08/11/2021

All About 100 Yen Shops

If you are moving to Japan, 100 yen shops may become your best friends in setting up your life here without breaking the bank. They are found all over the country, with their selection becoming more and more impressive every year. Don’t leave Japan without dropping by one!


Table of Contents

  1. What is a 100 yen Shop?
  2. The Famous 100 yen shop Chains in Japan
  3. What to get at 100 Yen Stores
  4. Best Souvenirs to buy at 100 yen stores
  5. Conclusion

What is a 100 yen Shop?

100円 ショップ (hyaku-en shoppu or 100 yen shop), also known as 百均 (hyakkin) are - you guessed it! - shops that sell things for 100 yen (plus tax, so 110 yen in 2021). Most of the shops are part of a chain found all over the country. They sell almost every item at just 100 yen plus tax! These shops have all kinds of categories of items such as snacks, drinks, decor, kitchenware, stationery, and even big things like storage items or tools. Of course, the cost of bigger things goes up to sometimes 300 yen, 500 yen or more. They are similar to dollar shops in the United States. 

The first of said shops are said to have opened in the mid-1980s. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that the 100 yen chain that most people know opened - Daiso. A lot of tourists used to - and continue to - buy cheap but durable and interesting souvenirs at Daiso, but now that Daiso is available in a number of countries, people might have to get more creative with souvenirs from Japan! But fear not, as the 100 yen shops constantly update their products and Japan is bound to have faster newer releases and options, both for tourists and locals. There are even magazines occasionally released with the latest best products to get at the 100 yen shop for your home. 

The Famous 100 yen shop Chains in Japan

There are thousands of 100 yen shops in Japan, and here are the ones you are bound to find first. Sometimes certain items trend on social media for being incredibly useful, and it’s the most convenient when it’s from one of these shops as you can just check out your nearest one! 

Daiso

Daiso is one of the most famous and largest chains of 100 yen stores in Japan. One of the most popular Daiso shops is in Harajuku on Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street). It has 4 floors including the B1 floor. It’s popular with tourists for buying souvenirs as they have a very large range of products, as well as with junior high and high school girls who shop in the area. As of February 2021, Daiso has 3,620 stores in Japan, 3 affiliated brands, and 2,272 stores in 24 countries and regions around the world.

Website: https://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/

※Daiso, Corporate Profile

Can Do

Can Do stores are very popular as they are found all over the country. Of course, like other 100 yen stores, they too have a wide range of products. As of June 2021, there are 1,136 Can Do stores all over Japan. Can Do is known for its collaborations with many animations, as they often sell exclusive characters goods for cheap. 

Website: https://www.cando-web.co.jp/ 

※Can Do, “Company Profile

Seria

Seria is another 100 yen shop chain. The name comes from Italian, meaning “earnest” or “serious”, the kind of attitude the company and staff have towards their products and customers. Seria is known as the most classy of the 100 yen chain shops, not only with their products but with the shop layout and interior design as well. Seria prides itself in having many Japan-made products. As of March 2021, they have 1,787 shops.

Website: https://www.seria-group.com/

※Seria, Company Profile

Watts

Watts usually isn’t the first 100 yen shop that comes to mind for most people, but it’s actually quite widespread, not only in Japan but around the world. They have over 1200 shops in Japan, and over 80 shops in over 20 countries and regions worldwide. In Japan, the names of the shops vary from Watts, meets and Silk, but overseas, it’s known as Watts, Komonoya, Japan Store and so on depending on the country. 

Website: https://www.watts-jp.com/company/

※Watts, Company Profile

3 Coins

So this one isn’t a “100 yen shop” per se as all the items cost 300 yen or 3 coins, as the name suggests (with tax, so 330 yen in 2021). If you’re sceptical about the 100 yen electronics, 3 Coins offers a wider and higher quality range of products, including lights for your smartphone, cables, earphones, etc. The household goods are also bigger and better quality, including storage boxes, small shelves and dividers for your desk and office, etc. 

Other 300 yen shops but more rarely found include THREEPPY, CouCou and Plus Hearts (all managed by Daiso). 

What to get at 100 Yen Stores

As stated above,100 yen shops in Japan have a wide range of products for a cheap price - and almost anything you need! It’s common to step into a 100 yen shop to get one or two things and end up buying a lot more because of the interesting and convenient products that you aren’t always expecting to see, especially for that price. Here are just a few of the categories of items to check out.  

Kitchen and Household Goods

Especially for young people moving out to live on their own for the first time, being able to get all of your kitchenware for 100 yen per item saves a lot of money! Glasses and cups, dishes in a variety of sizes, and chopsticks are all quite durable and more and more options are available every day. Not only that, but you can get things like house slippers, cleaning products and trash bags! When convenience stores and supermarkets began to charge for plastic bags at the store, plastic bags were a hot commodity and sold out for a while at 100 yen shops.

Stationary and Office Supplies

This is an incredibly popular section in the 100 yen shops. You can get almost everything, from pens to notebooks to folders to rulers and so on. You can even get packaging items if you have to send something to someone. As online secondhand shops are becoming more common, it’s convenient to get shipping materials for cheap. Storage goods are also really popular at 100 yen shops as they have many kinds in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

DIY and Hobby Products

All 100 yen shops include many products you can put together yourself for do-it-yourself or DIY projects. This includes jewellery, crafts and so on. You can find products to store your collectables, as well as products to make your own posters. Another popular thing is products to support your favourite artists and bands. People bring handmade uchiwa (fans) to idol concerts and you can often find things just for these idol fans in 100 yen shops. You can also buy things to take to the park or to exercise with, including badminton sets and yoga mats (the mats are around 500 yen).

Cosmetics

The 100 yen shops have been expanding their cosmetics selection, including makeup, makeup tools and nail polish. While people might be wary of trying such cheap cosmetics, some of these tools are highly praised. The makeup brushes especially at Daiso were must-buys, and they offer a wide range of makeup storage kits, mirrors, hair accessories, nail art stickers and more.

Seasonal Goods

Something we see more often in 100 yen shops is seasonal goods! If you go around Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas, you can find affordable decorations and small gifts and gift-wrapping items perfect for the occasion! Even simple masks and headbands are available for Halloween and you might be able to get a cheap Santa hat here!

Best Souvenirs to buy at 100 yen stores

If you are looking to buy good quality gifts for your friends or family members but you have a lot of people to buy for or you have a limited budget, don’t forget to check out the 100 yen store! (But again, if you have one in your own country, it’s best to head to the one you don’t have near you.)  Here’s just a range of products that might be available, depending on the shop. 

For the house

  • chopsticks and chopsticks holders
  • sake cup and flask sets (most will be the ochoko style cups)

Traditional Souvenirs

  • Sensu (folding fan) or uchiwa (handheld flat fan) and while not traditional, you can get a really cheap handheld battery fan nowadays;
  • Calligraphy set with the brush, ink, inkstone and special washi paper for 100 yen per item;
  • Items like magnets, keychains, cups, traditional handcloths (tenugui) and so on with traditional Japanese images on them including sumo wrestlers, kabuki, Mt. Fuji, sushi, etc. 

Character Goods

Like mentioned above, the 100 yen shops often have collaborations with famous Japanese animations. You can often find various goods with Doraemon, Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Snoopy, etc. on them, including

  • stationary
  • pouches
  • tissue packets and so on

Sometimes special limited-time collaborations happen as well, such as with hit anime and mascot characters from Japan. 

Conclusion

Many people have a preconceived notion that Japan is an expensive place to shop, but these chains of “100 yen shops” will definitely change this myth. They are present everywhere. Shopping at the larger and mid-sized 100 yen stores if possible is better because you will find a plethora of product options, and simply more options per item. Depending on the store, products can be priced at more than 100 yen, so be sure to check the tag before purchase. So, if you are a visitor or have just moved to Japan, then these shops are especially a must-visit in Japan.

You don't have to worry alone anymore A Q&A community about Japan

Related articles

Feeling Blue in May? You’ve Got Japan’s May Blues, Gogatsubyo

Ever felt the Monday blues? That feeling of dread when you wake up on Monday morning, followed by feelings of sadness, anxiety and overall stress for the whole Monday. That’s pretty much what Go...

Life health/medical

Everything You Need to Know About Japanese Convenience Stores, Konbini

Konbinis are so much more than just a convenience store. They are essential to the everyday lives of residents and visitors to Japan. In times of emergencies or regular days, konbinis provide all mann...

Life study abroad part-time job post office food & drink

Golden Week, Saving Grace for Japan’s Working Class

Golden Week is a stretch of public holidays in Japan that crosses from the last week of April to the first week of May. For many of the working class in Japan, it is the ultimate opportunity to catch ...

Life festivals & events

What’s My Number Card in Japan? What’s it for and how do I get one?

My Number Card (マイナンバーカード) is a form of ID in Japan. In this article, we explain the benefits you can enjoy with a My Number Card, how to apply for one, and answer some frequently asked questions abou...

Life residence status residence card

Japan’s Convenience Store, Konbini: Services Offered and Major Chains

I’m sure you’ve heard of the many wonders that are Japanese convenience stores. Offering everything from food, ticket buying, postage services, etc. Konbini has become a necessity to peopl...

Life post office internet & wifi food & drink

Our website uses Cookies with the goal of improving our accessibility and quality. Please click "Agree" if you agree to our usage of Cookies. To see more details about how our company uses Cookies, please take a look here.

Cookie Policy