Let’s take it back to ’79, give or take a decade.

The food at convenience stores is constantly evolving. But evolution is such a slow process that sometimes the change is hard to perceive unless you take a look back every once in a while. And here to do just that is the discount offshoot of Lawson convenience stores Lawson Store 100 and their limited lineup of Showa Retro Fair foods.

▼ You can tell a Lawson Store 100 from its green signs

The Showa era of Japan technically ran from 1926 to 1989, but many people tend to focus on the latter part of it, which ran through the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s when looking at things like fashion, culture, and music. Now, we can get a taste of that time too, through one or all of these delightfully primitive-looking meals and snacks.

Throwback Hayashi Rice

There was a time when carefully embedding peas into a thick demi-glace sauce was the epitome of class. Now, that spirit is alive again in this bento that combines this rice-and-sauce dish which also contains loads of beef, onions, carrots, and mushrooms beneath the surface, all for 370 yen (US$2.53).

Pilaf Onigiri

There was a time when pilaf was considered superior to frying when it comes to cooking seasoned rice. That time is now again thanks to this rice puck for 100 yen ($0.68) filled with diced bacon, carrot, onion, and red pepper.

Ginger Pork Onigiri

Thin cuts of pork cooked in a rich ginger sauce have definitely stood the test of time in Japanese cuisine, but it was way back in Showa when this delectable meat really took off. The rice of this ball is flavored with soy sauce and wrapped in small cuts of grilled pork flavored with ginger and mayonnaise for 138 yen ($0.94).

Throwback Showa Retro Bento

This lunch box is a full-on assault of foods with shades of Showa in them. Lawson Store 100 wondered what foods would most bring people back to that bygone age and filled the container with rice and salmon garnished with the holy trinity of a pickled ume, pickled daikon, and kelp, all for 248 yen ($1.69).

Thick Fried Egg Sandwich

At a price of 288 yen ($1.97) don’t let the appearance of this simple Showa staple of diners fool you. Inside that thick patty of egg is a wonderland of rich flavoring with some mayo and mustard to drive the taste home.


This sugary treat selling for 110 yen ($0.75) was the envy of all school lunch desserts. Its name literally means “fried bread” which would be a “donut” in lay terms for people so lay that “fried bread” wouldn’t suffice.

Twist Sandwich (Apricot Jam)

The retro koppepan craze – in which simple, soft rolls not unlike hotdog buns are sold with a jam or cream filling for a cheap and easy snack – has been well underway in Japan for a while now. But only Lawson’s 110-yen ($0.75) jam sandwiches dare to ask the question: “Hey, remember when the bread used to be all twisty too?”

The products listed above all went on sale from 30 August, but they are hardly the end of what’s in store at Lawson Store 100. Starting 9 September, the following two additional items to the Showa Retro Fair will be made.

Omurice & Napolitan

Going to any Showa-era kissaten coffee shop, you’d be sure to find the stalwarts of omurice and Napolitan spaghetti on the menu, but which one do you choose? Lawson Store 100 asks, why not both? For 350 yen ($2.39) you can have your omurice and eat your Napolitan too. It’s a match made in ketchup heaven.

Ginger Pork & Napolitan Sandwiches

Lawson Store 100 doesn’t stop asking questions there, either. For their next trick they wonder what if the two Showa signature dishes of ginger pork and Napolitan were served in sandwiches for 230 yen ($1.57).

It’s certainly a lot of Showa-stylized foods on display but that isn’t even everything. Lawson Store 100 will also offer a range of retro candies, snacks, and instant noodles in their stores and they’ll even be playing hits from the era while the Showa Retro Fair is underway until 12 September.

So, slap on your punch perm and head down to your nearest location while the past is still alive and savory!

Source: Lawson Store 100, PR Times
Images: PR Times
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