Japanese sweets come to your house -Candy Japan-

November 11, 2014 Juju Kurihara 0 Comments


dagashiyaWhen I was little, there were always some very old looking small shop called Dagashiya (駄菓子屋) where sold small packets of sweets. The name Dagashi appreared in Edo period (江戸時代/1603-1868) when refined white sugar was only for the noble people and it was called Jogashi (上菓子/high-sweets) while commoners could only access to the sweets used brown or black sugar. In Kanzai area (関西), it was called Zatsu-gashi (雑菓子) because it was un-refined compare to refined sweets, Jogashi. 






The kanji, 駄 means inferior or poor in quality. This doesn´t mean Dagashi is bad, just means it´s not delicate sweet like traditional Wagashi (和菓子).    

Now the name Dagashi is used for cheap snacks for children. Usually they are in a small package or in a glass jars that you can pick piece by piece. As a child, I loved to see big round candies in different colour or some squid taste sheet on stick in old-fashioned glasses. 




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShopowners are older person and they kind of teach kids some manners. Since most of the sweets are 10 yen or 20 yen, I could buy 10 different sweets, which filled my small hands for just one 100 yen coin. Imagin how happy a child could be just for 100 yen.

When my Mum was small, a man would come to an open space of the town where kids gathered to play. He usually brought Kamishibai (紙芝居/picture story) and Dagashi that childrend would buy before the Kamishibai show. 

Now, as you know, many Konbini stores are everywhere in Japan and these small Dagashiya are desappearing. Last time I visited where I grew up, my dagashiya had gone and there was a dry-cleaning shop instead. It was a little sad moment.



Anyway, what I wanted to write today is, you can have those Japanese sweets I had in my childhood. Although there are less dagashiya, thoese snacks still exist. And there is a Finnish guy who sends you two envelops or a box-full of Japanese candies every month for $25. You just sit wherever you are and Japanese sweets come to your house. How is that? 

The page is called, Candy Japan. If you love Japanese sweets, this service must be a heaven. 





The process seems to be easy. You just go to their website and register, decide the payment method and wait until you get some Japanese envelopes. 

Only problem is everything is written in Japanese, ingredients or instructions. So if you are allergic to certain things and do not read Japanese, as the Finish guy mentions, probably it´s the best not to use this service. If you have no problem to allergies but you don´t read Japanese, well, you may have another problem. 





Sometimes you will get some weird sweets like this photo. 

I guess you see a photo of Raamen and you think, "Oh, why raamen? It´s not a sweet." Well, this is a candy. 

If you get one of those, don´t get freaked out. Just type the company name in Google or YouTube. Then you will be able to find what it is and how to make the best out of these candies. 






For example, this raamen kit is a product of Kracie´s Popin´ Cookin´ DIY. They look quite strange. So you make dishes such as sushi, raamen, hamburger, doughnuts and many other food but they are all candies. I don´t know if it´s a common sweet but I remember there was already this sort of candies, which you can make an experiment with. This is a very much advanced type.

They are very creative in a way and I´m sure you will have fun making them. The taste? I don´t know. Let me know when you try one of them. I´m curious actually. 


With Candy Japan, you will receive any sort of surprises every month. Not only once but twice a month. Don´t worry, I don´t think you get the weird snacks all the time. But when you get one, just have fun and tell us your experience. 

I have noticed this type of business is growing. I´ve also seen the site selling beautiful Japanese paper. If I find more, I will let you know.


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