One of the stores we always make a visit to while we're in Japan is the Daiso store. Daiso was around when we were kids, but throughout the years, their products have really expanded. Daiso is a huge franchise that sells a range of products from kitchen goods to travel goods to stationery and more all priced at 100 yen (~US $1).
We've even seen some television shows in Japan where they talk about new items in the Daiso store and one of the episodes revealed the process of how they pick products to put in their stores. One of the key things to having your product placed in a Daiso store is that it had to be practical and made of great quality. Meaning you shouldn't have to discard the product after one use due to poor craftsmanship. The competition is tough as everyone wants to have their merchandise sold in a Daiso, which means great products for the consumer.
The quality of the products is amazing for the price point. We've purchased products at the American dollar stores and more often than not, the product only lasts after one use. This is not the case with the products we've purchased at Daiso.
We've been to Daiso more times than we can count and we both have our favorite sections in the store. My (Candy) favorite section is the "Kitchen Goods" section. I love cooking and I always find useful kitchen gadgets here. This year I found a handy dandy tool for those hot plates that come straight out of the microwave and a ginger grater that can also be used as a spoon.
Another section I head to is the footwear section. It's a section where I have bought shoe cleaners, insoles, non-slip shoe stickers, and more. I'm clearly someone that takes footwear seriously! I can't help but buy all these helpful footwear products when they are only a 100 yen each. I've looked up these items on Amazon and usually the price point starts at five dollars.
Crystal's favorite section is the "Bento Goods" area. Bento boxes are lunch boxes and inside these lunch boxes, you can add these cute little products to make yours look extra special and kawaii. For example, these adorable toothpicks with the shape of different animals is so stickin' cute! And if you want a more masculine toothpick selection, they've got you covered with ninja stars.
Her second favorite section is the area where they have different size bags and pouches. She buys at least 5 different sizes every time she's at a Daiso store because she always finds a use for them for her camera gear. For example, she uses the little pouch for her camera batteries and the medium pouch for her camera cables.
These are just a couple of the sections in the store that we spend extra time in, but there are plenty more sections to explore such as makeup and accessories, laundry goods, cleaning products, snacks, storage boxes, dishes, souvenirs, and a whole bunch more.
We usually go to the Daiso store near our home in Narita, but if you're in the Tokyo area, the Daiso store in Harajuku is a great one to stop by as it has 3 floors worth of merchandise. Most of them carry similar products, but the larger ones have a lot more variety.
This time when we went to Daiso, we both spent about 3,000 yen (~US $28) each. When we enter the store, we always end up going our separate ways and an hour later, we show each other what we've found. To give an idea of how much stuff is in these stores, we usually find something the other didn't and end up going back in to buy it. It's so hard to resist at 100 yen an item. You can find some Daiso locations in the United States, but most of them are in California. The other two states with a Daiso is Texas and Washington. I've been to a few Daiso stores in California and they have many of the same products as the ones in Japan, but the Daiso in Japan definitly has a lot more variety.