What is Dagashi?
“Dagashi (駄菓子)” is a type of snack or candy that is popular among all ages. Dagashi is usually very cheap, so children are able to buy with their pocket money or allowance. Most items are 100 yen or less. During the Edo period cheap and affordable Dagashi style sweets became popular. At the time, Dagashi was made from cheaper materials such as “mizuame (水飴)” which is made from rice and malt. People could buy Dagashi instead of high quality pastries made with refined sugar which was expensive at the time.
Traditional & Modern Dagashi
Dagashi became further developed and popular among people in Japan after the World War II. At that time, children grabbed their pocket money after school and ran into Dagashi shops to pick up and taste their favorite Dagashi. There are many different kinds of Dagashi but these tend to stand out more.
Karinto is a traditional Dagashi that has been around for many generations. The snack is deep-fried and made from flour, sugar, water, and yeast then coated in brown sugar. It is a simple but very addictive snack.
This is a very tiny sugar candy with dozens of flavors. Since they are small, cute looking, and colorful people often used them as a small gift for their wedding guests etc.
This is a type of soda popular among all ages. It has a light citrus flavor and it is pleasant to drink especially during summer. Ramune is known for the distinct bottle.
#4. Black Thunder
Black Thunder is a chocolate bar and is a new type of Dagashi that costs about 30 yen. It has become more popular so more flavors are being produced.
Photo Credit:Yuichiro MASUI@flickr
Umaibo is a modern Dagashi made from corn. Each bar is around 10 yen and there are many different flavors to try.
Where Can Dagashi be Found?
Dagashi is sold at shops called “Dagashiya (駄菓子屋)”. Find a Dagashi shop is already a tiny adventure.
#1. Nostalgic Dagashi Shop, “Okawa Shoten”
Okawa Shoten is an authentic Dasgashi shop in Tokyo. The shop remains unchanged and looks like a typical post-war style shop. This shop is very nostalgic for the older generation.
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Address: 4-5-12 Toyosu, Koto ward, Tokyo
Access: 3 minute walk from Yurakucho Line/Yurikamome Line “Toyosu” station
Hours: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
*Closed on Fridays, 10th and 20th each month
Website: Okawa Shoten
#2. Modern Dagashi Shop, “Ewatari”
Ewatari is a modern Dagashi shop in Tokyo. There are hundreds to choose from and everything is less than 100 yen.
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Address: 3-4-12 Kinshi, Sumida ward, Tokyo
Access: 1 minute walk from “Kinshicho” station
Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
*Closed during Japanese summer holidays, New Year’s eve, and New Year’s day
Website: Ewatari (Japanese)
#3. Dagashi with Drinks, “Shibuya Dagashi Bar”
Guests can enjoy Dagashi while drinking alcohol. Costs 500 yen per person and it Dagashi are all-you-can-eat.
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Shibuya Dagashi Bar
Address: 26-5 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya ward, Tokyo
Access: 2 minute walk from Hanzomon Line/Den-en-toshi Line “Shibuya” Station 3a Exit
4:00 PM – 11:30 PM (Monday – Friday)
3:00 PM – 11:30 PM (Saturday, Sunday, Holiday)
Website: Shibuya Dagashi Bar