Dagashi is a specific snack culture in Japan. Recently, Dagashi culture has declined, but it is a popular content secretly because it has a special attraction.
Japanese unique snack culture called “Dagashi”
After World War II, many unique cultures were born in Japan. One of these, there is a culture called “Dagashi”(駄菓子). Dagashi is a specific snack culture in Japan. Recently, Dagashi culture has declined, but it is a popular content secretly because it has a special attraction. This article will introduce such a deepest culture in Japan.
Dagashi is cheap and small snacks for children and mainly grew in 1960-90. Up to the present time, Dagashi was loved by many common people in Japan. There are some reasons why it is loved, it has specific features you will never see in the world.
Dagashi’s first specific feature is cheap price. It is sold for children, so most of it only cost 10-50 yen (about 10-50 US cent). These price mostly wasn’t change until now.
Example : Umaibou is 10 Yen.
Its small size is unique feature too. It is handy, so people like It when they are little hungry. And it looks like a miniature food. Its cool and cute appearances are liked by young people.
Example: Orion Mini Coke
Some Dagashi have a small lottery what can get one more same Dagashi. There are two types of lottery prizes. One is coupon can change one more same snack. Another is ticket of small money like 10 yen, 50 yen and 100 yen.
There are many kinds of Dagashi. In this topic, I’ll introduce some unique Dagashi.
10 Yen gum & candy
10 Yen Dagashi has the most kinds. They are bite-size and easy to eat. You can enjoy many kinds of flavor with small money. Many of these have a lottery, this Is also one of the pleasures of Dagashi.
Here’s Ramune Is not a drink but a candy. Usually Ramune Is fuzzy and tastes like Sprite. There are many kinds of tastes like strawberry and lemon and more.
There are not only sweet but also salty Dagashi. These are made tasting like Japanese traditional foods. Not only children but also adults like these because these go well with a sake.
Katsu is a one of Japanese foods flied meat with bread crumbs. There are some Dagashi reproduce Katsu. Real Katsu uses many kinds of meats, but Katsu of Dagashi uses only fish’s meats because these are low costs.
These are not all Dagashi’s varieties. There are more kinds of Dagashi.
Dagashiya (駄菓子屋)is a shop where sells Dagashi. There are many Dagashiya around the city in Japan in 80-90s but growing super market and convenience store made those fade away. Dagashiya is not only sells Dagashi but also offer entertainments for many children.
It also sells some cheap toys like planes, balls, guns and dolls. These reasonable toys were loved by many children before appearing video games. Some vintage toys have popularity of mania, so tin toys and others are sold at a high price.
Lottery of toys
There are many kinds of lottery of toys. In many cases, this lottery is little expensive for children (one lottery is 100 Yen), so children tried to save money and challenge it at that time. Many of these has no lose lottery. It is kind for children.
In 70s and 90s, there is an arcade game boom, so many Dagashiya set some arcade games to attract children. These were called “Dagashiya Ge-Cen”(Dagashiya Game Center). In many cases, these games were cheaper than games in game centers instead of they are old games, so these were loved by many children. Some Dagashiya put gamble games like a slot machine.
There is an anime what is set in Dagashiya. It titled “Dagashi Kashi”. Maybe there are some people who knew about Dagashi throw this anime. If you are interested in Dagashi and haven’t seen this anime, I recommend watching this anime.
Out in the countryside stands a sweet shop run by the Shikada family for nine generations: Shikada Dagashi, a small business selling traditional Japanese candy. However, despite his father’s pleas, Kokonotsu Shikada, an aspiring manga artist, adamantly refuses to inherit the family business.
However, this may start to change with the arrival of the eccentric Hotaru Shidare. Hotaru is in search of Kokonotsu’s father, with the goal of bringing him back to work for her family’s company, Shidare Corporation, a world famous sweets manufacturer. Although the senior Shikada initially refuses, he states that he will change his mind on one condition: if Hotaru can convince Kokonotsu to take over the family shop. And so begins Hotaru’s mission to enlighten the boy on the true joy of delicious and nostalgic dagashi! (My Anime List.net, https://myanimelist.net/anime/31636/Dagashi_Kashi)
At the present day, there are a little count of Dagashiya. But there are some places you can enjoy Dagashi. It Is called “Dagashi-Bar”. This is a place adult enjoys alcohols and Dagashi. It is popular for people who liked Dagashi when they were children. At Dagashi-Bar, once you pay 500 Yen, you can eat any kinds and amounts of Dagashi in that bar.
The interior of the bar is also fascinating. It looks 70s-80s styles, you can feel nostalgic of retro Japanese.
There are some Dagashi-Bar in Tokyo (Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya etc.).
If you come to Japan, I recommend visiting these bars and enjoy Dagashi.
If you interested in Dagashi through reading this article, please try to visit Japan and challenge Dagashi. Thank you for reading!!