All About Japan

5 Nostalgic 'Dagashi' Treats

| Sweets , Retro Japan

When think of Japanese snacks, what comes to mind? Pocky, Hi-Chew and Pretz, perhaps? Sure, these are all the snacks of current generation. But let's travel back and take a look at the cheap dagashi snacks produced for a time when kids used to count their pocket money instead of their Facebook likes—and they're still around today!

5. Umaibo

Speaking of nostalgic snacks, how can we miss out on Umaibo? Coming to market in 1979, these crunchy snacks come in colorful packages with over 20 flavor options. Although only really popular domestically, the manufacturer has been trying to release premium flavors to gain attention from people overseas as well. Compared to other snacks, these guys are ridiculously cheap, averaging ¥10 per stick. That's right: ¥10. Give one a shot the next time you're in a Japanese convenience store or supermarket!

4. 〇〇Taro

4. 〇〇Taro

〇〇Taro offers a great variety of classic Japanese flavors, including yakiniku, nori-wasabi, okonomiyaki, takoyaki and more. Each has a different name based on its flavor, like Wasabinori Taro, Yakinikusan Taro, Takoyakisan Taro, and so on. They all look like pieces of meat, but in fact they're made from minced fish! They all taste amazing, with a texture that's not too chewy. They're also comparatively healthy, and with prices as low as ¥8 apiece you can't go wrong giving one a try!

3. Fue Ramune Candy

3. Fue Ramune Candy

Have you ever try to play with candy? Sure you have. When I was a kid, there was a time when everyone brought this candy to school trying to compete to see who could blow the loudest using it as a whistle (fue means flute). It's amazing to think there's a way to make candy even more exciting than it already is. I know you're tempted to try it out for yourself now!

2. Mini-Cola Candy

2. Mini-Cola Candy

Maybe you had a time when your parents didn't let you drink Coke, but your grandparents always tried to pass you a small box of Mini-Cola so you'd feel better. Between the eye-catching package and the addictive taste, I always finished the whole pack before I knew it. I also liked shaking it when I was enjoying my candy, listening to the sound and guessing how many were left in the box. This kind of easy happiness is so hard to find when we get older.

1. Tamago Bolo

1. Tamago Bolo

I had all kinds of dagashi available to me when I was growing up in Hong Kong, and this was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of nostalgic snacks. I probably ate more of this than anything else when I was young.

There are many makers of Tamago Bolo, but there isn't really a lot of variety in taste. Everything from package to flavor are all very simple: Light yellow package with light yellow products, the taste is slightly sweet. But I love its crunchiness and mild sweetness. Just like life, if you don't bite into it, you will never find its sweetness. I never thought such a simple snack could convey such a complicated life philosophy!

You might be enjoying your Pocky or Pretz or Kinoko-no-yama. But after you finish your 50th pack of Pocky, why not dive into some old Japanese dagashi store to treasure-hunt some old snacks that some of us used to enjoy when we were kids? I'm sure you'll appreciate the memories as much as finding the new KitKat on shelf!