Dagashiya is a traditional Japanese confectionery shop that sells inexpensive candies known as dagashi. These antique establishments, popular with children and adults who want to relive their childhood confectionery days, can be found throughout Japan. Still, one in Tokyo’s neighboring Chiba Prefecture is particularly unique: Maboroshido.
Maboroshido, located in Yachiyo City, combines the vintage atmosphere of a confectionery store with some somewhat unique entertainment components. The nearest bus stop is a kilometer distant, and the walk from Yachiyo Midorigaoka station takes around 40 minutes.
Because of its distant position, most visitors to Maboroshido arrive by car or motorcycle.
The store’s entrance is odd, as it appears to be an abandoned storage space.
When you step inside, however, you’ll notice that the store is nestled amongst a grove of bamboo.
Usually, there are almost no customers around and what’ll welcome you is a cut-out photo board for the store’s original figure was a kappa water spirit named Kappa Yappe, with a written sign, “I came to Maboroshido!!”
You’ll see a couple of old vending machines outside the shop
…and a few nostalgic arcade games.
The structure appeared to be a candy store, but the actual entrance was quite tricky to spot.
However, there is a small precarious window near one of the vending machines.
And something unusual will definitely greet you from the window!
Many are startled by the unexpected appearance of the shop’s mascot character, but that’s not where the surprises end! The Kappa will actually talk to you!
The Kappa will greet you in the generic robot voice and ask if you need any help. If you ask Kappa where to buy some sweets, as Soranews24 did, he will inform you that they are available at the red vending machine.
The Kappa spoke in a robotic tone as if a voice-changing microphone was being used to communicate through it.
If you look closer at the machine, you’ll see that it isn’t unlike any vending machine you’d come across till now. Because this vending machine was completely manual and operated by a person behind it, running it needed a combination of speaking and pretending to press buttons, and putting money in a money tray.
Below is a video if you want to see it in action.
先月訪問した、千葉県八千代市にある “非接触式ハイブリット型駄菓子屋”『まぼろし堂』の自動ならぬ、— 薄毛ライター耕平☆ロケットニュース24 (@kouhey_rocket) January 10, 2022
Surprisingly, these manual vending machines proved to be much more pleasant to use than conventional automatic ones, so why not give a look at the hamburger vending machine too.
The burgers on sale here were…”Guten Burgers“!?
Kappa Yappe again makes a return to guide you through the purchase process, instructs you to press the “push” button, and deposit the money in the tray as previously. After a minute, the Guten Burger should appear in the collection tray!
However, you need to know that the advertised Guten Burger wasn’t is the thing of the past and isn’t available anymore. This was how old these machines were. As a result, the hamburger you will get from these machines is an original hamburger designed to taste as close to the original as possible.
Another machine in the shop was Kappa Yappe’s Coffee Stand!
The cheerful shop mascot Yappe Kappa will come out again to instruct you. The hardworking Kappa will suggest that you put ¥250 in the drawer for a cup of coffee.
After a little while, the coffee will arrive, and the platform is lowered.
There are also some instant noodles if you’re craving them. There is a seating area too where you could enjoy your glorious food.
The Guten burger-style hamburger came out to be delicious! And the drip coffee, which was claimed to be popular with passing bikers, was equally delicious!
You might all wonder how the person was running the place behind the scenes of this unique shop. Hence, Soranews24 also asked the friendly Kappa, and they were allowed to visit the enigmatic control room and meet the owner, Yasuko Murayama.
When a customer comes near one of the vending machines, she notices it on her mini display. Murayama goes into action by using her microphone, giving voice to the Yappe Kappa, and manipulating the mascot via the window.
Maruyama’s dedication to her profession is admirable, but the true impetus for this concept stems from the crushing consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on her business. Maruyama had previously operated a tiny dagashi shop before the epidemic. Still, when the government began requiring companies to reduce their hours and adhere to precautions such as social distance, she was forced to find another means to keep afloat.
At the time of writing, Maruyama says she’s unsure whether she’ll ever be able to reopen her store. Nonetheless, Maruyama is eager to keep going, offering drinks and food to tourists in a new style — one that some would argue is even more passionate and unforgettable.
Maruyama and Kappa Yappe aren’t alone in the peaceful bamboo grove, as the owner’s daughter is on hand to assist, and she’s the one who creates the coffees that motorcyclists adore.
Maboroshido is a site worth visiting since it is one of the most unusual spots in Japan to stop for a bite to eat. It’s also a terrific spot to enjoy the company of a nice kappa, and the good news is that, unlike the others, this one won’t suck your soul out of your bottom.
Dagashiya Maboroshido / 駄菓子屋まぼろし堂
Address: Chiba-ken, Yachiyo-shi, Sonohashi 116-3
After you’re allowed to travel, don’t let the distance from the station stop you from visiting such a wholesome place. She would really appreciate those more customers!
Source: SoraNews24, Photos ©SoraNews24
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