It’s not particularly easy to find Japanese products in Portugal so you can imagine how delighted I was when I first came to New Zealand and realized I could buy all sorts of Japanese stuff. Let’s say that I’ve done a good amount of spending because of it but I don’t regret it as I actually got to taste weird Japanese snacks that otherwise I wouldn’t. And now that I’m probably never going back I feel super happy to be able to experience those things.
Japanese Shops in Auckland
This is a guide about Japanese shops in Auckland city. I decided to share all this knowledge as it took me some time to find out the pros and cons of each of the stores. I hope you find it useful and if you don’t find Japanese products as interesting as I do, most of them sell cheap household items which may help your budget if you find yourself living for some time in Auckland.
I’ll start with the ones that sell mostly non food items. Both of the stores have a model 3.5NZD all items or 3 items 10NZD. One of the things to be aware on these stores is that you’ve to evaluate whether or not an item is really worth 3.5$, it may seem super cheap but some of the items are compensating the others. It all depends on our perspective as well, I may have bought something that cannot be found in Portugal at all which others may buy cheaply in another country.
287 Queen St, Auckland
I heard about Daiso before going to New Zealand and it seemed a regular dollar store but with cute items. I’m sure that in Japan these stores are way bigger but I found that it had a good variety and obviously lots of cute stuff! Recently, they remodeled the store and it has now more aisles, which means more items!
Can you understand why you can lose yourself here? I actually behave quite well as most of the time I let my practical “I don’t need this” win over “OMG it’s so cute”.
Verdict: They’ve a good variety of cute stationary and some other cute stuff which cannot be found anywhere else and it’s hard not to buy everything in the store.
Japan Dollar Mart
138/152 Queen St, Auckland
This store may look a little bit sketchy when you enter, because you’ve got to go down a flight of stairs into a cave to get to the store, but I promise you’ll survive. Unlike Daiso, there are items that are marked that differ from the regular price, mostly shampoos or big pans.
It’s usually less busy than Daiso and you can find lots of interesting items there as well. They’ve more variety of household items but the stationary section is nothing special compared to Daiso’s.
Verdict: You can shop quietly here without having to constantly move around for people to pass. They’ve more variety of household items and you can find different brands of shampoo here as well.
This is my favorite Japanese shop in Auckland, it has a little bit of everything. Next to it there is a liquor store (that belongs to them as well) but honestly I never tried any of the Japanese liquors in there.
Some of the things that you can find here: all kinds of Japanese food, from sauces to tofu; stationary; all sort of stuff for the kitchen and bath; beauty products and even rice cookers! So yes, you’ll find something for everyone in this shop. One of the things that I’d like to point out is some housewares that exist in Daiso, also exist here and everything from this section is 3$ each instead of 3.5$, this may not seem like much but everything adds up! I recommend you to go to both before buying everything at Daiso’s.
If you’re fan of Japanese food or just plain curious about their cuisine, I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed with the selection. They also have a section where you can find items that are near their expiration date, it’s particularly useful if you want to try out some snacks but want to save some money. I don’t enjoy spending too much money in snacks/candy and with this is a win-win situation for both the seller and the buyer!
Made In Nippon
This shop is quite smaller in relation to the one above but it has two things that cannot be found in none of the stores I talked on this guide. They sell traditional Japanese clothes (like yukata) and books in Japanese. Since I learn Japanese you can imagine how happy I was to find books in the language for 3NZD each! It has an interesting selection and you’ll probably find yourself bringing more than you can carry. It has manga as well but most of the collections that they had didn’t really interest me.
They also sell food but their selection is worse than Japan Mart. They sell a lot of items near their expiration date so I guess they’ve more difficulty on selling. They do however have an interesting teapot collection, if that’s something you’ve an interest in.
Please let me know what you think if you ever visited any of these stores! Or if this guide inspired you to go check them out!
(Originally this post was a two part series but I have now merged the two posts together to be easier to find all the info that you need!)