Japan’s 5 Cheapest Snacks that are Popular with Children
Have you ever heard that there is a snack genre unique to Japan that is especially popular among children? As you may already know, the name of the Japanese snack genre is “Dagashi (駄菓子)”.
Actually, Dagashi is the generic name for cheap Japanese snacks and candies. In Japan, the cheapest Dagashi treats only cost 10 yen (about 0.1 USD), so it is fun for kids to choose such snacks as they can buy many varieties even with their small pocket money.
5 Popular 10 Yen Dagashi Snacks
For Dagashi beginners, today I will introduce 5 long-time favorite Dagashi treats available for as little as 10 yen in Japan, all of which I actually used to eat as a kid. They are sold at supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores around the country and nowadays can also be bought on Amazon.com.
Oyatsu Calpas (おやつカルパス)
First off, Oyatsu Calpas is a Japanese semi-dry sausage snack like a cross between beef jerky and salami. The Japanese sausage snack tastes good for the price of 10 yen and is not spicy at all. Oyatsu Calpas is not just a treat for kids, but the Dagashi snack can also be a good accompaniment for alcoholic drinks like beer.
Mochi Taro (餅太郎)
The name, Mochi Taro is composed of 2 words, “Mochi (餅)” that refers to a plain glutinous rice cake, and “Taro (太郎)”, a common Japanese boy’s name. Nonetheless, the Dagashi is a lightly salted, crispy cracker made from wheat flour and starch, not rice, but really yummy.
Marukawa Fusen Gum (マルカワ フーセンガム)
Marukawa Fusen Gum is a chewing bubble gumball that comes in various fruit flavors. One box of the gum only costs 10 yen and amazingly the price has never changed for decades. The fruit-flavored gum is coated with colored sugar and has a very satisfying juicy taste like real fruit.
Kabayaki-San Taro (蒲焼さん太郎)
The word “Kabayaki (蒲焼き)” may remind you of grilled unagi eel, but the main ingredient of Kabayaki-san Taro is walleye pollack and this Surimi fish paste Dagashi snack is a kind of fish jerky. It is salty-sweet, a little bit spicy with a Kabayaki-like taste, and is quite hard and tough in texture.
Umaibo is one of the best-recognized Japanese snacks. As you may know, it is a corn puff snack bar with a slightly hard texture that comes in many unique flavors. The price of 10 yen has never changed since the first flavor went on the market in 1979 and now Umaibo is sometimes called “The King of Dagashi”.