Remember my shopping frenzy at Sydney's 100 yen store, Maruyu City Super? Well, I am now thrilled to be able to take you to the real deal in Japan!
What are they
These are popular bargain/variety stores in Japan where items are priced at just 100 yen (which is about AU$1.23 based on today's exchange rate). Items vary from store to store but often include food, kitchenware, tableware, stationary, beauty, garden tools, household goods, toys and more.
What to look out for
One of first things to note would be that not all things are 100円. There are usually several aisles which feature items well over 100 yen. Make sure you take notice of where you're looking.
Furthermore, some stores will add the sales tax on, so it may be 105 yen instead of 100 yen. Still cheap, but it does add up if you intend to buy a lot.
Secondly, if you're buying gifts, remember to check where the product is made in. Some products are imported from China, India, etc.
What type of products can be found
I'll stick to the foodie items here, but as mentioned above, anything ranging from household goods to toiletries can be found!
- Kitchenware & Cookware: knives, bento box containers, bento box equipment such as rice molds, coffee filters, strainers, spatulas and kote (the shovel-like spatula used in preparing okonomiyaki), steaming equipment, tempura paper, soy sauce bottles, cupcake liners, measuring spoons and cups, pots and pans, yaki-ami grills, etc
- Tableware: serving platters, plates, rice bowls, miso soup bowls, tea cups, sake sets, cutlery, etc
- Food: tea, instant noodles, condiments, sauces, crisps, rice crackers, candy, etc
Where to find them
There are literally thousands of 100 yen shops across Japan. The three main chains you will find are ダイコク (Daikoku) which is easily recognisable via their bright orange signs, セリア (Seria) and ダイソー (Daiso).
ダイコク (Daikoku - 100円 Shops & Drug Stores)
心斎橋店, 中央区南船場3-5-17 1～4F (3-5-17 1 ~ 4F, Chuo-ku Minamisenba, Shinsaibashi)
Phone: +81 06 6253 3633
Other locations: www.daikokudrug.com/hyakuen/100goods.html
セリア (Seria 100円 Shops)
〒552-0022 大阪府大阪市港区海岸通１−１−１０天保山マーケットプレース ３Ｆ (Minato-ku, Osaka City Waterfront Marketplace Tempozan 3F 1-1-10; near Osakako Aquarium)
Phone: +81 06 6576 5703
Other locations: www.seria-group.com/shop/list.html?q=&x=101&y=11
ダイソー (Daiso 100円 Shops)
So, visit a few 100 yen stores at the start of the trip, keeping note of what you want to buy and where, then return at the end of the trip so you can go crazy on the bargains without worrying about saving luggage space or money! Much awesomeness awaits...