign tourists. The large branch has 4 floors full of products. Also, there is a wide variety of products including Japanese souvenirs. Its location near popular sightseeing spots Harajuku and the Meiji Jingu Shrine makes it easy to visit.
Seria started their business in 1985 in Gifu Prefecture. Now, they have about 1,600 shops and are the second biggest chain. They try to offer high-value products even though everything is 100 yen. So they select their items carefully. Their motto is “Color the Days”.
You may be surprised when you find so many different products which are sold for only 100 yen. They display all products by their categories, so it is convenient shopping. These are some of the most popular items.
Stationery: Pen, notebook, envelope, glue, file, scotch tape, etc.
Clothing: Socks, underwear, shirts, necktie, etc.
Footwear: Sandals, slippers, etc.
Accessories: necklace, corsage, hair decoration, etc.
Cosmetics and Medical items: lipstick, foundation, adhesive plaster, face mask, etc.
Cleaning Utensils: Cleanser, cleaning sponge, cleaning brush, plastic bag, wet paper, etc.
Deodorant Goods: Deodorant goods for the room, refrigerator deodorizers, etc.
Laundry Goods: laundry baskets, hangers, clothespin, etc.
Cooking and Dining Utensils: ceramic/plastic/glass/fake lacquer plates, and so on. Also, glasses, cups, cutlery including chopsticks, vegetable peelers, etc.
Food and Drinks: Variety of food, snacks, water, soft drinks, coffee, tea, etc.
Gardening goods: Flowerpot, fertilizer, scoop, sprinkler, and even real plants including cactus!
Gift-related items: Message cards, wrapping paper, etc.
Toy: Card games, toys for small children, etc. (not computer games)
Electric appliances: Batteries, earphones, smartphone cases, etc.
Party Goods: They offer products for different seasons such as New year, Christmas, Halloween, and Children’s day. For Children’s day, you may find Koinobori (carp streamers).
Outdoor Goods: Plastic sheets, bento box, water bottles, bags, gloves, etc.
DIY: Many kinds of utensils
Souvenirs for Foreign Tourists: Are you going to one of the 100 yen shops near famous sightseeing spots? For example, Daiso in Harajuku? There you will find typical Japanese souvenirs only for 100 yen. For example, a folding fan is sold for over 1,000 yen at normal souvenir shops. You may also find beautifully designed origami sheets (folding paper), chopsticks with Japanese motifs, and so on.
They sell many interesting items. Here are some examples.
Mask hangers: It is only used for face masks to dry in the air. A brush to clean masks is also unique!
Tube squeezer with a hook: It is used for squeezing the last bits from condiment tubes such as wasabi.
Your Japan Tour
As seasoned Japan experts, we can help you create your perfect Japan tour including guides who can take you to the best 100 yen shops. Contact us to start planning your unforgettable holiday to this fascinating country. Japan is full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, culture, history, nature, and delicious food!