Japanese bargains aplenty at Daiso, Melbourne

There’s a new store in Melbourne that’s causing a wave of kawaii-mania.

Daiso is Japan’s equivalent of the $2 shop. In fact, it’s the 100¥ shop which converts in Australian dollars to $2.80. So, as you set foot into this amazing store, packed to the rafters with all things cute, odd and sometimes a complete mystery, know that everything costs just $2.80. Yes, $2.80. Whether you’re buying kitchen knives or hair accessories, mobile phone charms or storage bins, everything is the same price.

I took my five-year-old daughter along for my first visit to Daiso. She was stopped in her tracks by the children’s umbrellas at the door – a thrilling array of colours and patterns. After selecting one with yellow and white polka-dots, she moved on to the hair accessories – bows, bobbles and clips galore, many featuring the kawaii trademark strawberry pattern.

I hit my stride in the homewares aisle – chopsticks in a rainbow of colours, bento boxes, rice moulds, banana slicers and so much more.

In the health aisle, it was a case of lost in translation. I’m still trying to understand the ‘Shoulder Tapping Strawberry’ (a plastic strawberry on the end of a stick, presumably for tapping someone on the shoulder?!) and the huge selection of ‘Health Rollers’ for various body parts – apparently fingers, necks, feet and foreheads all need separate foam rollers.

I was back in familiar territory in the stationery section. We went crazy for the gorgeous packets of origami papers (the five-year-old’s craft has never looked so chic), erasers shaped liked ice creams, fancy tapes and all sorts of cute notebooks and pens.

Apart from acquiring an umbrella, some little strawberry snack boxes and a stack of hair accessories, my daughter’s pick of the day were furry ear muffs. She’s had a lot of wear out of them (both inside and outside) since!

Daiso has three stores in Melbourne – in the CBD, Abbotsford and Doncaster. A Highpoint store, in Melbourne’s west, is opening soon and hopefully there’s more to come!


Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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