I can already hear my mom's heart beat quickening as she realizes this post is about a place where you can get bargains! I got it from both sides growing up when it came to looking for a deal. Chris is amazed at how quickly I can give him a percent off at a sale, but I've got nothing on my mom and dad. They grew up in the time before we "cheated" with calculators and their math skills are razor sharp. I don't know if the 100 Yen stores ever have sales, but they definitely have bargains.
I went with the intent of getting stuff for my best friend's birthday and on that end struck out (sorry Mary - your present might be late). However, I did come home with some pictures of some pretty funny things you can buy for just 100 little yen.
My first stop was a section completely devoted to insect care. Yes, that's right - insect care. Why, you ask, would anyone need to care for insects? Well, because people keep giant beetles for pets!
This beetle was on our front porch one night, but I've seen these guys for sale on the side of the road.
If you decide to invest in a beetle, you might need this:
"Big Insect Jelly Brown Sugar" - mmmmmmm...
And if you really love your beetle, you are going to need this:
Your very own insect care kit! I'm not exactly sure what you're brushing on a beetle, but you've got 2 brushes to choose from.
Those of you who live here already know that a lot of Japanese smoke. I mean a lot! Well, the 100 Yen store had lots of ashtrays to choose from, but this one was my favorite:
"Taking break refreshes your mind. Be careful not to smoke too much." I think it's almost as good as the surgeon general's warning.
And while Okinawans might not be opposed to lung cancer with all their cigarettes, they are definitely against skin cancer (or at least getting a tan).
This desire to stay light leads to items such as driving gloves and arm covers.
When you're done playing with your beetle, smoking, and driving you might want to take a bath. Maybe you could use one of these:
Charcoal soap (thanks for the heads up blogger Mary)
Or maybe this is more your cup of tea:
Green tea soap - I tell you there's green tea in everything here!
Or maybe you'd like a nice family bath:
Alright, I don't know if this is really for a family bath since it's all in Japanese, but that's what the picture looks like to me.
When you're nice and clean and it's time to cook a little dinner for your family, don't forget to use the right tongs! I have never seen so many tongs. You've got your:
Spaghetti tongs and Ice tongs
Multi-purpose tongs (if you're a slacker who doesn't care about if your family has their food picked up by indeterminate tongs)
Strong nylon noodle tongs
Or maybe you prefer metal noodle tongs?
Fried food tongs
Turner tongs (that's right - tongs just for flipping food over)
The ever useful combo salad and bread tongs.
With all these tongs you can't go wrong. However, if the dinner you're preparing looks a little scummy, you might need these:
"scum remove sheet on a ladle" OR
perhaps a "scum absorbent sheet"
When you're done with your perfectly tonged, scum free food you might want to relax with:
I'm not sure if they actually contain any part of the snake or turtle, but I have heard that locals believe that drinking the venom from the Habu snake will give you vitality.
Apparently, even skinny Okinawans worry about their weight because I found these:
I've got to say the cheese flavored one kind of scares me.
I hope you've enjoyed your 100 Yen Store tour. It truly is a place with unlimited treasures just waiting to be discovered.