So you're in Japan, you want to buy some stuff, but you want to save a few bucks? Where do you start? Why not try the 100 yen store?! Located through the country 100 yen stores, also referred to as hyaku- en shops, are the perfect place for the frugal traveler. Not only are they incredibly convenient, but they also have items for the unbeatable price of 108 yen (that's 100 yen plus 8% consumption tax). The combination of low price and wide selection makes them the perfect stop for souvenir shopping or when you realize you forgot to pack something important.
With literally thousands of locations around the country it's difficult not to find yourself near a 100 yen store at some point during your travels. Some are small and may be located in the corner of a shopping center or supermarket. Others are massive department store type 100 yen shops that have multiple floors and a selection that you could sift through for days. Of course there are also other locations that fall somewhere in-between.
The products that you find at 100 yen shops will vary from location to location. However, for the most part each shop has a wide selection of items that fall into relatively standard categories. There are dishes, kitchen items, bathroom items, garden items, tools, toys, stationary and pet items to name a few. There are also seasonal and holiday items at 100 yen shops that rotate over the course of the year. These items could be anything from straw hats in the summer time to Christmas tress in the winter and everything in-between.
When it comes to quality the 100 yen stores of Japan are offering very good quality. In fact it's not uncommon to find locals shopping at 100 yen shops for household goods because of the good quality at such a low price. A great deal of the products at 100 yen stores are also very useful making it them hard to resist!
Finding and visiting a 100 yen store isn't much of a challenge but there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost keep an eye out for banners outside or signs that say "100円" on them. These are often an
indicator that the shop is a 100 yen shop or has a 100 yen section inside. Also remember that there is consumption tax in Japan. This consumption tax is 8% so each item will cost 108 yen at the register.
Finally, be sure to take note of any items you are purchasing that have a price tag. At most 100 yen shops in Japan items without a price tag are 100 yen, however there are some items that will cost a bit more. These price tags are often very obvious making it easy to identify items that cost slightly more. Although these items do cost a bit more they are still much more affordable then you will see elsewhere making them a good value also. It's also important to keep in mind that most 100 yen shops take only cash so be sure to have yen on hand.