Bring the warm and inviting glow of mama-san drinking joints to your kitchen. 

Pretty much every town in Japan has at least one sunakku (“snack“) bar. Unlike bars or pubs in the West, though, these drinking holes are often small, one-room establishments, offering a few counter seats at a bar where a proprietress known as a “mama-san” serves up drinks and advice to customers, and an old karaoke machine waits to be turned on in the corner as the night wears on.

These “sunakku”, as they’re commonly referred to, usually have a distinct Showa-era (1926-1989) nostalgia in their vibe and decor, and it’s something that extends to the exterior signage as well. The common sight of a retro snack bar sign illuminating an old kitsch building on a dark street is one that warms the cockles of many, and now it’s something you can gaze at in the comfort of your own home, thanks to these new sunakku sign magnets from Japanese gacha toy manufacturer Kitan Club.

As soon as we caught wind of this new release, we quickly snapped up the whole collection of six different designs. Each one conjures up a unique vibe, with the black “Bar Metcha Umai Cocktail” (“Bar Super Delicious Cocktail”) and brown “Club Kitan” signs suggesting a classier type of retro bar, while the light blue “Sunakku Fuchico” acts as a nod to many bars that name their establishments after the proprietress. For Kitan Club, though, Fuchico is also the name of the office lady figurine that stars in their beloved “Cup Fuchico” line of cup-hanging toys.

The purple sign features an unusual series of kanji characters you wouldn’t normally see together, with each character individually translating to “song“, “musical note“, “world” and “style“. Together they’re pronounced “ka-pu-se-ru“, which conveniently refers to capsule toys, which is what these magnets are.

The pink “Pub and Snack New Magnet” design uses stylised katakana for a nouveau-type feel, while the white magnet reads “Nomidokoro Nondakure” (Drinking Place Drunkard”).

The signs are cute enough on their own, but if you manage to snag more than one of these, you can slot them into each other to create the look of a multi-storey building filled with drinking holes.

And if these weren’t appealing enough already, the magnets actually light up, so you can conjure up the look of a Japanese nightscape, no matter where you are in the world.

Each magnet retails for 300 yen (US$2.74), and can be purchased at gacha capsule toy machines nationwide from 7 December. Great as gifts for yourself or friends, or even as souvenirs, the magnets are a neat way to preserve important documents on your fridge while preserving a bit of Japanese retro nostalgia as well.

Photos ©SoraNews24 
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