Top Ten Things Worth Buying at a 100 Yen Shop

January 21, 2010

If you’ve been to Japan, you’ve seen the ubiquitous 100 yen shops like Daiso, Can Do, and others. As with any “dollar shop” type place, there are deals and busts.

Here are the results of a recent Excite News Poll in which the website Escala Cafe asked women in their 20s were asked what the top ten things to get at a 100 yen shop were. Almost as interesting as the answers is how the categories were grouped… batteries and pocket tissues?

Here’s the list:

1.  Pens, tape, and other small office goods.
2.  Tongs, kitchen sponges, and other kitchen goods.
3.  Batteries, pocket tissues, and other small necessities.
4.  Glue for fake eyelashes and similar beauty necessities.
5.  Snacks and food seasonings (such as salt, soy sauce, vinegar)
6.  Soap and shampoo holders for the bath
7.  Picture frames, knickknacks, and cute things.
8 (tied).  Cards, puzzles, and other toys.
8 (tied). Pet toys, collars, and other pet goods.
10. Mobile phone rechargers, flashlights, and other small electric goods.

I would like to see a corresponding list for men… or even a list of what non-Japanese people buy in 100 yen shops. The funny thing is I disagree with number 1. If you go into a good stationary store you can get very good pens and pencils for 100 yen so it’s not really a discount.

If you are new to Japan though, be careful because some of the bigger 100 yen shops like Daiso now sell items priced higher so if it looks a little too good to be true, check the price.

On the other hand, 300 yen is not a bad price to pay for a cell phone recharger and FM transmitter that plugs into your car’s cigarrette lighter.