It’s every child’s dream: you find yourself in an abandoned sweet shop and can finally wolf down as many lollipops and marshmallows as you please.

Tokyo’s all-you-can-eat “dagashi” or “cheap candy” bars make that childhood fantasy come true, giving stressed-out Japanese a chance to relive the good old days when their biggest problem was deciding between fizzy sticks and sour plums.

The dagashi bar in Tokyo’s trendy Ebisu neighbourhood is styled like an old corner shop with dark wooden walls lined with glass jars full of Japanese childhood favourites like chewy soybean candy and pickled squid on a stick.

Faded posters, a black-and-white TV and a menu that also offers pasta with ketchup evoke that special 1960s “natsukashii” or nostalgic feeling.

“This is good old Japan, something I haven’t even seen myself because we’ve passed that era,” said 24-year-old Natsuko Kohashi, a consultant, as she sat with a glass of beer and a basket of sugary goodies.