Three great Japanese discount stores

AFTER trawling various Japanese discount stores in the CBD and online, our bargain queen Tracy Pham brings you three of the best. 

Melbourne is an amazing city, open to all different cultures and ways of living. The city is also home to some good and not-so-great Asian bargain stores. As well as giving you more bang for your buck, these shops are great if you’re missing  the culture, art and everyday life back home.

I particularly love how products are packaged at these stores. Japanese designs are more alive, spirited and energetic. Most of their product designs and packaging are based on nature and all things cute. In fact, they go to great lengths to add tiny details like faces, eyes and smiles to products to make them more kawaii (that’s ‘lovable’ in Japanese) and the shopping experience more fun.

Here are my three favourite Japanese discount stores.


Photo: Tania Candido

Photo: Tania Candido

Daiso is Japan’s largest value store, also known as the ‘100yen’ store. While it has more than 200,000 products on display, nothing – and we mean nothing – costs more than $2.80. I love all the cute zakka (a Japanese term for everything that improves your home, life, and appearance) and crafty products. I also adore the bath salts, origami paper, tea cups and different-sized containers. You can even get cute lunch boxes here!

The Daiso range includes everything from cosmetics to cookware, homeware, kitchenware, stationery, toys, personal care items, lifestyle products, novelty gifts, food, DIY and more unusual and unique products. I’m a massive Daiso fan! It’s so cheap and nice that I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t be.

Daiso has five stores in Victoria, and the biggest is located at 246 Bourke St in the city. You can also find Daiso in Abbotsford, Box Hill, Doncaster, and Highpoint. Check out their website for more information.

Cool from Asia

Photo: Tania Candido

Photo: Tania Candido

Chapel Street is one of Melbourne’s favourite shopping, dining and entertainment precincts. With a pleasing mix of quality chain stores, op shops and one-of-a-kind lairs of intriguing wares, it is the place to peruse, be amused and splash some cash.

Cool from Asia sells high-quality, yet affordable goods that are made completely in Japan. In fact, 90 per cent of the goods in store are set at the great price of $2.80 each.

All the merchandise in the store is said to have been chosen by shop owner Miao based on their cuteness, cool factor, and convenience. The stuff here is meant to touch the hearts of Japanese customers, as well as people living in Australia, with products that are excellent in both design and usefulness.

New items are stocked every week, so you’re always assured a new discovery no matter when you visit the store.

Cool from Asia is at 357 Chapel Street, South Yarra.

Ichiba Junction


A screenshot of Ichiba Junction’s homepage.

Where can you do your shopping at midnight in your pajamas? How can you avoid the crowds and buy everything in minutes without having to wait until a shop assistant is ready to help you with your purchases? Online of course!

Ichiba Junction is an awesome website with all the favourites for stocking your cupboard, as well as a few extras for yourself or your friends. Take your pick from hundreds of items – From Japanese rice, seasonings, desserts and kitchen goods to kids’ and babies’ gifts, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Delivery fees depend on your preferred mode of delivery and how much you’ve ordered.

Tempted? Hop on over to

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