All About Japan

¥100 Shops: What to Buy & What to Avoid

| Cheap , ¥100

We all love ¥100 shops and we probably spend more time and money there than we should. And while they are an innovation that humanity should be thankful for, sometimes it's better to forsake them for your good old supermarket or pharmacy. The problem is, when? Read on to find out!

Things That You Should Buy at ¥100 Shops

Let's start with the good ones!

Cute Stationery, Washi Tape & Clear File Folders

Surprisingly, while stationery shops in Japan carry a whole array of cute goods, they tend to be much more expensive than ¥100 shops. If you’re not looking for a specific character, but you like cute stationery, then shops like Daiso are the place to go for your fix of cute yet inexpensive notebook and pens. At some chains, you might even find Sanrio characters or Kumamon goods.

The washi tape is generally of good quality when compared to the one found in more expensive stationery shops, and comes in dozens of variations. Another thing that you should buy at ¥100 shops are clear file folders, ring files and anything that will help you organize paper. The prices are very competitive and the variety is amazing!

Incense Sticks, Potpourri, Tea Candles & Similar Products

While incense sticks can be found at other places in Japan (for example, at Village Vanguard), the same exact foreign brand that you can find at the ¥100 shops will probably cost more. The key point is to buy imported sticks and not the shop-branded ones, the quality of which tends to be lower.

Candles, potpourri and oils might not rival in quality with more expensive brands like Yankee's Candle, but they do stand up to other products of average price.

Socks & Basic Tights

While the quality might not be stellar, ¥100 socks do their job well for a fair price. Women also have access to a whole variety of cute socks (including warm house socks for the winter), and some chains sell basic tights (nude or black) up to the XL size, something that not every regular shop offers. They won’t last long, but does that ever happen?

Kitchen Supplies & Cutlery

Plates, bowls, glasses, mugs, jars, plastic containers and cutlery are usually of acceptable quality, and come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and styles. Unless you’re a cooking enthusiast with specific needs, these will serve you well.

Bento & Bento Supplies

Obviously, fancier bento boxes will be more durable and will come with many accessories, but if you're just looking for a no-frills bento to bring your lunch to work (or for a very cute but super cheap one), ¥100 will go a long way. These bento come in various sizes and colors, and you'll also be able to find additional supplies like portable cutlery and chopsticks—plus all the accessories to prepare a cute bento: cutters, sauce containers, toothpicks, aluminum cups and much more!

Organizational Items

Don't ever go anywhere else for these! ¥100 shops can bury you under a pile of baskets, boxes and trays in every possible color and size. If you can't find what you need here, at these low prices, you probably won't find it anywhere else!

Nail Products: Stickers & Nail Polish

Two words: nail stickers. While they're available everywhere, the ¥100 ones are the same quality you'd find in many other shops. Nail polishes are also acceptable, even though they tend to chip sooner than their professional rivals. And, compared to pharmacy products, polish remover is a fraction of the price, even though it might not be ideal for more sensitive nails.

Gift Wrapping Supplies

If you're preparing a nice gift for someone, you may also want to present it well. For that, ¥100 shops are your best friend!

Plain USB Cords

Obviously, if you need a specific brand for a high-intensity use, then you should probably head over to an electronics shop. But if you just need a cord to charge your phone, usually ¥100 shop USB cords will do the job without any problems.

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