Translated by Sandy Lau
100-yen Store Souvenirs And Gifts - Guide To 3 Major Shops
Written by Kayano Oyama
100-yen shops are perfect if you want to find multiple souvenirs at reasonable prices. We’ll introduce three of the most popular 100-yen shops and suggested items for souvenirs and gifts. Find great mementos for your Japan trip here!
Memories for Your Trip to Japan
Souvenirs are a must for any trip, and we tend to look for items that are unique to the country and region we are visiting. However, when you have to buy souvenirs not only for yourself but also for your friends and family, it could end up costing a lot.
We have the perfect shops for buying affordable souvenirs for anyone on a budget.
Head to a 100-yen Shop for Inexpensive Souvenirs
A 100-yen shop is a store that sells most merchandise for 100 yen (before tax). Nearly all of the products found in a regular store can be purchased at a better value at a 100-yen shop.
However, just because the prices are cheap doesn’t mean that the products are low in quality. The quality is preserved, reducing the production and labor costs per each item through the massive production of a single product and setting the selling price at 100 yen. These stores also have a wide range of merchandise from daily necessities to toys and stationery items.
In this article, we’ll be introducing recommended products from three companies that make up the majority of 100-yen shops in Japan: DAISO, Seria, and Can☆Do.
1. DAISO – The Largest 100-yen Chain in Japan
Picture from 15 Must Visit Places In Harajuku And Omotesando For Shopping And Food! (Traditional Chinese)
DAISO is the chain with the most locations out of all of the 100-yen shops in Japan. They not only have locations in Japan, but also overseas in countries including the United States, China, and Thailand, so you might already be familiar with this store. They also carry exported goods, many of them with product explanations written in English and Chinese.
They sell a large assortment of items, from souvenirs to daily necessities, including Japanese trinkets, umbrellas, vacuum sealer bags, and slippers. If you forget anything during your trip, you can solve your problem with a visit.
Handy Goldfish Pouch
This goldfish drawstring pouch is an extremely popular product with travelers out of all the products at DAISO.
This kinchaku (*1) is available in two sizes. The large size is recommended for keeping a handkerchief and tissues inside. The small size is perfect for storing small change and keeping with you during your trip.
Both sizes are convenient to carry around, so you’ll want to collect both sizes.
*1 Kinchaku: a pouch used for storing and carrying small items.
Vividly Colored Folding Fans
How about a folding fan as a Japan souvenir? These fans are available in a variety of different designs such as Kabuki theater or fireworks. The paintings have been so carefully drawn in detail that you might not know which one to choose. All folding fans use brilliantly vivid colors and they’re very lovely.
They’re indispensable for overcoming the hot Japan summers. Spend your time feeling cool and use a folding fan!
Tasty-Looking Food Samples
Here are food samples of sushi, ramen, and okonomiyaki (savory Japanese pancake). Food samples are plastic food models that are placed at the front of restaurants in Japan. By looking at the food samples, customers can visualize what the food will look like before it’s served.
If you look at the picture above, the samples don't look like they’re 100 yen! You might even start to get hungry if you keep staring at it.
Food samples are available in two versions as a magnet and a keychain. Why not pick out your favorite foods?
Here are some classic Japanese sweets that are actually erasers. A set of three erasers costs 100 yen before tax.
This product's eraser function while being so adorable is amazing! In addition to what is pictured above, there are tons of other options available, like sushi and tea, making it easy to collect them all.
It would be great to bring them home as souvenirs or use them in your interior decorating.
2. Seria – Super Stylish! Stationery for Everyday
At Seria, you can buy cute and stylish products perfect for the young at heart. One of their distinguishing features is their large selection of Japan-made products when compared to the merchandise found at other stores.
They also carry several products handy for DIY projects or interior goods. The combinations are endless: you can make a three-level rack or accessory box just by combining a wooden box, screws, and paint! You can add your own touch to the products you’ve bought at Seria and make something unique.
Tenugui (hand towels) are a popular souvenir with travelers. In addition to classic Japanese designs such as Mt. Fuji or cherry blossoms, tenugui are even available in adorable designs of animals. They won’t take up a lot of space no matter how many you buy, so you won’t have to worry about having more your luggage.
Tenugui can be used as dishcloths. You can also use them as a tissue box cover like pictured above or for packing your lunch box.
There is a lot of stylish stationery found in Seria. The products to the left and right of the picture are memo pads while the product in the middle are message cards. These memo pads have cherry blossom and samurai covers, making them perfect as Japanese souvenirs.
This message card is in the shape of a roasted sweet potato. Give one to your friends and bring some excitement to your conversations!
Post-it notes and memo pads are essential for work and studying. You may feel more motivated by using adorable goods.
3. Can☆Do – Fascinating Collaboration Goods
Can☆Do has a complete collection of food products. In addition to sweets and drinks, they also carry vitamin and collagen supplements. These supplements come with an amount that will last about one month for 100 yen, so we recommend them to people wanting to try out a particular vitamin.
Can☆Do is also abundant with collaboration goods. Also look out for products that can only be bought at Can☆Do.
Unique Collaboration Goods
Picture Left: Azuki the Hedgehog Hand Towel / Picture Right: Maru the Shiba Inu Notebook
In addition to what is pictured, stickers, pouches, and other accessories are also available in the 22-product lineup for Azuki the Hedgehog and nine products for Maru the Shiba Inu. The cuteness of these items will brighten up your day!
Collaboration products change throughout the year, so look out for them in stores.
Make Your Fingers Glamorous! Nail Products
Can☆Do is well-stocked with nail products. Nail polishes are available in a variety of finishes including matte and gorgeous glitter-containing polishes. These nail polishes work well in all different types of settings. This time we will introduce two types of nail polishes.
First are the peel off nail polishes (the two pictured to the left). These are nail polishes that you can easily peel off yourself without nail polish remover, so we recommend them to those that can’t have painted nails everyday due to school or work.
The next product are liqueur nail polishes. They’re cute on their own with just one color, but they’ll become even more glamorous when you paint on another color. They’re made to have a translucent finish, so they’re perfect for the summer.
If you want more experiment with more your nails, we suggest Shizuku’s nail stickers. This is a collaboration product with Ms. Shizuku (Japanese), a nail artist. She is so popular among nail art lovers that her products were sold out once they were released.
All you have to do is cut out the illustration you want and affix it to your nail with water, suitable even for beginners. Your nails will look like you've had them done at a salon with these stickers!
Buying Japanese Souvenirs? Stop into the 100-yen Shop!
In addition to from the 100-yen shop products introduced in this article, there is also a selection of other products, including useful daily necessities, emergency items to use when you’re injured, as well as food products.
Make sure you visit these 100-yen shops which many travelers feel to be "the best!"