Taking You Back to Japanese Retro Vibe
Tokyo Dome City is full of wonder and attractions from roller coasters and water rides to stationary galore. However, there was one shop in the midst of this shopping mall that struck a different chord in our hearts, full of retro toys and snacks: Dagashi Yumeya. This place is on the fourth floor of Tokyo Dome City.
Of course, neither of us (Jioh and Lena) grew up in Japan, but the shop contained items reminiscent of our own childhood, as we both grew up in an Asian household. Dagashi Yumeya is a store specializing in “Dagashi”, sweets and Japanese classic snacks at a cheap price that were very popular some time ago. It was a shop where children would come home from school and use just their pocket change to buy themselves some toys or snacks. Today, these kinds of stores are taken over by convenience stores, so it was very refreshing to find this small shop that still exists in the midst of conglomerates. Come into here for nostalgic feelings and look around for some sentimental candy, snacks, and toys.
Check out some of the stuff we’ve found from Dagashi Yumeya!
The first thing you see when you enter the store is a pile of Anpanman balloons. Anpanman is a popular Japanese cartoon superhero character that saves people by giving them a part of his own body (no I didn’t mistype anything). Anpan is a Japanese bread dessert filled with red bean paste, which is what his head is made of.
Hanging around the ceiling, you’ll find various masks of popular characters like Mario and Flashman. Don’t attempt to put it on though, because they are made for children and maybe a bit too small for you…
This bubble balloon toy definitely sent us back to our childhood. I personally remember running around the church after lunch playing with this with my friends.
Octopus Wind-up Toy
Entertain your friends or children (or yourself- we’re not judging) by giving them this, a wind-up octopus toy.
This Doraemon item functions not only as a toy, but Raumne candy dispenser too. Press the yellow button on top of his head to see different hand poses he has to show for you! Doraemon is also a Japanese manga and TV series about a robotic cat who travels back in time to help a boy named Nobita Nobi.
We all used to think smoking was good back then, but as children, we couldn’t. This was a great alternative back then, and none of us complained while eating orange flavoured cigarettes- without the tobacco of course.
5 Retro Snacks We’ve Tried
Mini Mare Biscuits (ミニミレービスキット)
It was hard and crunchy. As well as sweet and savoury. The cracker has a nutty aftertaste that was pleasant. Turns out it was Lena’s first choice out of all the snacks bought.
Our rating: ★★★★★ (5 / 5)
Ika Potpu (イカポップ)
This squid snack has a really strong seafood smell. Despite this, it didn’t really taste like squid. Jioh wished it tasted more like squid. Overall, it kind of tastes too bland. But it tastes better as you eat more? This was Lena’s first time experiencing a squid snack so she cannot comment accurately. But in general, it’s not her favourite.
Our rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 / 5)
Calpis Marshmallow (カルピス マシュマロ)
169 JPY for 4 bags: It smells like Calpis (of course). Really fluffy, like a normal marshmallow but has Calpis jam inside.
Our rating: ★★★☆☆ (2 / 5)
Ramune Candy Vending Machine
This candy you have to work for it! Press the button, and the machine will dispense out a small candy. It definitely can be used as a decoration if you wanted to. There’s the retro aesthetic, but the taste of candy itself doesn’t have a strong Ramune taste.
Our rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5)
Popin’ Cookin’ Sushi set (ポッピンクッキン 楽しい雄屋さん)
I think it’s safe to say that this was our least favourite snack. Don’t get us wrong, it was really fun making the candy itself, but please DO NOT EAT IT. In the wise words of Jioh, “It was edible, but not edible.” We hated the texture of the rice and egg. I couldn’t brave my soul to eat the seaweed, but according to Jioh, it tasted like a toilet. The egg is supposed to taste like apple, the salmon eggs like orange juice, and the tune, like grape. The rice and soy sauce doesn’t taste like anything. For Lena, the salmon eggs taste the best – but only by itself. With rice, it tastes disgusting.
Our rating: ★☆☆☆☆ (1 / 5)
We had so much fun checking out this small shop and trying all the food we bought – although it was somewhat ruined by the Popin’ Cookin’ sushi kit.
This blog post was written by Jioh and Lena, Seibo Japan/Mobal Japan’s interns from South Korea and Texas.
Author: Declan Somers
Thanks to the people of Japan and the efforts of a UK-based telecoms company Mobell/Mobal am happy to assist in providing a hot school meal daily for kids in Malawi, Africa through a Japanese registered NGO- Seibo.
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