Dagashi are sweets for kids.
In the old days you could go to the store with just 10 yen and come out with so much loot.
Fried pork sheets, candy, chocolates and gummies.
Nowadays, the old stores dedicated to dagashi can be found in covered malls and old town areas.
But, most big supermarkets have a dagashi section in the candy and choccy aisle.
Often they are using wooden-colored plastic and a hanging fabric sign to give the nostalgic fuzzies to parents while attracting kids too.
駄菓子/だがし/dagashi means the “gashi” means candy (like お菓子 okashi) and the “da” means negligible.
The reason is because originally they were sold as cheaper alternatives to the common people, as opposed to the luxury Japanese sweets.
They are also sold individually – like one piece of gum or one chocolate.
Also, like Charlie and the Chocolate factory many of the candies have a “win” or “lose” written inside the packet.
Win is 当たり/atari and lose is はずれ/hazure.
Like Gari Gari Kun lollies – if you win you can get another one of the candies!
Check out some more information here.