We Blew 30 Dollars at Hawai‘i’s First Daiso Store and Here’s What We Got
A face roller, sausage stamps and a 40-minute wait to get in. Oh my!
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: SAKE CUPS, SAKE BOTTLE, $1.50 EACH. PUCHAO GUMMY CANDIES, $1 EACH. CREPE AND FOAM DARUMA, $1.50. YUZEN CHIYOGAMI 24-SHEET ORIGAMI PAPER SET, $1.50. PORCELAIN DISHES, $1.50 EACH. SCENTED ERASER SET, $1.50. FACE ROLLER, $1.50. WOOD KOKESHI DOLL, $1.50. THREE-PIECE SAUSAGE STAMP SET, $1.50. SALT-AND-PEPPER SEASONING MIX, $1.50. COLOR STAPLES SET, $1.50. PAPER NAPKIN SET, $1.50. RAIN COAT WITH TOTE, $3.
PHOTOS: Aaron K. Yoshino
First it was Bath & Body Works, then Anthropologie and H&M, and before we knew it, we had a weekly Target run on our schedules. Slowly but surely, our favorite off-island companies (Ikea and Olive Garden, we’re comin’ for you) have been making their way to our shores.
The latest addition is Japanese home goods store Daiso, known for its ridiculously affordable products—which opened its first Hawai‘i outpost on Dec. 12 at Pearl City Shopping Center. The buzz around the store has been big, with lines to match—during the first few weeks customers were lining up as early as 7 a.m. (the store opens at 9 a.m.).
Armed with a whopping $30 (a small fortune by Daiso standards), we decided to check it out. Scroll down for our handy Daiso cheat sheet, plus a look at our 19-item (yes 19!) haul.
Plan to wait. We went during the first week of January thinking that surely the craziness would have died down and we’d breeze right in. Boy, were we wrong. We showed up at 10 a.m. and the line was 50 people deep. An employee let us know that it had started at 8:15 a.m. and that the store only lets 150 shoppers in at a time. Bring a friend to talk story with—said employee quoted us a 10-to-15-minute wait but it actually took us 40 minutes to finally get inside.
You’ll find everything from stationery, bento accessories and Japanese beauty products (double eyelid tape galore) to art supplies, keiki toys and kawaii snacks; be sure to check out the too-adorable-to-eat candy sushi.
Most of the store is dedicated to home items, including rows and rows of plastic storage containers, dinnerware (ceramic cups and sauce dishes), gardening tools, and clever bath and kitchen items designed to make your life more efficient. Think floral drain covers, jar openers, laundry-hanging contraptions and more.
Most every item in the Pearl City location is $1.50, unless labeled differently. The cheapest item we could find was 75-cent candy. The two most expensive were a large rice container and foam mannequin head which both rang in at $8.
The Hot-Ticket Items
Keep an eye out for Daiso Soft Clay—something of which we’d never heard but apparently sold out immediately. It’s a clay that comes in multiple colors that you can mold into whatever you like. Daiso also sells tiny molds so you can shape the clay into miniature doughnuts, ice cream cones and more. The other quick sellers: Daiso’s pens and sponges, which come in cheery heart, cloud and raindrop shapes.
Considering that a lot of items were sold out, we were pretty stoked on what we left with. A sake set for $4.50? Awesome! A geo-print rain coat that folds into a little tote for $3. Pretty sweet! And who doesn’t need a floral face massager and stamps to give your sausages happy little faces? In total we shelled out $31.57, but for 19 items it seemed like a steal.
Pearl City Shopping Center, 850 Kamehameha Highway, Suite 140-B, Pearl City, (808) 456-2821, www.daisojapan.com. Open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.