From the title of today’s post, you’re probably wondering why on earth someone would choose to write a culture post on dollar stores. 😆
The thing is, in Japan, they’re not even close to what we call ‘dollar’ stores back in the States. I mean sure, sometimes the quality of what you purchased isn’t the best, but it was a dollar, right?
Today I want to introduce three different ¥100 shops: Daiso, Seria and Lawson 100.
Many of you may already have heard of Daiso. I’d say it’s the most known Japanese dollar store abroad, because according to Wikipedia:
Daiso has 2,500 stores in Japan, 975 in South Korea, and 522 stores overseas in Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and Vietnam.
I don’t really want to talk so much about logistics or numbers, though, I kinda wanna just tell you why Daiso is awesome.
Why Daiso is Awesome
If I had to pick just one reason why Daiso is awesome, it would be for the fact that you could stock your kitchen, bathroom, heck your entire apartment with one trip to the store. For most people, moving to a new country take a LOT of money. You have to start your entire life (possessions-wise) pretty much from scratch.
Personally, I had a pretty bad image of dollar stores from the US, so I was hesitant to even go inside and look around at first. After funds ran low, (and I still needed pots and pans…and stuff to eat on…) swallowing a huge piece of humble pie, I went and had a look.
I ended up with an entire set of very chic ceramic white bowls, plates and serving ware for little over ¥1,200 ($12). You can always go the colorful route ↑↑, but I was very impressed with the white set I bought (and still use 5 years later).
I couldn’t help myself with the strawberry glasses, lol. If you’ve seen or read Nana, you know why. 😉
Daiso literally has everything. Also, since I felt as if I discovered the Holy Grail of stores in the form of ¥100 shops, I was on a quest to find other similar stores.
This brings us to the next store on the list: Seria.
This store doesn’t have as much to choose from, but in my opinion the products are a little cuter (?) or they look like they’re a little better quality. Okay, so I can’t explain it well so I’ll just show you, lol.
In my opinion, Seria took a little more care with products and instead of a ‘we have everything’ kind of sales pitch, it’s more of a ‘look at the cute stuff you can get for ¥100.’
Anyway, I super recommend this store for paper goods like stationary and gift wrap.
They also have really cute seasonal decorations and items. Ah, they also have really cute mug cups and kitchen stuff. Okay, so if you get the chance, just go have a look, lol. I dare you to walk out empty-handed!
Last up is my absolute true love, Lawson’s 100 store. Lawson is a chain of convenience stores, so it’s like a 100 yen convenience store, complete with fresh fruits and veggies!
That means you can buy ¥100 produce, guys. It probably only has a few days until expiration, but –¥100 produce-! I also like to buy chicken cuts here because they are neatly separated into 100g and since I live alone, it’ll just be a waste if I buy more than that. Like any other convenience store over here, they also have cup ramen and different toiletries as well.
There is a Lawson 100 store right by my home station, so sometimes it’s more convenient to go here than trek down to the supermarket. Plus it’s cheaper! That’s pretty much a win-win situation. Like, you can’t beat this if you’re on a budget.
Do not be too proud to swallow your pride and check out a ¥100 store, you definitely won’t regret it. Living cost in Japan is quite high, so knowing little ways to cut corners here and there is literally a lifesaver! Besides, Japan does dollar stores like none other.