The quality of 100-yen mugs isn’t what a lot of people expect.

In Japan, this time of year is known as the shin seikatsu, or “new lifestyle” season. Early spring is the start of the school year, and it’s also the start of the business year at most Japanese companies, which is the one time annually that many of them hire new employees, meaning that right about now a lot of young people are moving into their first apartment of their own as they start college or their first adult job.

So this is also the time of year when you’ll hear lots of advice and lifehacks for how to set up a new home, and one common suggestion is to hit up your local 100 yen shop to get your apartment stocked with necessary housewares. Sure, it’s not the fanciest stuff, but if you’re a starving student, professional who’s yet to get your first paycheck, or a recent foreign arrival starting your grand adventure in Japan, cost is probably your main concern. Just buy whatever, and when it inevitably breaks, as you’d imagine cheap goods will, you can replace it with something you really like once you’ve got a little more cash in your bank account, right?

Here’s the thing, though. When I moved to Japan 18 years ago, one of the first things I bought was a coffee cup from 100 yen store Daiso. Here’s a picture of it.

And here’s a picture of the mug I’m drinking from right now as I write this article.

▼ Look familiar?

Yep, almost two decades later, my 100-yen mug, which I put about 30 seconds of thought into choosing, it still serving me just fine. No chips, leaks, or jiggly handle. Not bad for something that’s cost me about US$0.05 a year to use.

It turns out I’m not the only person whose zero-thought, 100-yen choice of coffee cup turned out to be an unexpectedly long-term commitment, either. Japanese Twitter user @0den_den_deden recently shared a picture of their “new lifestyle” cup from the 100 yen store, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary of service, with the warning that 100-yen cups are sturdier than many people expect, so at the very least you should take the time to pick out one with a size and grip that’re just what you’re looking for, since you’re probably going to be stuck together for a while.

Other Twitter users had similar stories to tell:

“It’s not just the coffee cups either. All of the ceramic tableware at 100 yen shops is high-quality stuff.”
“Just someone who’s been using the same 100-yen coffee cup and drinking glass for more than a decade passing by.”
“I have some stuff that I bought at the 100 yen store and only planned on using for a short while, but now I’ve grown emotionally attached to them and can’t bring myself to throw them out and replace them.”
“My husband and I bought a bunch of 100-yen plates when we got married, thinking they’d probably break soon. 14 years later, we still use them.”

So when I say that you should be careful picking out a coffee cup from the 100 yen store, that’s not because you’ll be wasting your money, but because you might be getting something much better than you bargained for, so spend the time to pick out one you really like.

Related: Twitter/@0den_den_deden via Jin
Photos ©SoraNews24
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