¥100 kitchen products top image
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

10 useful kitchen items from ¥100 stores that are actually worth buying

Make your life easier with these handy cooking and kitchen gadgets from your local hyakuen store

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
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When it comes to convenience, Japan is king. Whether it be genius packaging designs or novel products, Japan has a knack for inventing useful items that will help save you time and hassle. You don’t have to break the bank to purchase some of these ingenious products either, as many of them can be found at your local hyakuen, or ¥100, store. 

Hyakuen shops are an indispensable part of Japan’s retail scene and make your shopping experience all the more fun. Most often, you’ll find big name stores like Daiso, Seria and Can Do. Then there are the slightly fancier versions of these shops called three coin stores, as they offer items for ¥300.

While browsing a ¥100 store can be overwhelming, we recommend starting with the kitchen and cooking zone. You’ll find a plethora of useful items that you can use every day. You can even save yourself from buying expensive appliances with some of these ¥100 hacks available. To get you closer to dinner, we’ve picked out some of our favourite items you need to have in your kitchen.

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Cooking up a bargain

Egg timer, Daiso
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Egg timer, Daiso

Japan’s love of eggs is on full display at the ¥100 store, with numerous products dedicated to the good ol’ tamago. One of the best items you can find is this simple egg timer. To use it, simply pop the timer in your pot of water when you start to boil your eggs. The timer will start changing colour from pink to white to indicate when your eggs have reached the soft, medium or hard stage. Once you’ve got your eggs just right, you can strain the water out and get ready to eat.

Microwave rice cooker, Daiso
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Microwave rice cooker, Daiso

Not only does a rice cooker take up prime real estate in your kitchen, it often makes more rice than you can eat in one sitting – especially if you live alone. So instead of buying an expensive rice cooker, you can simply use this tiny microwavable rice maker from Daiso. To make the rice, start off by rinsing the grains, adding some water and letting it soak. After about 30 minutes, you can start microwaving the rice. Cook the rice for six to seven minutes, and then remove the container from the microwave and let it steam for another 20 minutes before digging in.

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Microwave pasta maker, Seria
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Microwave pasta maker, Seria

Boiling a massive pot of water to cook just a small amount of pasta can take a lot of time. This handy pasta cooker will give you hot noodles in just three easy steps. First, fill the container with water, pasta and a little bit of salt. Microwave it without the lid for the cook time listed on the pasta packet plus an extra four to six minutes depending on how much you’re cooking. When the noodles are done, pop the lid on and strain the water out using the built-in strainer. The lid also contains handy circular holes to help you portion your spaghetti.

Stretchable silicone wrap, Daiso
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Stretchable silicone wrap, Daiso

If you’re trying to reduce your plastic usage, this nifty silicone wrap is a great alternative to plastic food wrap. The stretchable material allows you to cover numerous sizes of plates and bowls and you can easily wash it in boiling water. As a bonus, you can also use the sheet as an opener to help you get those sticky bottle tops or jars open.

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Draining cutting board, Daiso
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Draining cutting board, Daiso

This small cutting board is great for Japan’s small kitchens as it can be easily stored and washed in a jiffy. What sets it apart from your average cutting board are the curved edges which help stop food from rolling off your board. In the corner, you’ll also find drain holes to help remove moisture when cutting wet ingredients. A small hole on the left-hand side also allows you to hang the board on a hook.

Easy sealer, Daiso
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Easy sealer, Daiso

This sealer can be found at most ¥100 shops and is a great tool to help keep your food dry and fresh. It’s best used to reseal packages like potato chip bags and other PVC or aluminium-coated bags. Once you’ve put the batteries in, simply flip down the safety cover and slide the sealer over the open edge of a bag. There are also two peepholes and a guideline to help you make an even seal.

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Mini silicone pot holder, Daiso
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Mini silicone pot holder, Daiso

This tiny silicone pot holder functions like an oven mitt, but takes up way less space. On the inside, you’ll find grip marks to help you grab pot handles and trays hot out of your oven. Don’t have an oven? It’s also handy for taking reheated plates and bowls out of your microwave. Unlike a cloth oven mitt, the holder is easy to wash and can withstand heat up to 230 degrees Celsius.

Watagumo, Daiso
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Watagumo, Daiso

This fluffy, cotton candy-like cloud is an oil-sucking nanofibre that can soak up oil while resisting water. It's especially useful when cleaning pots and pans after frying, or soaking up oil spills around your kitchen. To use it, just rip off the necessary amount you need and start wiping away. To give you an idea of how efficient this stuff is, Watagumo can suck up up to 50 times its weight in oil.

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Egg shelling tool, Daiso
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Egg shelling tool, Daiso

One of our biggest pet peeves is peeling hard boiled eggs. Even if you cook them often it’s difficult to peel the shells off perfectly without leaving dents in the whites. Thanks to this nifty device, your problem is solved. Just place the egg in the container and shake it around until the shell cracks. From there, you’ll be able to peel off the broken shell pieces easily, leaving your egg in picture-perfect shape.

Silicone chopstick stands, Seria
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Silicone chopstick stands, Seria

These tiny little stars easily slip onto your chopsticks and help them stand up without touching your table or countertops. They are especially handy when cooking, as you can even use them to stand your chopsticks against the side of a pot if you’re using the sticks to stir your food. Since they’re made of silicone, they are both heat resistant and easy to clean.

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