A taste of nostalgia for the golden era of Japanese coffee shops is coming to the golden arches.

In Japan, the Showa era lasted from 1926 to 1989. In the popular imagination, though, the word “Showa” most strongly draws up memories of the period from the late ‘50s to the early ‘80s, when the common people of the country saw a steady increase in their standard of living.

One example of the newfound prosperity was the rise of kissaten, Japanese-style coffee shops that served soft drinks, light meals, and sweet snacks. The affordable luxury of these unassuming neighborhood eateries was a sign that Japan was finally leaving behind the dark days of totalitarian government that previous generations had lived under. At the same time, the golden era of the kissaten came before the intense hustle and bustle of the bubble economy and following recession, and to this day there’s strong nostalgia for the simple pleasures of old-school kissaten cuisine, and those looking for a taste of it will soon be able to find it at McDonald’s branches in Japan.

This month, McDonald’s Japan is rolling out its new Kissa Mac lineup, with two edible desserts and one drinkable one. All three are based on treats that have now become mainstays in Japan’s sweets scene, but which got their start in the kissaten of the Showa era.

First up is the Kissaten Purin Pie (160 yen [US$1.20]), McDonald’s latest Japanese-localized pie following last month’s Strawberry Daifuku Pie. Purin is the word Japan uses for custard pudding, which is what’s waiting inside the crispy pie crust accompanied by an ever so slightly bitter caramel sauce, the traditional topping for purin.

If the weather is too warm for a hot melty purin pie, there’s also the Kissaten Coffee Jelly Parfait (380 yen). As per Japanese dessert naming conventions, the “jelly” here is really gelatin, with the wiggly, jiggly coffee-flavored gelatin drizzled with both coffee sauce and sweet condensed milk and topped with a swirl of whipped cream. In the middle stratum is vanilla ice cream, and at the bottom is a base of corn flakes, which are a regular parfait ingredient in Japan and also an excellent excuse for eating the Kissaten Coffee Jelly Parfait for breakfast if you feel like it.

If you need something to wash your dessert down, and want that beverage to be sweet too, the final member of the lineup is the Kissaten Cream Soda (320 yen). In Japan, “cream soda” usually refers to an ice cream float with any sort of carbonated soft drink as the base, and here the choice is verdant melon soda, which rose to popularity during the Showa era. And don’t worry, McDonald’s Japan has no problems with you doubling up on sweets, as they themselves say “By all means, please enjoy the Kissaten Cream Soda together with the Coffee Jelly Parfait or Purin Pie.”

▼ The Japanese text on the cups for the parfait and cream soda is written in a retro font that evokes the Showa era, as does the setting of the commercial featuring boy band member Sota Nakajima.

The Kissa Mac lineup goes on sale April 26 and will be available for a limited time.

Source, images: McDonald’s Japan
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Follow Casey on Twitter, where his purin cravings are more or less constant.