Chris Kirkland

We’ve recently covered some of Tokyo’s cheapest supermarkets but we have some more gems to share with you still. Donki or Don Quijote (as written on their website) is more than just a supermarket, rather a super cheapo version of a Tokyu Department store.

Typically the shelves are crammed with cheapo goods, the minimum possible floor space is used to allow the cheapo customers in, stores are noisy with the unforgettable “don don don donki…” theme song blasting out of in-store speakers on endless repeat and naturally the clientele will largely comprise of your fellow cheapos, gyaru, gyaru-o etc. A veritable fun park.

What To Buy at Donki?

Well like a department store, a huge variety of goods are on sale and thankfully most of them, if not cheaper are very unlikely to cost more than a typical department store. Do bear in mind that the quality of Donki goods varies somewhat, whilst you’ll seldom find anything expensive the quality can vary from quality import goods (Louis Vuitton bags for example!) to cheap plasticy crap.

Over the years I’ve personally found Donki a reliable source of:

  • Belgian chocolate
  • Crisps, sweets and snacks
  • Many cookery ingredients – typically canned/dried stuff, oils etc
  • Muesli!
  • Any day to day household goods – bleach, mops, washing powder, toilet paper etc
  • Underwear
  • Cheapo cosmetic products (well for my GF mainly)
  • Ceramic Knives
  • Various household electrical goods
  • Condoms, lube and other adult goodies
  • I assume it’s good for booze (but I don’t normally shop for booze)

One simple rule is that Donki is most likely a better option than a 100yen store, which is almost exclusively cheap quality, whereas some of the products on Donki’s shelves are good and cheap (Belgian chocolate for example)

Where and When To Find Donki?

With about half of the Donki branches in Tokyo being 24 hour and most of the rest open till 5am, unless you are a gyaru wanting to pick up some replacement つけまつげ (fake eyelashes) on the way home after clubbing, you can be pretty assured that your local Donki is always going to be open.

For bonus points visit the “Honten Nakameguro” branch, which unlike most stores which are borderline shabby, this one is actually quite spacious and clean, it even has a slightly pretentious air about it (I’ve seen olive oil samples + bread for dipping) presumably to appeal allegedly “higher class” clientele of the area.

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2 Responses to “Donki”

  1. Avatar

    Thanks for the mention of the Honten Nakameguro Donki. That is one I have not yet visited. The image is of the beer cooler at another Donki, the one near the Keisei Aoto Station. Of the visible selections, I alert you to the Yona Yona (on the top shelf – ¥250, between the canned Orion & the bottled Guinness). I always do well obtaining what you have politely scribed as "other adult goodies": Japanese Adult Videos in shrink-wrapped packages. Three for ¥999, or five for ¥1480 is very low priced. Plus, Donki accepts a credit card, which is a reprieve for visiting sukebe Americans like me. The shop with the best selection {so far} is the Donki in Ueno, but not Taito-ku. 3=D)

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