Part 1 of our experiment to see if Daiso is truly the only store anyone ever need to shop at.

As the king of Japan’s 100-yen stores, you can find all sorts of awesome and affordable stuff for your home at Daiso. But can you also find everything you need for your campsite there?

That was our question, and there was only one man for the job of finding the answer: our Japanese-language reporter Go Hattori.

Go is a self-trained Daiso expert, having tested and reviewed 475 different items from the chain. Recently he’s noticed that the chain is carrying more and more outdoor goods, and he wanted to see if he could put together a set of everything you’d need for a one-night camping trip entirely with things you can buy at Daiso.

First, let’s lay down the ground rules. While almost everything at Daiso costs just 100 yen, they do have a handful of more expensive items, and these were fair game. We’re also letting Go use his own clothes and backpack, since pretty much everyone in public transportation-reliant Japan already owns a bag. And last, he can take one serving (150 grams [5.3 ounces] of rice, uncooked, with him.

And with that, it’s off to the campsite!

▼ Go, Go!

As is so often the case, we immediately hit a snag. See, ever since we sent one of our reporters to go check out Japan’s cave of death a few years ago, our lawyers have been on our back about something they call “diabolical endangerment of human life,” and they haven’t exactly eased up after we sent another reporter to visit Japan’s tunnel of death (a totally separate site from the cave of death) a couple months ago. So they advised us against sending Go out into the woods equipped with only the cheapest possible supplies we could find without knowing for sure whether he’d survive.


…Go just so happens to live in a top-floor apartment with a massive rooftop balcony that’s the envy of all who gaze upon it, and this is where he’d be setting up his Daiso camp, cooking his meals, and spending the night.

The first order of business was to set up his tent, a quick-expand sunshade.

This was one a 1,000-yen Daiso item that Go splurged on, but that’s the most he spent for any individual item in his camping bundle.

Next it was time to unpack and cook lunch. Yes, believe it or not, Go was planning to enjoy multiple hot meals with the help of his Daiso supplies.

Since our experiment is assuming you’re camping at a campground, you should at least have access to tap water. But since he didn’t want to cheat, Go had also made sure to pick up a 100-yen water bag, that holds 3.9 liters (131.9 ounces) of liquid, since he’d still need someway to transport the water from the tap to his tent.

And as long as you’ve got water, a pot, and a heat source, you can cook rice!

▼ Go’s 300-yen mini stove, 500-yen aluminum camping cooking pot, and 100-yen solid cooking fuel and lighter

Gourmand that he is, Go poured his rice and some water into the pot, but chose to wait 30 minutes to let the grains soak up the moisture so they’d be extra fluffy after cooking. While the uncooked rice was soaking, he set up the stove and fuel.

But because they’re so simple to set up, they didn’t take anywhere close to 30 minutes to set up. What to do with the rest of his rice-soaking time?

Why, use the other pot he’d bought, plus the Blendy Stick instant cocoa powder he’d also picked up at Daiso, to make himself a cup of hot chocolate and pour it into his 300-yen stainless steel drinking mug.

He also slipped on a pair of 100-yen gloves (actually 50-yen, since they come two pairs to a pack) so that he could keep his fingers protected from the chill of the wind as he sipped the cocoa and it warmed his body from the inside.

▼ This would be the first of many times Go noticed that things just taste better when you’re outside.

Oh, and that folding stool? You guessed it: Daiso (150 yen).

By this point, Go’s rice had had ample time to soak, so it was time to start cooking it.

Like most modern Japanese people, Go uses an electric rice cooker for his at-home meals. Cooking like this, though, had a rustic appeal to it, and he started to feel like a rugged mountain man.

▼ There’s no law that says rugged mountain men can’t like cocoa too.

There was a problem, though. Between the smell of the cocoa and the smell of the still cooking rice, Go’s appetite was getting seriously stimulated. Luckily, he’d foreseen just such a situation, and once again Daiso offered an effective countermeasure.

Fried potato snacks!

Being alone in the wilderness, no one was going to scold Go for snacking between meals, he tore open the bag and happily crunched into their salty deliciousness, gazing up at the late-autumn clouds between mouthfuls.

With his rice now having had enough time to cook, Go took it off the stove, turned the pot upside down, and wrapped it in a 100-yen towel to give it a final bit of extra steaming.

Apprehensively, he unwrapped the towel, opened the lid, and…

Success! He had a whole pot full of beautifully cooked white rice!

White rice alone isn’t much of a meal, though, but Go wasn’t in trouble there, since Daiso also sells canned goods, and he had a 100-yen tin of iwashi (sardine) in soy sauce.

▼ That’s honestly a pretty nice-looking cut of fish!

“So good!”

However, like most of the staff at SoraNews24, Go is a growing boy…or is it that a lot of us are immature men? We forget which. In any case, there was one more element to his Daiso camping lunch…


Made by Glico, a respected and popular Japanese food company, medium-spicy curry is unique in that you can eat it right out of the pouch, with no cooking required (it’ll also keep for five years before opening). With Go’s rice still piping hot, he poured the roux on, and just looking at it had his mouth watering.

▼ 100-yen spoon, collapsible chopsticks, and fork

▼ Again, everything tastes better when you eat it in the open air.

Go was feeling both great and full, but this is still just the start of his adventure. Remember, the test is to see if he could put together supplies for an overnight camping trip at Daiso, and when he finally come out of his curry coma and looked up, he saw the skies were growing darker with the approach of twilight.

Hang in there, Go, and we’ll check back to see how you’re doing (i.e. if you survive) in Part 2!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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