By Cat Veit
Where I come from in the United States, dollar stores are not really considered a special place to shop; they function as inexpensive places to pick up grocery staples and various daily life essentials. Japan naturally takes the dollar store model and launches it into a completely different echelon. Here the 100-yen store functions as a one-stop shop for both residents and tourists on a budget. Daiso is the most recognizable 100-yen store chain in the country.
Japan is known as one of the most expensive countries in the world. But with some research and resourcefulness, traveling to Japan does not have to wipe out your bank account. In this spectacular chain you’ll find everything from craft supplies to homewares to groceries and gag gifts. Each floor is jam packed with items you never knew you needed. Visitors to Japan will delight in the array of goods they can bring back home as souvenirs. You can purchase quality gifts for all your friends and family back home for a small amount of money. Fortunately every item without a price tag is only 100 yen plus sales tax. Only a few items are priced higher, and those items are labeled. Please note that sales tax will be added at the cashier.
Within Japan there are over 2,570 Daiso stores with 10 to 20 new stores opening each month, according to Daiso’s website. Plus there are over 560 locations overseas and an online store. With this many locations, it’s for sure that Daiso is doing something right. Inexpensive stores like Daiso are great places to pick up different hobbyist goods. Perhaps you would like to try making interesting lunches with different kinds of bento boxes. Cosmetic enthusiasts will find that Daiso offers a treasure trove of beauty products. As a makeup artist, I always am sure to pick up a dozen or so pairs of fake eyelashes to bring back home, since the quality is comparable to some of the higher-end brands. If you are like me and forgot to pack something in your luggage, do not fret, Daiso surely carries whatever item you are missing.
Harajuku’s Takeshita Dori store is one of the best to visit as it houses a wide variety of merchandise and it is located in one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tokyo. No trip to Tokyo is complete without a visit to the stylish Harajuku area. While you’re meandering down the bustling street, be sure to pick up a crêpe at one of the nearby stands.
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