The 100yen shop (or Hyaku-En Shop, as they say in Japanese, which would make the title of this post nice and alliterative) licks the US Dollar Store into a cocked hat.

Whatever that means.

It’s bigger, for one, sells a larger variety of goods, and each one you pick up the thought “this can’t possibly be 100yen!” floats unbidden through your mind. From the packaging to the instructions, the design to the coloring, pretty much every product is amazing, useful, cute, or something you’ve been missing in your life up until now. But for those homesick for Dollar Tree, they do sell ceramic cherub centerpieces (though in small supply).

Here is what I bought, for $0.97 a piece at today’s exchange rate:

1.) 3 dual-direction zippers – almost as good as YKK brand from Jo-Anns that they charge $5.49 apiece for. Grrrr. DIY Kate Cusack zipper cuff, here I come!!

2.) Paint for ceramics (in white and pink)

3.) Super-long-handled sporks and heart-shaped mini foil cups. Hub was thrilled at finding sporks, since we don’t have any at home, and threw these into the basket, not noticing that they were super-long-handled (for parfaits and sundaes). So now we have a complete set of parfait sporks. Or just sporks for eating food at great distances, which may in fact prove useful at some point in time.

4.) Pack of 3 Jewel-print plastic file sleeves.

5.) Eyelash extensions. I used up all the extensions that came in my Ardell Duralash kit long ago, and since I have tons of the glue left, I wanted to get proper extensions to use with it. (The individual clumps of eyelashes for single-day use do not work at all.) This was the only thing in my shopping that cost more than 100yen – 314 yen, to be exact ($3.10).

6.) 2 double-layered snap-lid boxes and a heart-shaped mirror. (I plan to DIY them after I get back to the States.) The Japanese love it when everything has a place and is in it. So many boxes and cases and compartments…for just about everything you own! I want to go home and box my whole house up into pretty, multi-functional cases.

7.) Clear fake nails with rhinestone and glitter art. Not sure where I’ll wear them, but they’re just so pretty…

8.) Mini-notebook and regular notebook. So many products in Japan are so incredibly chatty. They have English all over them as if they’re desperate to tell us something. The large notebook is the “Fruit Train” notebook. “Welcome to the country of the fruit,” is its kind greeting. “What do you see in this fruit? It is a train that carries your dream.” The majority of my dreams are filled with mini strawberry shortcakes, so this is perfect for me!

9.) Highlighters that draw over an already-highlighted area. Not pictured: Eraseable highlighter and highlighter with acrylic window in the tip so you can read the words as you’re highlighting them. Never had that need myself, but…now I do!

10.) Cute little rhinestone rings on a necklace.

11.) Mini sauce squeezy bottles. Perfect for adding to my son’s bento box that I will be forced to assemble for him twice a week come school days!

12.) White opaque gluesticks. Gluesticks come in a rainbow of colors here – and the crafter in me wants to sing!

13.) Puffy black 3D heart stick-ons, rhinestone variety pack, and 3 packs of mini fake food for all my decorating needs.

And, lastly but not leastly, 14.) 3 erasers for Hub: curry-scented, yakisoba [Japanese chow mein]-scented, and beer-scented.

After all, who would not want to leave the aroma of beer wafting from a freshly-erased page?

Total everything up, and I spent 3014 yen (about $30) on all this bric-a-brac!

xoxox from Tokyo


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