What is a 100-yen shop (百円ショップ / 百均)?
A 100-yen shop is a store where almost everything is sold for one hundred yen.
*In addition to 100 yen, consumption tax will be charged. The tax is 8% on food and 10% on all other items. (As of August 2021)
Basically, there are no price tags or price signs in the store, and only items priced at 200 yen or more have price tags on them. The most expensive items are pop-up tents and sleeping bags for about 1,000 yen, and most items can be purchased for less than 500 yen.
These days, 100-yen shops offer a wide range of products with fashionable designs, and you can find everything you need when you first move to Japan, except for home appliances and furniture. There you can also find many items that are perfect for souvenirs from Japan.
Japanese language tips!
- 「百円ショップ」(ひゃくえんしょっぷ / hyakuen-shoppu)
- 「百均」(ひゃっきん / hyakkin) *Abbreviation of 「百円均一」
- 「百円均一」(ひゃくえんきんいつ / hyakuen-kin-itsu)
Every word above is a Japanese word used to describe a 100-yen shop!
You can also check out the video of me exploring the inside of Daiso.
The three major 100-yen shops
Website: Daiso (Auto-translation)
DAISO is the largest store in the 100-yen shop industry. Many Japanese people feel that if there is something they want to buy, they go to Daiso first, and if they don’t find it, they go to another store to buy it.
If you live in Asia or the Middle East, you have probably been to a Daiso before. Due to currency and a tariff, Daiso in Japan sells products at lower prices than Daiso in any other country and has a wider range of products.
Website: Seria (Japanese only)
Seria is a chain of 100-yen shops popular for its many items with good design. I personally like Seria the most. Because it has a wide variety of Disney character items for children. There are also a lot of items with excellent designs that will make you think, “How can I buy this for a hundred yen?”
Many people around me buy things at Seria for things that they care about appearance (dishes, stationery, etc.) and Daiso for things that they don’t care about appearance (cookware, cleaning supplies, etc.).
Cando is a store that is somewhere between Daiso and Seria. It offers some of the same products as Seria. Many of the items are simple and stylish. I often see them collaborating with non-Disney characters such as Evangelion, Tezuka Osamu anime, Mr.Osomatsu, etc.
One of the most popular items at Cando is nail goods. Fine-quality nail polishes and nail stickers are sold for 100 yen, so I often go there to get them.
Items you should check out
Near the entrance of Daiso stores, you will find seasonal products. In summer, you can find water guns, bubbles, handy fans, flip-flops, and insect nets.
During Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival), Tanabata (Star Festival), Halloween, and Christmas, there are decorations for each of these events, so you can see what kind of events are being celebrated in Japan. Especially during the Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) and Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) seasons, there are many cute products with cherry blossom and peach flower motifs that are popular as souvenirs.
There is a wide variety of stationery available, not only good looking but also functional. In the stationery section, they also sell Japanese practice notebooks for children, which my friend uses to practice Hiragana.
The pens in the picture above are popular among people who draw comics and illustrations. If you like to draw, you should definitely buy one.
A mini chopping board is recommended for residents in Japan. It is useful for cutting lemons, green onions, chili peppers, etc., that are only used a little for cooking. If you live alone in Japan, this cutting board will come in handy since your kitchen will probably be very small. It is always a top-selling item among Daiso’s kitchen utensils.
There are also many other useful kitchen items, such as a bowl for making ramen with the microwave and a special spoon for eating ice cream by melting with your hand temperature. There are also many plates and cutlery, Japanese patterned tableware, and chopsticks.
You can also find other things of such categories:
- Underwear and socks
- Travel goods such as neck pillows and chains with locks
- Rain gear
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Smartphone chargers and batteries
I’m sure you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. If you forget to bring something with you when you travel to Japan, try going to Daiso or other 100-yen shops first!
If there are any other hundred-yen store items you’d like to recommend, let us know! We are waiting for your comments and DMs.