Japan’s 100-yen shops

September 3rd, 2010By Category: Uncategorized

So you’re looking for getting some goods on the cheap. It’s common knowledge that ¥100 stores (百円ショップ hyaku-en shoppu) are the most affordable destination for a huge variety of products at surprising prices (that is, ¥100). Unlike American dollar stores (or pound stores if you are that way inclined), ¥100 shops stock an impressive array of goods, and are a perfectly viable place to do much of your grocery, home item, stationery, clothing, and other shopping. If you’re on a budget, these widely accessible shops should be your first stop.

¥100 shops are everywhere in Japan, though usually found in shopping districts and malls, among other stores. Of course, you’re not going to find a ¥100 store in Ginza, next to Armani and Coach, but chances are you’ll come across one on your local shopping street. The stores are usually large – very often more than one floor – and marked by colorful, even garish signs usually displaying a “100” or “99.”

The Daiso (ザ ダイソ) is one of Japan’s largest ¥100 store chains, with locations throughout the country. The chain currently operates more than 2,000 stores nationwide, and opens an average of 40 new stores per month. Central Tokyo’s largest ¥100 store is The Daiso in Harajuku on Takeshita Dori, just a few steps from Harajuku Station. Japan’s largest ¥100 store is Daiso Giga Machida. It occupies five floors in front of Machida Station (30 minutes, ¥360 from Shinjuku by Odakyu Railways).

Types of goods

Here are just a few examples of the kinds of goods you’ll find at your average ¥100 store.

Household goods: sewing materials, towels, slippers, dish rags

Food: instant ramen, cookies, crackers, snacks, rice, miso soup, candy, soft drinks

Clothing: socks, underwear, ties, scarves, gloves

Tools: hammers, measuring tapes, pliers, screwdriver sets, knives, saws

Gardening: watering pots, mini rakes, flower pots

Kitchenware: kitchen knives, ladles, tupperware, coffee filters, detergent, aluminum foil

Tableware: plates, bowls, tea cups, sake sets, silverware, chopsticks

Stationery: boxes, notepads, pens and pencils, pins, calligraphy brushes

Personal goods: toys, games, ping pong sets, goggles, English-Japanese dictionaries

One more thing…

Remember that Japanese consumption tax is 5%, so you’re going to actually be paying ¥105 at a ¥100 store, ¥104 at a ¥99 yen store, etc.

Directory of ¥100 Stores:


Can Do



Shop 99

Photo Credit: Akiyoshi’s Room

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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  • LivingTallinJapan says:

    Things I’ve purchased at Daiso include Large sized socks, belts, silverware, dishes, cutting board, pots and pans, microwave rice cooking container, strainer, dish drainer, rug, interlocking carpeting for my wooden floored apartment, clothes hangers, shampoo and soap, laundry detergent and bleach, TP and PT, pens, compass (for when you get directions like head north in a new area) sewing materials, snacks and drinks and so on. All of decent quality. Far better than US dollar stores. Sometimes the Item will say on it 200 yen-1000 yen if the item is of high expense but they want to sell it anyway. If you move to or in Japan, 100yen shops can be a life saver.

  • crownfield says:

    For those who expect crappy quality items from 99 cent store in the States, the 100 yen stores here carry far better products and I think that’s the point that this article was trying to make. So yes, it is useful.

  • It is useful for people that come from countries without a 99 c store.

  • I have not much time, but I’ve got many useful things here, love it!

  • Odinsmommee says:

    with all due respect, if the article is “pointless” why read it?
    the 99-cent stores in california often carry very low quality items, so 100-yen might have been assumed to carry the same quality items.

  • Foster22 says:

    Bloody right on! Good to know about the tax bit though-didnt realise that the 5 yen was tax, I thought it was a tip! What a crap article, youre right. Surprising prices!? Ummmm…how about 105 yen!? Hobson, Im on your team (and can you really buy silverware at Daiso? Could be a moneymaker…)

  • Hobson says:

    What is the point of the article? If it is “common knowledge,” as the article says, what is the newsworthy part?