Japan's love for the retro isn't limited to the nation's main urban centres. Out in the suburbs, nostalgia also exists and in often the most surprising of places. Head off to any local confectionery store and chances are you will step into a room or two stacked with shelves filled with sweet old-style goodies and the memories that go with them.
And so it was as we entered Panda, a local confectinery store in suburban Soka City. A bare bones, warehouse-styled building painted yellow and green, the little glass door slid open to reveal a kiddies dream come true. For sure, you could have just as easily taken the children to the local supermarket and picked up a handful of the sweet stuff. But if you did, you would have missed out on a decidedly retro vibe.
Mama certainly got a decent blast of the good old days as we stepped inside. Spying boxes of sweets eaten as a child, mama made a brave attempt at convincing the kids to try 'the old stuff'. Alas, with so much to choose from, the children really were, as they say, in a candy store.
Rushing about between aisles filled with cheap confectionery, and a considered budget of JPY200 each, they eventually came away with yummy handfuls of happiness. Now, the budget may seem cheap but sweets here fetch for as a little as JPY10 apiece....
Want to spend money, feel like you are saving some and at the same time make the kids happy? Head down to the local confectionery store. Who knows, you may even get all teary-eyed at how time flies.