While much of Tokyo is costly to travel and be entertained in, there is one small saving grace, and that is the 100yen shops.
While there are many to choose from, offering anything under the sun, there are several I prefer. Lawson Store 100, Flet's, and Daiso. All offer everything from edible products to cleaning supplies and most are open 24 hours just incase you need something at a moments notice.
Traveling around Tokyo the largest 100yen shop you will probably find is Daiso. There are stand-alone stores, ones in a shopping center, and even ones inside other stores, so keep your eyes peeled. Daiso offers all the usual things you would find at the larger chain stores, just at what is sometimes a far greater savings. And don’t worry about thinking you are getting an inferior product. The items offered are actually far superior to those that are offered at the 99cent store and Dollar Tree back in the states. The items from those stores tend to be made with only profits in mind. But the items at Daiso are well crafted, and will hold up for a long time. You could even do your gift shopping at Daiso for all your friends back home!
The next shop is Flet's. Felt's is all around Japan actually and offers the same products as the other stores, with one greater product, Wi-fi! If you are looking for a cheap drink to cool down in the summer, or a hot one to warm you up in the winter and just need to grab some quick info online, then head over to Flet's. You could browse the isles looking at all the great items, check your mail, grab your drink and head back out. Some of the Flet’s signs are written in Katakana (one of the Japanese alphabet) so just look for the 100yen logo written in white on a red background (there is another shop named Can do, with the same style of logo, and they are great as well).
The last and possibly the best one is Lawson store 100. I find that there are a lot more Lawson Store 100′s scattered around the Tokyo area than the other stores, some being in the same vicinity of a regular full price Lawson store, or other chain convenience store. I enjoy the simplicity that this 100yen shop gives me when I am in hurry, but also as a great place do my shopping as a supplement to the grocery store and other shopping markets. I find that juices, coffee, and sometimes fruit is far cheaper to purchase at Lawson store 100 compared to the larger chain grocery stores.
So next time you have a moment to explore the neighborhood you are staying in, find out if there is a 100yen shop that you can do some shopping at to help stretch your travel budget. Because spending your hard earned dollars on enjoying your stay in Japan is much more of a value than you think!
Lawson store 100 : http://www.99plus.co.jp/
Flet's 100yen shop : http://www.ontsu.co.jp/f_jigyo.html
Daiso : http://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/english/