On a Budget in Japan? No Problem.
100Yen shops are a not so secret little blessing for those on a budget in Japan, and they are a great place to buy souvenirs. As their name suggests these convenient little stores sell everything for 100Yen! Whether you need some pasta and canned tomatoes for dinner, bags of Japanese candy, or even new earphones, you are likely to find it at a 100Yen shop making them the cheapest option for those travelling Japan on a budget. Though there are many varieties of these cheap little shops all over Japan, the more popular ones are Daiso and Seria.
Introducing Daiso: Japan’s Famous 100 Yen Shop
Daiso is arguably the most famous 100Yen shop in Japan, it has even begun to set up shops in foreign countries like Australia. A Daiso is easily spotted by its’ trademark bright pink signage and bold white font. Daiso stores vary in size depending on where you go; but the one thing you can rely on finding here, is cheap food related products. This is almost always the cheaper option if you are looking to find consumable food products, from flour, salt and soy sauce to curry, jams and bread. Daiso shops is also a reliable source for other household consumable products, like makeup, soap and shampoo. And unlike most foreign cheap shops, the products are of a reasonable quality and are sometimes the exact same as those in supermarket shops.
Often you can find some products in these shops that are labelled as more than 100yen. Though the price is still remarkably reasonable, you may find yourself in need of a 200Yen pair of shoes, a 400Yen HDMI cable, or a new set of curtains for 500Yen. Despite the fact that not every single item will be 100Yen, the prices still remain the most cost effective and competitive out there.
Check Out Seria: The Next Best Thing
Seria is arguably the next in line when talking about 100Yen shops popularity. One step into Seria and you will immediately perceive it as having a far more “boutique” feel to it. Seria does not sell edible consumables, but specialises in other convenient household requirements. Stationary, kitchenware, bathroom tools and gardening goods are the focus in this particular chain of 100Yen shops. Due to the smaller range of goods, there is often more choice on offer. There will be a wider range when you are deciding what kind of tableware you need, or what theme you will use with you scrapbooking. Seria is therefore a lovely little store that is a great option if you are looking for a simple, but nice, little gift for someone else.
But Wait. . . There’s More: 100 Yen Shops in Japan
There are many varieties of 100Yen shops all over Japan, and they are usually easy to locate due to the giant “100Yen” signs they plaster outside their shopfronts. Though sometimes they can be hidden, you might find yourself stumbling into one as you explore one of Japan’s major cities and all its’ secrets. One tip to remember when shopping at a 100Yen shop, is that tax is added to your total when you get to the cash register. This is not normal practice in foreign countries and will often catch tourists off-guard. Currently tax is at 8% in Japan, so when you buy that 100Yen souvenir it will actually be 108Yen when you get to the counter.
If you are travelling in Japan on a budget just remember to check out the 100Yen shops for anything you might need!