Have you ever wanted to go to a store where you could buy basically anything and everything you could possibly need? Japan has a lot of affordable lifestyle stores where you can find everything. From kitchen supplies to stationary, makeup to food, Japan has everything sorted out for you in the form of prominent “lifestyle” stores. Whether your budget is low or high, there’s no end to the array of goods that lifestyle stores offer.
Lifestyle stores, hyakuen (100-yen) shops, variety stores, we may have heard these terms used to describe different types of stores in Japan and around the world. While the price, quality, and aesthetics of these different stores may differ, their purpose is the same. Lifestyle stores are “general goods” stores that usually stock a little of everything from home goods, furniture, groceries, beauty products, etc. These differ from superstores like Walmart or Target, or warehouse-type stores like Costco in that they don’t usually sell in bulk, and they may or may not have some fixed price points for their products.
You can find almost anything in a Japanese lifestyle store, but don’t feel the need to limit your choices to one shop! In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of our favorite lifestyle stores, from low-budget hyakuen shops to more variety-focused department-style stores.
Probably the most well-known Japanese lifestyle store is the 100-yen shop called Daiso, or Daiso Japan to the rest of the world. Daiso has an impressive range of over 70,000 different items, which usually rotate with the seasons. They have several locations throughout Japan, including a 3-floor landmark location in Harajuku. They have also expanded worldwide in over 25 different countries, making their stock easily accessible and affordable around the world.
Daiso products also have remarkable quality, and some are even hailed as must-have goods. Items such as the makeup sponge/brush cleaner and face mask coverings are constantly sold out due to their popularity, and bento rice molds, and other lunch box decoration items are always on rotation.
Another hyakuen shop worth visiting is Seria. They also stock a variety of home goods, and are especially popular for their kitchenware. Compared to Daiso, Seria products have a more simplistic and “serious” style, making them a good fit for anyone who is interested in a more stylish aesthetic.
Seria has an amazing choice of seasonal goods, so that you can get your Halloween, Christmas, and other holiday shopping done easily. This includes a fair amount of decorations and cards that are amazing quality for the price. These stores often have a special display for event/seasonal items located close to the entrance so that customers can drop by for limited-time goods.
They are also popular for their stock of stationary and DIY items, including paints, stationary tapes, lace fittings, and other products that you might use to decorate a picture frame or homemade case. These craft items don’t break the budget and are a fun way to experiment with DIY.
3coins is a similar lifestyle store whose budget is in the 300-yen range, hence its name “3 coins.” Most items can be purchased with 3 100-yen coins, and are amazing in quality for the price. At 3Coins, most items have a basic and minimalist feel to them, and won’t look out of place in your kitchen or dining room.
This store is particularly known for their kitchen and home ware, due to the availability of basic beige designs and other minimalist decorations. They also have a large selection of practical goods, such as reusable eco-bags for your grocery shopping and compression/vacuum bags for storing your lesser-used winter clothing during the summer months.
They also have collaborations every now and then, like this One Piece collaboration that was released last year.
Another famous Japanese lifestyle brand that has made a name for itself around the world is Muji. While a tad bit more expensive than a standard 100-yen or 300-yen shop, Muji prides itself in making very high quality, long-lasting goods that have an unbranded aesthetic. Usually coming in shades of brown, white, and beige, it wouldn’t be difficult to make a very stylish home with only Muji products. It is a very good value for money store, despite the sometimes higher prices.
Around the world, Muji is actually known for their stationary products, stocking anything and everything including notebooks, high quality paper, staplers, and all manner of colored pens and markers. However, in Japan, Muji is known for different kinds of homeland beauty products. A particular favorite among Japanese consumers are their face and body towels, and many people swear by the simplicity of their gel cleansers, lotions, and toning waters.
Regardless of where you go, there’s more than enough goods on the shelf to keep you occupied for a few hours! What would you like to buy at a Japanese lifestyle store?