Do You DAISO? Japan’s 100 Yen Shop

By Donnie | Articles

Daiso Hitachi, Japan 2011.

Have you ever heard of DAISO? Daiso is home to some of Japan’s most intricately designed, high quality items. (As Donald pops his collar) It’s a store that’s designed exclusively for Japan’s creme de la creme. If you don’t reek of money, you won’t even be allowed in the front door…why else would I be shopping there?

Okay, absolutely none of that’s true. Even if I had money and there was a super-posh store like that, I’m about 99.99% sure that I wouldn’t be one of the patrons…it’s just not my style.

DAISO is completely the opposite high-end.

DAISO is to Japan kind of what the Dollar Store is to the United States. Often you hear of DAISO being referred to as the “Hyaku En Shop (100円ショップ)” These stores are all over the place! I can immediately think of two different shops that are within a ten minute bike-ride from my apartment. I was in Hitachi over the weekend, which seemed to be quite the warehouse town with not a whole lot there…but about a two-minute walk from my hotel…guess what they did have? Yep, you guessed it…A DAISO!

Looking for bargains? Daiso may be the place for you!

I don’t know if you frequent dollar stores in the U.S., or if perceptions have changed, but in Georgia (at least where I lived) dollar stores had a bad wrap. Cheap, low quality items, run down shops, and and poor customer service are what come to mind when I think of dollar stores that I’ve been to. I guess business couldn’t have been all that bad though, because these stores continue to get business, and new stores are sprouting up all the time. However, I noticed that in the U.S., it would be hard to find a mainstream mall with a dollar store inside (unless the mall itself were on the decline). It always seemed as though Dollar Stores were reserved for places where socioeconomic status wasn’t as high or in the struggling parts of town.

In Japan, the same stigma doesn’t exist. I have seen Daiso shops in major malls* and stand alone shops alike. The stores are well-kept, the staff is courteous and you can find some amazing deals and a varied selection of items and goods. Now, not everything you find in DAISO will be one-hundred yen, but there are quite a few items in the store that are.

*There is a DAISO at IIAS, near where I live. IIAS is the largest mall in the Kanto area

Seeing a DAISO in a major mall with people actually shopping in it, says a lot about the store. DAISO may not have a super high-end items but despite it’s prices, I think the 100 yen shop is a store with a reputation that people, all kinds of people, know and trust.

Clean stores, courteous staff, low prices, what more can you ask for?

What I like about DAISO

It’s not easy to find deals this good, and often when I can’t find something I’m looking for, DAISO is actually one of my go-to places, and in most cases I end up finding what I need.

What I don’t like about DAISO

The variation from store to store. Some DAISOs are tiny, others are large. Some DAISOs have the items you’re looking for while others may have a more limited selection.


Daiso at IIAS Tsukuba, the largest mall in the Kanto Area.

If you’re looking for good deals and everything from toys to ties, from stationery to dinner ware, from watches to cleaning supplies, and then some, Daiso may be perfect shop for you. Please check it out when you have a chance and let me know what you think.


Donald Ash

About the Author

  • Mariko says:

    I miss Daiso!!! Things are not expensive in France BUT stationery is extremely expensive. 🙁 I need Daiso!!!!

    • Donald Ash says:

      Daiso is pretty awesome Mariko 🙂 But you’re having a cool travel experience so I guess it balances out 😉
      Who knows? Maybe you could be the one to open the first Daiso France store! 😀

  • Nanami says:

    +_______+ There are so many things that i’d get just from looking at those photos.

  • Vivian says:

    there is DAISO in taipei taiwan now

    and DAISO near silicon valley in cali, too.

    but more like 150yen.

  • webwolf404 says:

    Donaldo-san I am finally here in Japan thanks to your great advice. YES HYAKUEN SHOPS ARE THE BEES KNEES! Thank god for them, but don’t let their cheap prices fool you you will spend ALL YOUR MONEY HERE!!!! <3

    • Donald Ash says:

      HOORAY!!! 😀 You made it!! I’m so happy to hear that things worked out. Sometimes I have to be careful going into Daiso, too. I’ve definitely done the whole “I just need to buy one thing” and end up with cart-full of stuff just because it’s cheap. I’m glad you’re in Japan and glad you dropped by to post.

  • Mun Choong Yearn says:

    We have DAISO in faraway sunny Singapore as well; about 7 outlets in the country. Everything costs $2 SGD. I am an absolute fan of DAISO as one can find great deals.

    • Donald Ash says:

      DAISO is awesome, right? Sounds like they’re spreading the low-cost love all over Asia. Thanks for posting, Mun.

  • Jon says:

    Yeah, DAISO is awesome. We have ’em in malls here in the Philippines too.

    • Donald Ash says:

      Is DAISO taking over the world? Okay, maybe not the world just yet, but definitely Asia:

      The Phillipines, Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan.

      That’s cool!

      Thanks for posting, Jon!

  • Kayla says:

    I’ve found pretty decent dollar stores in the states, I think it’s better in the midwest maybe, but there’s a really huge Dollar Tree in one of the malls around here. ^_^

    I can’t wait to visit a Daiso shop when I move to Japan. With any luck, I can pick up some cheap basics there for the kitchen. ^_^

  • Kendra B. says:

    We have a Daiso here in Southern California now, it opened up just before Christmas. Seriously anything you could ever want for a buck fifty! 😀

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