The Daiso Diaries: Chapter 4


Okay, at some point, enough is enough. I haven’t heard back from the Daiso in Melbourne and I’m not waiting any longer. Hence, I’ve decided to go ahead with what I had planned to write a few weeks back. I’m sticking to my original memories though, which may, or may not, as I said, be historical facts. Whatever the case, I’d like to tell you the fairy-tale version.

Once upon a time… about seven or so years ago, on a late summer’s afternoon (I may be lying about the season, I can’t actually remember) in Melbourne, I was hot and bothered and wanted to get out of the sun. I was trying desperately to find something to distract me from buying more books at the dozens of bookshops that surrounded me in the CBD, when I stumbled down a rabbit-hole. Actually, I do remember falling some stairs, an escalator I think, which led me to…


Yes, Daiso.

I suddenly found myself surrounded by Japanese products that instantly transported me (figuratively, not literally, obviously!) back to my time in Japan that I missed so desperately. Yes, I’m talking about things like the 100 yen shops that I used to spend hours scouring for things to send back to my family and friends in Australia.

Now let me just say, I can’t remember the names of the 100 yen shops I frequented and I don’t actually remember any of them being Daiso stores, but still, the same familiar feeling was there.

Unfortunately, though, this was Australia and unlike the fairy-tale price of 100 yen per item in Japan, I was now paying at least $2.80 for most products. Come to think of it, 100 yen stores actually used to be 100 yen total per product, but with the 8% increase in tax… well… you know the story.

So yes, that was how Daiso and I first met. We became more intimate in 2014 when I moved back to Japan, funnily (and completely coincidentally… or not, if you believe in fate) to the birthplace of Daiso: Higashihiroshima. I cannot say I like Daiso’s hometown though, but that’s a WHOLE different story.

And speaking of stories, I’d like to end this week’s column with a funny story featuring my mum and Daiso. She’s going to love me telling you this.

I have a friend called Daiki who works at a bar I used to go to all the time. Two years ago, when my mum came to visit I took her there for a drink and introduced her to him. She fell in love with him straight away just as I did and after showering him (and the other bartenders) with souvenirs, became a fan for life.

During her visit, she also went to Daiso for the first time and ended up being a huge fan of that too. Can you see where this is going?

Fast forward a few months and a lot of Skype conversations later and she came out with, “By the way, how’s Daiso?”

Huh? My mind was flicking through memories trying to make the connection to what she was talking about.

“The shop?” I had replied.

“No, your friend. How is he?”

Then it clicked.

Daiso, Daiki.

I’ve never let her forget and I made sure to tell Daiki too who lost his shit laughing at her.

Thanks Mum. 🙂

If you don’t hear from me next week you’ll know that my mum was pissed and killed me for telling everyone this story.

Hopefully though…


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