100 Yen Store

CONTRIBUTED BY KAHO

I LOVE 100 yen stores.  We’re moving back to the States this summer and one of the things that I will definitely miss about Japan is 100 yen stores.  So hard to live without them.  As it is described in the store name, all the goods cost 100 yen in the store.  (Most accurately all, but sometimes you find items that have different prices.)

One of my recent purchases, which I am very happy with, is plastic scissors for my 3-year-old. I gave the same scissors to my friends’ kids.  They probably figured out where they were from, but now they know for sure!  Don’t worry, not all my gifts are from there.  😛  I’d been looking for plastic scissors since my daughter started getting interested in scissors.  I couldn’t find plastic ones for a long time and I finally saw them at a 100 yen store!  I was excited!  I love them.  I can let my munchkin use the scissors without worrying that she’d cut something that she’s not supposed to or get injured.

Plastic_scissors Plastic_scissors_2

I also love laundry netting bags for washing machine, which are made for putting underwear, bras or other items that are labeled to hand-wash.  There are special bags that have plastic frames inside.  These are made specifically for wire bras.  With this, no need to worry that your bras get deformed in a washing machine!  I think that laundry bags would make a good souvenir back to the U.S., don’t you think so?

Let’s see, I love Pooh plastic plates for kids.  I use them for my daughter’s daily plates and she likes them.

Oh, then my husband and I have used piggy banks for 500 yen coins.  Whenever we got 500 yen coins, we didn’t use them and put them in our piggy bank.  If you fill this piggy bank, you save 100,000 yen (about $1,000).  Well, if you get a kind that says so.  In the past two years, we filled two of these piggy banks.  If you use Japanese yen often, why don’t you start one?  Maybe you have enough money to travel by the end of the year.

My friend bought me a garlic peeler at a 100 yen shop.  You put a garlic inside this plastic tube and roll it on a table with your hand and the skin of the garlic comes off!  Kind of fun.  My daughter likes it.

I love buying Hello Kitty and Disney Princess items for my daughter, too.  I’m such a sucker for that.  You can’t beat the price anywhere, you know!

I have numerous items from 100 yen shops as you can imagine and I still plan on going back there to stack up on their items before leaving!!

Let me know if you have any items from 100 yen shops that you are very proud of or you recommend us to buy!

36 COMMENTS

  1. The closest one I know is inside the humby town but it’s really smalll… Or wait for your welcome briefing at the community hall they can tell you the direction.or go to make man by American village there’s one inside there

  2. I just got out here and I heard about the 1Oo yen store unfortunately we can not find one does anyone know which would be the closest next to camp foster

  3. I’ve heard about the 100 Yen store before coming here in Okinawa. We are living right now in Eagle Lodge near Kadena base. I’m wondering if there is a walking distance to a 100 Yen store from where we are right now.

    • Ling-yes there is one within walking distance though I am not sure how far down it is. If you come out of the Eagle Lodge and go left (this road is called 23), there will be a 100 Yen Plaza (green and yellow sign) on the other side of the road. Like I said I am not sure how far it is and with it being so warm, you may be wore out by the time you get there, but there is one not too far from you. Hope that helps!

      • Lala, thank you very much for the info. my daughters and I started walking towards the Coco restaurant and we figured why not just keep going and there it was the 100 Yen store it’s actually 105 I guess with the tax. We still don’t have a car so I think we will try to walk on the other direction going to Camp Foster,I remember seeing a lot of store around there just don’t know what they are, it might be a little further to walk but we will try anyway. Thank you very much..

        • The Machida 100 yen store is the best. I also like the one in Harajuku is great too. They have anything you can imagine. Yes, some things are more then 100 yen, but the prices still beat any others. One poster also mentioned Coco’s. Coco’s has the best curry anywhere. I recommend both places as a source of enjoyment.

  4. I visited Japan three years ago and purchased lots of items at the 100 Yen store. One item that I LOVE is the single toe socks. The Americans have toe socks with separate toes for all five toes, but the Japanese have socks specifically to wear with flip flops. They are solid except for a separation between the big toe and the next one so they can be easily worn with flip flop shoes. I have not been able to find these socks anywhere in the US. I wish I had purchased more of them. I wear them all winter so they are about worn out. Maybe I’ll find someone visiting Japan who can send me some new ones. The hundred yen store is wonderful. The products there are very good quality.

  5. There is no Makeman in the Naval Kadena Shopping Center. There is a Kanehide DIY at Naval Kadena, but Makeman is in Mihama and on the 85 going towards Gushikawa.

  6. hi, can anybody tell me the nearest 100 dollar yen store nearest to the naha new port, plssss.. am visiting okinawa on a cruise trip which will dock on naha new port. got 7 hours only to spend on this place and i want to visit a 100 dollar yen store. pls help.

  7. We JUST arrived in Okinawa (2 months ago) and we live in the Gushikawa area of Uruma City. Where is this Gushikawa mall you speak of? I must know!! 😀

  8. When reading the comments about possible 100 yen shops in the states I just had to google around. There is a lot of info but one site in particular talks about japanese grocery stores with Daiso 100 yen shops inside. There are a lot of them. If you are heading back stateside soon check to see if a beloved 100 yen shop could be near you. To find out go to http://www.justhungry.com click on handbook then japanese grocery store list.

  9. Kylie, the Navel Kadena is located on 58. If you’re coming from Camp Lester, drive north on Highway 58. Pass Gate one on your right as you drive north. You’ll drive along the Kadena Air Base on your right. Drive pass Kadena Marina on your left. When you come to the stop light with Lawson and KFC on your left, take a left. Navel Kadena will be at the end of this short street. Makeman is inside the Navel Kadena Shopping Center.

  10. I wonder if Mrister Donut is gone… I feel like I bought some doughnuts there in the past. If I remember correctly it was on the same side as Blue Seal Icecream and McDonald’s. Did you check out Marue across the hallway from 100 yen store? They had a sale the other day and had some cute T-shirts for kids pricing as low as 299 yen a shirt.

  11. Just got back from finally visiting the Navel Kadena 100 Yen store (TOTALLY thought it was Naval Kadena — laughed a bit about that!). Loved it, loved it. But have to admit couldn’t find Mr Donut?? Did find Shakey’s and had their all-you-can-eat lunch buffet (950Y adults, 400Y for kids 3 & under). Interesting wasabi seaweed pizza!!

  12. Nice to know that if we head to California that I can still get my fix of 100 yen items while we’re there. At least I can wean myself off gradually instead of having to go cold turkey. 😉

  13. Marlene,

    The “Mutsuwa” Japanese market in San Diego, Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and Japantown in San Francisco all have 100Y shops, but they are considerably smaller and don’t carry as much of a variety.

    So, Kaho, you should check out the Japanese/Asian markets and shopping centers in your area after you move, I’m sure you’ll find something similar. And if not… all the more reason to make a trip back home! 🙂

  14. Kelly> I love those net thing for a drain, too. Dry erase board marker. Nice. I need to get one of those.

    Cathryn> I hope that you will go to the one on the 58 Bypass one in Ginowan that Aviva mentioned. I went there today and oh my gosh, that place rocks. That place is like my sanctuary. I almost wet myself walking into the store. Excuse me!

    Mishka> It’s always good to know a good soba place to eat. After burning energy walking around that athletic field full of 100 yen items, we all need some good soba.

    Annya> It was great running into you as well! My husband and I were saying that we should stop by at the craft fair after the walk and we completely forgot!!!! We walked by the Starbuck to go to our car, so that’s why! Bummer!!! I love stationary items from 100 yen stores, too!!! Today, I was at the 100 yen store in Ginowan by the Uniqlo and went a little (?) overboard and bought so many Hello Kitty items for my daughters (or for myself) as if it was the last day for me to shop on the earth. Embarrassing!

    Marlene> Oh, so I’m going to the wrong Washington, then! I’m going to Washington, D.C., not Seattle, Washington! Rumor said that there was a 100 yen store in Arlington as well. Hummm.

  15. Don’t despair ladies…
    Honest to goodness 100yen stores are cropping up in the States.
    At least in the Seattle/Bellevue area.
    Imagine my surprise in finding ALL the items I hand picked and mailed from Okinawa on shelves for the taking in Alderwood Mall!

  16. Hi Kaho,

    It was cool running into you last Saturday in Chatan!

    100 Yen shops are my addiction. I can spend hours looking through all the little things they carry. My favorite section is definitely the dishes. I have a vast eclectic collection of soy sauce dishes, japanese-style plates and cups and it keeps on growing. Oh, and cute obento supplies, of course.

    It’s also great great great for kid’s arts and crafts – such a variety of color paper, markers, crayons, you name it. We love getting creative, so we always stock up on supplies at our Daiso.

    If I have extra time, I get a kick out of browsing through the stationary sets. The Engrish they print on those sometimes is so hilarious, I can’t help but laugh outloud right in the isle.

    They should definitely implement something similar in the States, because the dollar store miserably fails in comparison.

  17. Oh, I forgot to mention that the soba shop in the same shopping area as the Big Ginowan 100 Yen store is very good. It is on the other side of the parking lot. I was there with my friends, and we had the Yakisoba, the Okinwawa soba and then another soba that had a lot of veggies in it but I didn’t get the name of. Just in case you get hungry after searching for deals at the 100 yen shop or the DIY store.

  18. Thank you for the pronuciation…now to repeat it 100 times in my head so that I don’t forget!

    Ok, all these fun finds seals the deal! I am headed to the 100Yen store today! yay! I needed to get out of the house anyway…right?!

    Bambi, I will look for those chopsticks for Tabatha. 🙂

  19. There are these awesome net things at the hundred yen that I love. They are like hairnets for the metal kitchen sink drain covers you have in off base housing. Usually the food sticks in the tiny drain cover holes and it’s a pain to get it all out. Not with the drain-nets! Just toss it out and your drain is clean as a whistle. It’s the one disposable cleaning-type item that I really can’t help but love.

    100 yen also has the best dry erase board markers! They don’t run out in about a week like the American kind. Plus they are refillable!

    Awesome sesame seed grinders!

  20. Aviva> I love your story about the hotel! How funny!!! Now I want to go to the 100 yen store in Ginowan. I love Uniqlo, too. That means I can go to the two of my favorite stores at once! Thanks for the info.! I will try the Makeman if I have my 3 year old monkey with me. She loves fish, so that will work! Thanks for the tip!

    Cathryn> Every time I go there, I easily spend an hour! Time flies there!

    Bambi> Thanks for helping with the pronunciation.

    Julia> I didn’t know that there was one on Gushikawa Jusco Mall! As for the piggy bank, it wouldn’t work for us if we can open and close it, so it’s great that it has to be broken to get the money out. Try it!

    Iko> You must live really south! Tomigusuku! I would love to check it out when I pick up someone at the airport.

    Mishka> I love their origami papers! I bought many of them for my daughter. She likes to cut them in small pieces… I also love their stickers. They are great! Every time I see new stickers that make me want to buy more! Office supplies are awesome, too! You wrote exactly what I thought that I would write for “sen”.

  21. I use the one at Naval Kadena, the big one in Ginowan, and the one at the Makeman store the most. I have been to others all over the island but those are the ones I hit the most. I tend to buy dishes, laundry bags, plastic gloves for cooking, wrapping paper, gardening, and beading supplies, origami paper, classical CDs, funny stickers, snacks, hanger hooks, office supplies, stamping supplies, chopsticks, bracelets, fans and anything else I can find that I can use. I have never shopped at the dollar stores in the States but they don’t compare to the 100 yen store. When we left the island last time and didn’t think we were coming back, I stocked up on lots of things I thought I would never see again.

    Sumimasen

    Su (as in Sue)
    Mi (like the me in me myself and I)
    Ma (as in mama)
    Sen (as in send a gift without the d)

    Hope this helps.

  22. The new 100yen store in Tomiton is amoung the biggest i’ve seen…and i’ve seen a few 😉

    Its just past Naha airport in Tomigusuku, in a small shopping area almost opposite the discount Outlet Mall (Ashibinaa). There is a terrific gourmet-type supermarket underneath. In the same mall is a very kid friendly food-court.

  23. Absolutely love the 100 yen stores here. Some of our favorite dishes are from there. I love the kiddie plates too…they’re so cute and have made great gift sets for my nieces back in the States.

    Thanks for the tip on the those piggy banks! I saw one a couple of days ago and was thinking of getting it but they said you have to open it with a can opener. I guess it was easier to pop the lid open I would never make it to 100,000 yen!

    The 100 yen stores by Navel Kadena and Uniqlo are definite favorites of mine. And there’s also the one on the 2nd floor of the Gushikawa Jusco mall.

  24. Cathryn-
    You’ll have to pick Tabatha up some of those chopsticks. I haven’t seen those at the one by our house. I’ll give you 100 yen for it! As for Sumimasen we were told to pronounce it Sue-me-ma-sin

  25. I was not really a fan of the dollar stores in the US but I love love LOVE the 100Yen stores here. I can browse the isles for a good hour everytime I go. They carry the neatest little gadgets. One of my favorite finds was cute chopsticks (blue) with purple dragon flies on them. I also love the glassware they have.

    On the Sumimasen…does anyone have the pronuciation? I want to be sure and say it the right way.

  26. I learned gomennasai really early because we live in an apartment that is located in a hotel. There is a hotel room with the same number as my apartment, but when you come out of the elevator, it’s easy to get mixed up b/c you see the door right there.

    Now it’s just funny – “Honey – the Japanese hotel guests are trying to break in again…” as I hear a key in our lock. I open the door and the “Gomennasai”s commence (along with a lot of bowing and sheepish smiles) as I show the sweet couple the way across the walkway to their proper room.

    Sumimasen seems to be more respectful & polite, and I have never used it at a restaurant or anywhere without getting an IMMEDIATE response. Service is impeccable in Okinawa in general, but sumimasen is a great tool!

    The 100Y store in Ginowan in the corner of the Uniqlo shopping center on 58 is the Target of 100Y stores! Love that place. I find little things I like about many of them, but the one in Ginowan is so huge and not as packed in. My friends on Courtney make the pilgrimage down there to shop, so I figure it’s one of the best in the central island.

    I get a delicious strawberry drink at the one on route 23 near Cocok – and they ONLY have it there.

    And I love the one in Best too, Kaho – they have great bath toys.

    Lastly, I like the one inside Makeman (the Monkey Store) in Mihama. I like that it’s part of a big home store that I can accomplish so many things in – and entertain the kiddo for a while. (especially at the fish tanks! It’s like going to the aquarium!)

  27. Lan, thanks for the comment posted so quickly! I just went to one near Kadena Gate 2, at the end of Park Avenue Street inside the “Best Electronic Store” building. Do you know which one I’m talking about? They have really cute gift bags that I think you want to get. I bought 5 of them! I also bought gift wrap for baby items. I have an gift closet as well! How interesting!

  28. What a great post, Kaho! Can’t wait to use my first “sumimasen”! W/3 kiddos, we visit 100 yen stores on a weekly basis to shop for both neccessities and just for fun. We NEVER leave empty-handed. I just went yesterday and grabbed all kinds of gift wrap, bags, giftboxes, treat bags, etc. for my expanding gift closet and plan on coming back for more before we leave b/c they’re so inexpensive and have a different look than westernized gift wrappings. Also love the different ceramics to use as sugar bowls, sauce containers, etc. as well as the colorful glassware, too. My daughter also loves purchasing the paper fans there, which make great souvenirs.
    My favorite 100 yen store is the one at Navel Kadena b/c it’s big and next to Mr. Donut! 🙂 I’m curious to see which 100 yen stores are favorites and why b/c I’m always ready to check out new ones!

    • We love the one that’s down 58, from Kadena gate 1, you pass Foster, take the big road split to the right an its way down on the right. That’s about as accurate as I can get… I mean, we can drive there… but directions-wise…. ppppssshhhhh.

      The wife and I documented one of our 100 yen store excursions:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eY5HT1bvq0

      You can see the loads and loads of stuff they have. Its fun to just look around at all the practical things (and ridiculous things) there are for purchase in these stores!

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