Dagashi refers to cheap candies and snack foods.
Dagashi are comparable to American penny candy.
The word “dagashi” is derived from the Japanese words “da” (“futile” or “negligible”) and “kashi” (snacks). The low price and fun packaging is designed to attract children with small allowances, and “dagashi” came to be known as the small candies that children can afford with pocket money.
Most dagashi are packaged in bright, childish wrapping and sometimes come with a small toy or prize. The toys are often small figurines, and a common prize is a randomized prize that will allow the holder to claim a second free snack.
Dagashi used to be sold in stores specializing primarily in dagashi called “dagashiya” , but are now increasingly sold in convenience stores as well.