100 yen shops (100円ショップ, Hyaku En Shoppu) are a type of discount store that sell a wide range of products for 108 yen (100 yen plus 8 percent consumption tax). This corresponds roughly to one US dollar, making these shops a great source for travelers and residents on a budget.
Typically everything in the store costs 100 yen per item; however, they often sell smaller things, such as candy and snacks, in multiples of 2 or 3 for 100 yen. Some stores also sell selected items for more than 100 yen, which are usually priced in multiples of 100 yen. These items will be clearly marked, and, although more expensive, are usually still a good value for the price.
There are thousands of 100 yen shops across Japan, ranging in size from multi-story "department stores" to small corners in shopping malls. Market leader Daiso operates over 3000 stores nationwide.
100 yen shops are able to offer an amazing range of products, many of which are their own store-branded goods, at a price that is sometimes below the product's actual value. They do this mainly by purchasing products in huge quantities directly from manufacturers, which are often located in countries with low production and labor costs.
Below is a selection of products typically found at 100 yen shops: