Words by Steven Samrock
When you envision shopping in Tokyo, perhaps a high-end fashion boutique housed in a prize-winning architectural masterpiece first comes to mind. But step behind that boutique, turn left, then right, then left again – and you’ll find a different kind of awe-inspiring shopping experience: the ¥100 shop. Japan takes the 'dollar store' or 'pound store' concept to new heights – previous expectations of what can be bought on the cheap are blown out of the water.
¥100 shops are growing ever more abundant and have captured a crucial role in Japanese society. They are a staple for locals in need of household basics, a haven for DIY enthusiasts, and a must-visit for visitors in need of gifts. At most ¥100 shops, expect to find ceramics/kitchenware, stationery/office supplies, homeware/garden supplies, toiletries/beauty supplies, and toys/games/novelty items. That said, after a bit of 'hyaku en' (¥100) treasure hunting, you come to expect the unexpected. There are surprises around every corner.
Note that some prices and products are subject to change.